Tuesday 29 June 2010

Two Ancient Hymns of the Irish Church on St. Peter

Below are the texts and translations of two hymns in honour of Saint Peter, discovered among the manuscripts at the German monastery of Reichenau and republished by Patrick Francis, Cardinal Moran, in one of his essays on the early Irish Church. Irish missionaries founded a number of monasteries in Germany, which are known collectively as 'Schottenklöster'. The status of Reichenau, an island monastery on Lake Constance, as one of these Schottenklöster is not as clearly-defined as some of the more famous Irish foundations like Ratisbon, associated with the Blessed Marianus Scottus (Muiredach MacRobertaigh). Reichenau's founder was a Saint Pirmin, and scholars are still unable to say with certainty where this saint was born. In an earlier post on my own blog here I reprinted a nineteenth-century paper which argued that he was an Irishman. In a sense though, the nationality of the founder is not the defining factor here, for this monastery clearly had links to the Irish cultural world. One of its most famous sons, Walafrid Strabo, who was not an Irishman, wrote the only surviving account of the martyrdom of Saint Blaitmac of Iona, killed by the Vikings as he defended the relics of Saint Columba. A version of Adamnan's Life of Saint Columba found at Reichenau's Library was of such good quality and completeness that it was the text used by the 17th-century hagiologist Father John Colgan in his Trias Thaumaturga, the lives of the the three patron saints of Ireland. Ermenrich, a ninth-century abbot of Reichenau, wrote glowingly of Ireland's contribution to Christian mission and learning: 'How can we forget Ireland, the island where the sun of faith arose for us, and whence the brilliant rays of so great a light have reached us? Bestowing philosophy on small and great, she fills the Church with her science and her teaching.' What a wonderful testimony to the spiritual legacy of the Irish in Europe!

Two Ancient Hymns of the Irish Church on St. Peter, published by Mone.

We are indebted to the eminent German antiquarian, Mone, for two very ancient hymns of the Irish Church, which he discovered amongst the papers of the old Irish monastery of Reichenau, and which he published, from Irish manuscripts of the 8th and 9th centuries, in his invaluable work entitled " Hymni Latini Medii Aevi”. [Friburg, 1855. Vol. iii. pag. 68.]

The first and most ancient poem is an alphabetical hymn on the apostle Peter, the initials of each strophe presenting successively the whole series of the letters of the alphabet. We now give it to the reader, as printed by Mone, and we unite with it a literal translation, for which we are indebted to the kindness of the Rev. Mr. Potter, Professor of All-Hallows College, Dublin:

1 "Audite fratres fama
Petri pastoris plurima
Baptismatis libamina
Fundit veluti flumina.
Adsiut nobis sublimia
Sancti Petri suffragia.

2 “Bis refulsit ut fulmina
Sana sanctorum agmina
Flentes duxit ex ordine
Gentes divino carmine.

3 "Celebravit egregia
Evangelii praeconia,
Facta prostrata legia
De Satana victoria.

4 “Dudum elegit dominus
Petrum ut optimum oleum,
Ut obitaret dominum
Essetque pastor ovium.

5 “Elaboravit ubique,
Curae datus historiae,
Fundamentum dominicae
Ecclesiae Catholicae.

6 "Facta crucis martyria
Fecit magna prodigia
Sequutus per aetheria
Christiana vestigia.

7 "Gloriosum apostolum
Deus ornavit gloria
Romse urbis qua in
Vivit cum victoria.

8 "Habundabat justitia,
Plenus divina gratia
Expandit retia sparsa
Per mundi spatia.

9 "Judaeorum malivolas
Vitae formavit animas
Missusque capsit plurimas
Evangelii per sagias.

10 "Kasta librorum legimus,
Petri plenos virtutibus,
Moestas divinis fletibus,
Pastoris summi nutibus.

11 "Luxit ut Phoebus saecula,
Christi secutus opera
Binae legis oracula
(A line wanting).

12 "Mirum pastorem piissimum
Flagitare non desino,
Ne demergar cum pessima,
Intercedas pro misero.

13 "Nunc dignare, apostole,
Aperire cum clavibus
Regnum quod olim quaerimus
Nos instantes prae foribus.

14 "Opus delator sublimis,
Te rogamus assidue,
Recordare martyriae
Et auxilium tribue.

15 "Petri precamur veniam,
Si qua mala peregimus,
Resistentes daemonibus
Nunc evalere legimus.

