Friday, 2 October 2015

Saint Brigid and the Little Hostage

October 2 is the feast of Saint Giallán of Killelan, a Kildare saint with an interesting story attached to his name. There is a note appended to the margins of the Martyrology of Tallaght which explains that his name, derived from the Irish for a hostage, giall, was bestowed on him by Saint Brigid of Kildare. Our saint was originally a prince of Leinster called Onme who was given to Saint Brigid by another Leinster ruler to ensure the submission of Onme's father. The scribe's note tells us:
Onme (i.e. simul) or Omne son of the king of Leinster. And he was given as a hostage to the king of Leth Cuind, and he gave him into Brigit's hand that she might on his account obtain submission a patre suo, et aliquo die dixerunt discipulae Brigitae ei: ' 'tis lovely the little hostage (giallán) is to-day,' said they. 'Giallán will be his name for ever,' said Brigit. And that is the one who is in Cell Giallain in Ui Muiridaig.
It seems that the little hostage made quite an impression on Saint Brigid and her household! Professor Pádraig Ó Riain, in his 2011 Dictionary of Irish Saints reveals that the saint is associated with the County Kildare locality of Killelan, probably originally Ceall Ghialláin. October 2 is the second of two feast days recorded for him, the first is at September 6. There is a post on Saint Giallán at my other site here.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

White Abbey, Kildare (Walsh)

The following is from Fr. Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, published in New York in 1854, chapter xlviii, at p. 487-8:

Carmelites A house for this order was founded in the year 1290 by William de Vesci Several chapters of this order were held in Atherdee and in Dublin by David O Bugey a native of Kildare and a man of sound erudition was esteemed as such at Oxford and at Treves in Germany He was well versed in divinity philosophy rhetoric the civil and canon law and was generally called the burning light the mirror and the ornament of his country His knowledge of those subjects was so accurate and extensive that not only the justiciaries but even the parliaments were accustomed to consult him on cases of unusual importance and difficulty O Bugey flourished about the year 1320 when he was provincial of his order and died full of years and full of honor in this friary where he was interred.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Pilgrimage to Galway Cathedral

VIIIth Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum


The Supreme Pontiffs have to this day shown constant concern that the Church of Christ should offer worthy worship to the Divine Majesty, “for the praise and glory of his name” and “the good of all his holy Church.”

As from time immemorial, so too in the future, it is necessary to maintain the principle that “each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally received from apostolic and unbroken tradition.  These are to be observed not only so that errors may be avoided, but also that the faith may be handed on in its integrity, since the Church’s rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of faith (lex credendi).”

Eminent among the Popes who showed such proper concern was Saint Gregory the Great, who sought to hand on to the new peoples of Europe both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture amassed by the Romans in preceding centuries.  He ordered that the form of the sacred liturgy, both of the sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office, as celebrated in Rome, should be defined and preserved.  He greatly encouraged those monks and nuns who, following the Rule of Saint Benedict, everywhere proclaimed the Gospel and illustrated by their lives the salutary provision of the Rule that “nothing is to be preferred to the work of God.”  In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman usage, enriched the faith and piety, as well as the culture, of numerous peoples.  It is well known that in every century of the Christian era the Church’s Latin liturgy in its various forms has inspired countless saints in their spiritual life, confirmed many peoples in the virtue of religion and enriched their devotion.

In the course of the centuries, many other Roman Pontiffs took particular care that the sacred liturgy should accomplish this task more effectively.  Outstanding among them was Saint Pius V, who in response to the desire expressed by the Council of Trent, renewed with great pastoral zeal the Church’s entire worship, saw to the publication of liturgical books corrected and “restored in accordance with the norm of the Fathers,” and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.

“It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and, when necessary, clarified.  From the beginning of this century they undertook a more general reform..."

...We order that all that we have decreed in this Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio take effect and be observed from the fourteenth day of September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the present year, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the seventh day of July in the year of the Lord 2007, the third of our Pontificate.


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Mass for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East

For the second year a Mass for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East was organised by the Catholic Heritage Association in Cill Mhuire, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.


Thursday, 10 September 2015

National Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Knock 2015

The National Latin Mass Pilgrimage is a special event in Knock.  Unique among Latin Mass pilgrimages around the Country, His Grace, the Archbishop of Tuam has designated this pilgrimage under his own authority and appointed a chaplain, Fr. John Loftus of the Diocese of Killala.