16 "Qui nostri spiritus aerias
Praesta salutis galeas,
Simon Johannis, audias
Nostras preces, ut audias.

17 "Regis regnum apostolorum,
Precor precamine,
Me morantem in limine
Mortis desolve valide.

18 "Salvat horis in munere,
Mundi ferebat famina,
Cui concessa numina,
Relaxare peccamina.

19 "Turbae sanctorum magister,
Ovem errantem eruat,
Negligenter ne pereat,
Adjutorium tribuat.

20 "Uisitando cum trophaeo,
Fidei tectus clipeo,
Cujus vires ut sapio
Fari omnino nequeo.

21 "Xristi martyrum lucifer,
Legis lator altissimi,
Cui daemones pessimi
Obediebant impiissimi.

22 "Ymno dicto de laudibus
Petri, utcunque fecimus,
Nostris virtutum opibus
Propitiatur precibus.

23 "Zona praecincti placidis
Totis vivamus debitis,
Ut fruamur infinitis,
In angelorum editis."

1 "List, Brothers, whilst our hymn of praise,
To Peter's name we humbly raise;
From whose blest hand the waters ran,
Which life restored to fallen man.
May Peter's love our path attend,
And guide us to our happy end.

2 "Bright as the lightning's glowing sheen,
He, twice, 'mid ranks of saints, was seen;
Whilst nations lost in fear and love,
Hear chants divine from realms above.

3 " With fearless tongue he pleads the cause
Of Christ's divine and holy laws;
And all the baffled hosts of hell
His Master's glowing triumph tell.

4 "In years long past, in by-gone time,
As highest prince, to post sublime
Was Peter chosen to succeed,
And Christ's ne'er-failing flock to feed.

5 "Nor clime, nor space, might bound his zeal,
And pages writ his deeds reveal;
On him, the rock so strong, so sure,
Christ's Church shall ever firm endure.

6 "Fixed to the cross, he closed his days,
And wonders dread proclaimed his praise:
To realms above, to die no more,
He soar'd, as Christ had soar'd before.

7 "And, now, in deathless glory crowned,
The earth doth with his praise resound;
And thou, the first, sweet mother Rome,
His see, his battle-field, his home.

8 "Hence, in God's grace, in justice bright,
And led and guided by their light,
Through all the world, from end to end,
Did Peter's care his nets extend.

9 "E'en cruel Jews, from vice and strife,
Were led to walk the path of life;
And, soon, the Gospel's seine might tell
Of countless souls redeemed from hell.

10 "Historic lore proclaims his fame,
And all the glory of his name;
"Whilst at his nod, from sinful eyes
Tears rise, as incense, to the skies.

11 "Like Phoebus shining o'er the world,
Christ's saving standard he unfurl'd,
And, walking in his Master's ways,
Proclaim'd God's laws through all his days.

12 "That I may be this pastor's care,
Shall surely be my constant prayer;
Oh, Peter, pray, lest I be tost
By angry waves, and, wretched, lost.

13 "Oh deign, apostle, pure and meek,
To guide us to the realm we seek;
We stand, we pray, we faint outside,
Oh, ope to us those portals wide.

14 "With never-failing lips we pray,
Thy aid and help, our hope, our stay;
And, mindful of thy own sad throes,
Grant help and comfort in our woes.

15 "Thy pardon, Peter, we implore,
With hearts resolved to sin no more;
With Satan's hosts fierce war to wage,
And, trusting, all our foes engage.

16 "Then, Simon John, oh, list our cry,
And bear us succour from on high;
And on our brows bind helmets bright,
To keep us harmless in the fight.

17 " With humble cry, with humble prayer,
Apostles' Lord, I crave thy care;
That, trembling on death's awful shore,
Nor sin, nor hell, may claim me more.

18 "As every hour the sinner's cry,
Doth rise in sadness to the sky;
His chains unbound—behold him free,
For God's right hand doth work with thee.

19 "Oh, master of the sainted band,
O'er erring sinners keep thy hand;
And, lest our feet should sadly stray,
Oh, guide us in the narrow way.

20 "With faith's bright shield thy flock enshroud,
And glad them with thy trophies proud;
But mortal tongue may never tell
The saving strength we know so well.

21 "Of martyrs bright the brightest name,
God's people, all, thy praise proclaim;
Whilst demons dread thy awful sway,
And trembling fiends thy power obey.

22 "As best we may, to Peter's praise
This humble song we humbly raise;
May he our cry benign attend,
And guide us to our happy end.

23 "With girded loins, with duty done,
With cheerful hearts, till all be won;
May we, when life's stern fight is o'er,
Be crown'd with bliss for evermore.

We could not desire a fuller exposition of the prerogatives of St. Peter than is contained in this poem; he is the apostle divinely chosen "to hold the place of Christ and feed his sacred fold;" he is "the foundation of the Christian universal church" (fundamentum Dominica Ecclesiae Catholicae); he is "the master of the choir of saints;" " the prince of the martyrs of Christ; "the legislator of the Most High," and moreover, he is adorned "with the aureola of Rome, in which city he is destined to reign with an ever-enduring triumph."

The second poem is equally explicit; it styles the apostle the key-bearer of the heavenly kingdom, not for a while only, but throughout all time; he is the pontiff of souls, the prince of apostles, the shepherd of all the fold of Christ. We now give it in full, with a literal translation:

1. "Sanctus Petrus, apostolus,
Quondam piscator optimus,
Altum mare cum navibus,
Temptabat remis, retibus.

2. "Qui de profundo gurgitum
Magnam raptor fluctivagam
Jactis nave reticulis
Praedam captabat piscium.

3. “Christum vocantem sequitur
Sponte relictis omnibus
Dignus erat apostolus
Factus piscator hominum

4. "Sancto Petro pro merito
Christus regni coelestium
Claves simul cum gratia
Tradidit in perpetuum.

5. "Animarum pontificem,
Apostolorum principem
Petrum rogamus omnium
Christi pastorem ovium.

6. "Ne mens gravata crimine
Nostra torpescat pectore
Reddamus Christo gloriae
Cantemus in perpetuum.


1. "Great Peter, saint, apostle blest,
In fisher's lowly garb once drest,
With ship and oar did brave the deep,
Whilst searching nets the billows sweep.

2. "Full oft where surges wildly play,
Where, heedless, sport the finny prey;
His fish he takes, in seine or weel
Wide spread beneath his trusty keel.

3. "But, lo, he hears the Master's call,
With joyful heart abandons all;
And, office dread, unheard till then,
Is fisher made of ransomed men.

4. "The keys which open the portals blest,
That lead the way to endless rest,
To him Christ gives, with grace to tend
And guide his flock safe to the end.

5. "Great Pontiff of Christ's chosen band,
Apostles round thee humbly stand!
O'er Christ's true flock strict watch still keep,
Still guard His lambs still guard His sheep.

6. "Ne'er may our souls, with crime opprest,
Find rest or peace within our breast;
May we to Christ, glad songs of praise,
In realms of bliss, for ever raise. Amen.

Essays on the The Origin of the Irish Church by the Rev. Dr. Moran (Dublin, 1864), 81-87.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Masses in Laois

Mass in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois

Mass in the Gregorian Rite will be celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII (1962) in the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, at 12 noon on Saturday, 24th July, 2010, with the kind permission of the Very Reverend Parish Priest of Abbeyleix.

Further details are available from (and offers of assistance can be made to): pilgrimages@catholic.org

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

Mass in Emo, Co. Laois

Mass in the Gregorian Rite will be celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII (1962) in the Church of St. Paul, Emo, Co. Laois, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, 28th August, 2010, with the kind permission of the Very Reverend Parish Priest of Emo and Portarlington. We will afterwards make a tour of Emo Court to coincide with National Heritage Week.

Reports of the previous Mass in St. Paul's are available here and here.

Further details are available from (and offers of assistance can be made to): pilgrimages@catholic.org

St. Paul, pray for us!

Thursday 24 June 2010

Midsummer in Sweden - St. John's Day

Midsummer in Sweden is something quite spectacular. Celebrated on the weekend closest to St. John's Day, the celebrations usually involve a lot of outdoor activities; picnics, dancing, singing - anything that makes a day out more enjoyable. The dancing usually happens around the midsummer pole (midsommarstång) - a Maypole (majstång) - and the songs are, apart from summer psalms, usually rather silly and playful. The maypole is in the shape of a cross, decorated with flowers and the dancing takes place around it.