The organisation of the National Pilgrimage was undertaken by Our Lady's Catholic Heritage Association in co-ordination with the other Catholic Heritage Associations around the Country but all Latin Mass Communities, Chaplaincies, Associations and groups around the Country are invited to participate each year.

As usual, the main exercises of the pilgrimage took place in the old Parish Church of Knock, whish stood when the apparitions took place.  The apparitions are uniquely Eucharistic in that the Blessed Sacrament was present in the form of the Lamb of God with Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John, during the whole of the apparition.  That may be the reason for the silence of the apparition and perhaps the key to it's central message, the importance of silence in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament - very appropriate for the Traditional Latin Mass.

There was a tremendous turn out from all parts of the Country for a Missa Cantata of Our Lady celebrated by Fr. Loftus.  In keeping with the exercises of the official pilgrimages to the Shrine, the Missa Cantata was followed by the Stations of the Cross and the pilgrimage concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Carlow Cathedral

Members and friends of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association and other Catholic Heritage Associations were delighted to make another annual pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, in the Month of the Assumption.  Reports of previous pilgrimages can be found here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (May), 2013 (December), 2014
There is something special about making a pilgrimage to a Cathedral.  Ireland has its ancient sites and its holy wells (too often left only to the locals), Ireland has the sites associated with our National Apostle (although Armagh never became the place of pilgrimage it deserves), its apparition shrine in Knock and National Shrines (too often neglected by pilgrims) to various Saints.  However, Ireland, after long centuries of dispossession and persecution has begun again to have her Cathedrals.  It is a special duty of love to make a pilgrimage to the Mother Church of one's own Diocese and a special privilege to make pilgrimages to other Cathedrals around the Country.  Our first Cathedral pilgrimage was to Carlow, one of our oldest extant Cathedrals still in the hands of the Catholic Church.
While the Cathedrals in Waterford (1793), Cork (1808) and Dublin (1825) may be older, Carlow Cathedral is the first fruits of Catholic Emancipation that came in 1829.  Completed in 1833, with its near contemporary in Tuam (1836) it stands in contrast to the soaring confidence of its younger sisters of the 19th and 20th Centuries.  It is the more to be treasured for all that. 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Latin Mass for the Assumption in Ballaghaderreen

By the kind permission of Bishop Kelly of Achonry and Father Gavigan, Adm., friends and members of our Association from across the Country made a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Annunciation and Saint Nathy for the feast of the Assumption. The Mass was offered for the late Bishop Thomas Flynn of Achonry who had been a great friend to the Gregorian Rite.  By a beautiful coincidence, we were met by the Bishop and the Religious of the Diocese who were there to celebrate the Year for Consecrated Life. 

Ballaghaderreen is the only Parish of the Diocese of Achonry in the County of Roscommon, although it was part of County Mayo until an Act of the British Parliament in 1859.

The Cathedral was designed for Bishop Patrick Durnin of Achonry (1852-1875) about 1855 by the English architects Matthew Ellison Hadfield and George Goldie. The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 19 (Oct 1856), 325 (illus., Pl. XXIX) described it as: "New cathedral in Early English style. It was commenced some three or four years ago, and after laying the basement course, the works were suspended under the direction of the above named firm [Weightman, Hadfield & Goldie]. The plan consists of a spacious nave and aisles, chancel, side chapels, western tower and sacristy. The proportions of these various portions were already determined before Messrs. Weightman and Co. commenced operations, and they have been in consequence very much crippled in carrying out their design."

It was consecrated on 3rd November, 1860. The site was donated by Lord Dillon and the local blue limestone came from quarries on his estate. The High altar is by Henry Lane of Dublin.  The Dillons were prominent in the National struggle.  The newspaper The Nation, was co-founded by John Blake Dillon with Thomas Davis and Charles Gavin Duffy.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Kildare Abbey (Walsh)

The following is from Fr. Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, published in New York in 1854, chapter xlviii, at p. 488 and following:

A monastery for canons of St Augustine was founded at Kildare of which St Natfroich is said to have been the first abbot he was the priest who attended the institution of St Brigid before the appointment of its first bishop he is spoken of as the spiritual companion of St Brigid and to have remained with her all his life notwithstanding the superintendence of Conlaeth and it is also stated that he was wont to read in the refectory while the nuns were at their meals St Derlugdacha who is said to have been a great favorite with St Brigid succeeded as abbess and survived her only a year The feast of this saint is observed also on the 1st February AD 694 died the abbot Lochen the wise and the silent AD 726 died the abbess St Sebdana daughter of Corcius AD 738 died the abbess St Affrica AD 747 died the abbot Cathald Mac Forannan AD 833 died the abbess Affrica the Danes plundered Kildare AD 836 the Danes attacked Kildare destroyed the shrines of SS Conlaeth and Brigid her relics were conveyed to Down about this time AD 862 died Owen Britto scribe and anchorite of Kildare aged 116 years AD 868 died the abbot O Muredach a man of exemplary piety and wisdom AD 870 died the abbot of Kildare Murrough Mac Brian formerly king of Leinster AD 919 died the abbess Morean AD 962 died the abbess Murenna The Danes committed awful ravages Neil Oherluibh redeemed at his own expense as many of the ecclesiastics as could stand in the great house and church of St Brigid AD 1009 died the abbess Eithne AD 1112 died the abbess Gormfhlaith She was a remarkable exemplar of penitence AD 1135 Diarmod MacMurrough king of Leinster forcibly took the abbess from her cloister and compelled her to marry one of his own people It is related that 170 persons of the town and abbey were destroyed during the commission of this sacrilegious act AD 1220 Henry de Loundres archbishop of Dublin extinguished the fire which had been preserved by the nuns of St Brigid Of this inextinguishable fire as it is called nothing was known in the lifetime of St Brigid The first author who mentions it is Gerald Barry AD 1643 the earl of Castlehaven quartered his troops in Kildare In the twenty seventh of Elizabeth who has been the disgrace of her sex and whose infamies were legalized by an act of parliament the monastery of St Brigid with its appurtenances was granted to Anthony Deering and the renegade of the ancient faith which the perjured queen of England strove to supplant Ledwich has declared the patroness of Ireland as an imaginary person in his antiquities Hardiman of Gal way who is justly styled the light of the west assures us that there is not one word of truth in the book of Ledwich except what he has taken from O Flaherty's Ogygia A manuscript copy of the four evangelists was preserved at Kildare in the time of Gerald Barry said to have been dictated by an angel to St Brigid and elaborately described by Gerald as an unequalled specimen of caligraphy and illumination Gray Abbey was erected for Franciscans in the year 1260 by lord William de Vesci AD 1320 a provincial chapter was held here AD 1520 the strict observance was received Thomas was guardian of this house in the thirty first of queen Elizabeth Daniel Sutton obtained a grant of this abbey and its property in capite or by military service at the annual rent of 2s 3d Irish money A considerable part of the abbey still remains.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Annual Latin Mass for the Assumption, Letterkenny Cathedral

A good friend has asked us to let you know that the annual Latin Mass for the feast of Our Lady's Assumption will take place on Saturday, 15th August, at 4 p.m.  Photos of a previous Mass can be found here.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Latin Mass in Bray, County Wicklow

This is the first occasion on which our Association has made a pilgrimage to Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland. On 4th July, we made a pilgrimage to Bray for a Traditional Latin Mass in the Church of the Holy Redeemer on the Main Street. Building upon the existing Chapel of c. 1824, our old friend Patrick Byrne enlarged the Church and added a tower and facade strikingly similar to St. Patrick's, Wicklow Town (c. 1844) and to Byrne's St. John's, Blackrock (c. 1845).  W.H. Byrne further enlarged the Chapel into the present envelope, a Romanesque Church with colonnaded transepts and an apsidal Sanctuary c. 1894-1898, for Most Reverend Nicholas Donnelly, D.D., P.P., V.G., then Parish Priest of Bray and Greystones, Bishop of Canae and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin.  Presumably at the same time as the modernist facade was added (1965) the sanctuary was re-ordered and the organ erected in the apse.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Midleton

What could have been more perfect than a pilgrimage to Midleton, Co. Cork, in the Diocese of Cloyne?  We learned that although Midleton is a medieval foundation, but that the foundation of the See at nearby town of Cloyne by St. Colman Mac Léníne takes the history of the place back to the earliest days of Christianity in this part of Ireland.

The present Parish Church of the Most Holy Rosary is a breathtaking example of the neo-gothic style of George Ashlin.  The foundation stone was laid by the great Archbishop Croke of Cashel on 13th May, 1894, and the building was substantially complete by 1895.  Ashlin was also responsible for the Churches in Clonakilty (1880), the Lough (1881), Ballycotton (1900) and St. Colman's Cathedral, Cobh (1878), perhaps the finest neo-gothic church in Ireland.