Like with most feast days, there are a number of dishes involved with Midsummer celebrations, the famous Swedish smörgåsbord. The Swedish tradition of eating herring as soon as a chance is given, is represented during these festivities as well, but then, as Convenor often responds to my drafts, most Swedish festivals seem like just an excuse to eat pickled herring. At midsummer they are served with sour cream, raw red onions and new potatoes that are usually seasoned with dill. Many people instead of herring choose smoked salmon. For dessert fresh strawberries with whipped cream or ice cream is the most traditional way to go. The meal is usually washed down with cold beer or Brännvin a kind of Scandanavian poitín.

The frog dance is an essential part of the Swedish celebration of St. John's Day. The song Små Grodorna is sung while the partygoers (usually small children) hop around the maypole in the style of frogs, singing along to the immortal lyrics 'Little frogs are funny to look at. They don't have ears or tails'. The Convenor told me to try really hard to find a Christian message in the frog dance. He came up with some really good ones like it being a sign of being prepared to stand up (or hop up) for the Christian Faith or that it is a metaphor for St. John saying that He must increase and I must decrease. In the end, I couldn't find any deep meaning to the frog dance. It's just fun (but Christianity is fun sometimes too) but it has all the religious significance of the hour of Donald Duck on Christmas Day. Speaking of which, it can also be sung around the Christmas tree. There is also a version about little pigs who do have ears and tails.

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.

Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.

Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack!

Small frogs, small frogs are funny to see.

No ears, no ears, no tails have they.

Quack quack quack, quack quack quack!

A more sensible (and it is actually religious) song for St. John's Day is the Sommarpsalm or Summer Psalm, although it isn't actually a Psalm from the Bible. It was composed by Waldemar Ahlen, a 20th Century organist at St. Jakob's Church in Stockholm. He was a 'pioneer' of traditional musical styles and composed this piece based on an old traditional hymn. It is very popular at any time of year in concerts in Sweden but is particularly favoured for celebrations of St. John's Day.

A myth associated strongly with St. John's Eve is that of the näck (pronounced neck), who is a kind of siren spirit of the water who tries to lure people into water to drown by means of sweet singing. It is very like Sirens of Greek mythology and the Rhinemaidens of German myth, the except that the näck is potentially much friendlier and is known to be very partial to brännvin and will teach you the magical music if you drop some into the water! The exact nature of the näck isn't clear but it seems that it is not a Child of God and will never be so it is among the lost souls somehow. Water lilies are known in Swedish as näckrosor or näck roses.

A Swedish verse says “Midsommarnatten är inte lång, men den sätter många vaggor igång". That translates to "Midsummer night is not long but it sets many cradles to rock". Traditionally, unmarried girls pick seven (or sometimes nine) different types of flowers and place them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming of their future husband. It is quite like the tradition common in many places of putting some wedding cake under the pillow to dream of a future husband. It was believed that herbs picked at Midsummer were highly potent, and water drawn from springs on Midsummer could bring good health.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Proclaim an Holy Year for Nuns!

As the Holy Year for Priests comes to a close, it is surely time to turn our minds to another section of the members of the Church that has been an essential part of our Catholic heritage since the first days of the Church and a source of countless blessings, namely consecrated virgins and widows. Therefore, dear reader, we urge you to ask Ecclesiastical Authorities to dedicate a special year to give thanks to God for Nuns and to pray for Nuns and for more Nuns.

Please proclaim an Holy Year for Nuns!

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association proposes to keep such a year from 1st February next, the feast of St. Brigid of Ireland.

Ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu!

Sunday 13 June 2010

Twenty-First Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

A congregation of 10 attended the Twenty-First Montly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Feast of the Sacred Heart in Celbridge

The Parish of Celbridge rolled out the red carpet for us again yesterday for the feast of the Sacred Heart. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in St. Patrick's Church, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, at 7 p.m. It was a Low Mass but we sang a hymn to the Sacred Heart at the beginning and the end of Mass. Fr. Larkin began the hymn as he reached the Altar and we sang together rather than as he processed in. There was a really good number of people. The people in the Parish said that it was larger than the usual number on a Friday evening.

In his sermon Father spoke about the three major feasts of the Church after Pentecost, the Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart. The feast of the Sacred Heart is the feast of the Love of God for each one of us. The Heart of Jesus overflows with love for us. Too many times in recent times people in the Church have failed to show the love of Christ and too often

The Leinster Leader site says that St. Patrick's Church was opened on Trinity Sunday 1859: "Designed by Architect J.J. McCarthy a nephew of the famous Pugin, it was built by Very Rev. Daniel Byrne, P.P., and adorned with some notable stained glass with a very lovely pulpit and a distinguished baptism font surmounted in very fine carved oak. It is interesting to note, and a sad commentary on the dwindling value of money, that less than £5000 was the total cost of erecting this magnificent cut stone building and furnishing it for divine worship.