To quote Bishop Browne, who consecrated the Church on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, 7th October, 1928: "This magnificent Church is a credit to the zeal of the clergy and people of Midleton and for all time will stand as a memorial to what this generation and their forefathers did for God."  It stands today as a credit to the Priests and people of Midleton of this and past generations who have preserved intact what had been handed down to them.

We were blessed to conclude our pilgrimage to Midleton with Holy Mass in the Gregorian Rite in the Parish Church followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  It was our second pilgrimage organised to the Diocese of Cloyne, the pilgrimage to Charleville in May having been the first.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Ad Multos Annos Cardinal Burke

To His Eminence, Raymond Leo, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Prefect Emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Deacon of S. Agata dei Goti and son of Cork, we wish our most heartfelt good wishes for his birthday and many more of them.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Fall of Fort St Elmo

The Fall of Fort St. Elmo

On this the 450th anniversary of the fall of Fort St. Elmo I am re-posting an article from 2009.

What these few knights, soldiers and civilians withstood for a horrifying month is nothing short of miraculous. Below is an excerpt of a talk given by Michael Davies in 2002 that was part of a conference given at the Dietrich von Hildebrand Institute 2002 Summer Symposia entitled “The 1st Through 8th Crusades; Military Orders; Catharist Crusade; and the Siege of Malta.” The full article can be read here, it describes some of what they went through during that month.

Mustapha finally acknowledged that St. Elmo could not be taken within that day and ordered the recall. St. Angelo's suddenly heard a burst of cheering from their brothers in St. Elmo. They had lost 200 men in the battle, in comparison to 2,000 Turks. But they knew the end was near, for there would be no more reinforcements.

St. Elmo's men readied themselves for a fight to the death. The two chaplains who had stayed with the defenders throughout the siege confessed the remaining knights and soldiers. Determined that the Mohammedans would not have the opportunity to mock or desecrate their holy relics, the knights and the chaplains hid the precious objects of the Faith beneath the stone floors of the chapel, and dragged the tapestries, pictures and wooden furniture outside and set them on fire
. They then tolled the bell of the small chapel to announce to their brethren in the nearby forts that they were ready for the end.

In the gray pre-dawn light of the 23rd of June, Piali's ships closed in for the kill. The galleys, pointing their lean bows at the ruined fort, opened up their bow chasers in unison with the first charge made by the entire Turkish army. To the astonishment of Mustapha and his council, Fort St. Elmo held for over an hour. Less than 100 men remained after that first onslaught, yet the Ottoman army was forced to draw back and re-form. The knights who were too wounded to stand placed themselves in chairs in the breach with swords in their hands.

There was something about the next attack that told the garrisons looking on from Birgu and Senglea that all was over. The white-robed troops poured down the slopes, hesitated like a curling roller above the wall, and then burst across the fort, spreading like an ocean over St. Elmo. One by one the defenders perished, some quickly and mercifully, others dying of wounds among the bodies of their friends.

The Italian Knight Francisco Lanfreducci, acting on orders received before the battle began, crossed to the wall opposite Bighi Bay and lit the signal fire. As the smoke curled up and eddied in the clear blue sky, La Valette knew that the heroic garrison and the fort they had defended to the end were lost.

It was now that Mustapha Pasha impatiently strode to view his conquest. A standard-bearer carrying the banner of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent stepped through the breach into St. Elmo. Standing victorious on the ruins of St. Elmo's walls, with the flag of St. John in the dust at his feet, Mustapha gazed at the massive bulk of Fort St. Angelo on the horizon. “Allah!” he cried. “If so small a son has cost us so dear, what price shall we have to pay for so large a father?”

In an offensive act of cruelty, he ordered the bodies of the knights to be set apart from the common soldiers. Their heads were struck from their bodies and fixed on stakes overlooking Grand Harbor. The beheaded corpses were then stripped of their mail, nailed to crossbeams of wood in mockery of the crucifixion, and launched onto the waters of Grand Harbor that night.

It was the eve of the Feast of St. John, the patron saint of the Order. Despite the loss of St. Elmo, the Grand Master had given orders for the normal celebrations to take place. Bonfires were lit and church bells were rung throughout Birgu and Senglea. The next morning the headless bodies of the knights washed up at the base of Fort St. Angelo.

Image: THE CAPTURE OF FORT ST. ELMO by Mateo Perez d’Aleccio