Trinity Sunday, 1859, was a big day in the annals of Celbridge. From the Kingdom of Kerry travelled Most Rev. Dr. Moriarity, Lord Bishop of Kerry, who was to deputise for Archbishop (afterwards Cardinal) Cullen, who the records tell us was ill and unable to officiate. His Lordship of Kerry “was assisted by the Right Rev. Dr. McNally, Bishop of Clogher, and the Right Rev. Dr. Whelan, Bishop of Bombay with a large number of priests and an immense concourse of the laity”. So wrote Father Dan Byrne, the builder, under the date 19th June, 1859, and we can sense the pride and the joy that engulfed him as he added “Laus Deo Semper”, “Praise be to God forever”.

We read with not a little interest that the solemn opening of the Church was advertised in the Freeman’s Journal on several occasions in June 1859, and that a special train was run to Hazelhatch to carry the many visitors to Celbridge. The cost of the special train is duly noted by Father Byrne at the almost incredible figure of £1-15-9!

What kind of place was Celbridge of one hundred years ago? Evidently a much more important and prosperous village than it is to-day. Shortly after the beginning of the 1800’s the immense mills at the entrance to the town were built and soon employed more that 600 operatives in a flourishing woollen trade. Thirty years later we read that business in wool had declined and that the number employed had fallen considerably but that further up the river a new cotton mills had opened (Templemills) which had absorbed one hundred employees. We remember too, that the flour mills nearby, were in full production and were said to provide work for close on 700 men. It is therefore not surprising to learn that one hundred years ago, nearly 300 families lived in the village of Celbridge itself, that is in Main Street, Big Lane (now Maynooth Road) and Tay Lane.

It was there, to a reasonably prosperous community Father Byrne appealed in May, 1859, to start the collection of funds for the new church. It was a bold venture, less than ten years after the famine, but the people responded with great good will. The district collectors appointed were Mr. Booth for Oldtown; MrLynam for Killadoon; Mr Brady for Simmonstown; Mr Carroll for Newbridge; Mr Dignam for Celbridge; Mr Thomas Broe for Tipperstown; and Mr Harte for Templemills. A weekly house to house collection was instituted and brought in the remarkable figure of nearly £6 a week, no small amount in those days of unbelievably small wages. There are some poignant entries amongst the list of subscriptions: “The Widow Meyler, 1/-, Bridget King, 6d, The Widow Geraghty, 2/6, Mr John Broe and Mr Richard Bean gave several subscriptions of £5 each, while the Archbishop gave £30”.

An interesting entry appears under 31st March, 1857; “John Coughlin (his first prize at school), 1/-“and some months later, “Mary Coughlin (her first prize), 1/- . One would certainly like to know more of this Coughlin family and of the subsequent history of John and Mary. Stained glass windows were presented to the new church by Mr J.J. McCarthy, the architect, by Father Robert Wheeler the curate, by the Hon. Charles V. Charles (jun), by Fr. Dan Byrne himself, and by Rev. J.J. Lee and Rev. T.P. Fagan, then curates of Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

The Church opened in 1859 replaced what was apparently a penal day’s church, a long low building about 50 feet by 20 feet, which stood broadside-on, in front of the present church in Main St. Under March 21st 1859, we read that Father Byrne “paid labourers for taking down old chapel £8-12-9”, but received fro Mr J, Rourke, Mr T. Malone and Mr Kelly £11-18-6 for old timber and stones”. An old map dated 1839 shows the position of the original church with apparently a small house between it and the present entrance gates. One wonders could this have been the residence of the one of the parish clergy.

Friday 11 June 2010

Closing of the Holy Year for Priests

Today, the feast of the Sacred Heart, is the final day of the Holy Year for Priests. In preparation for the Holy Year, St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association has distributed copies of a prayer written by Revd. Fr. William Doyle, S.J., M.C.

That prayer runs thus:

O my God, pour out in abundance Thy spirit of sacrifice upon Thy priests. It is both their glory and their duty to become victims, to be burnt up for souls, to live without ordinary joys, to be often the objects of distrust, injustice, and persecution.

The words they say every day at the altar, "This is my Body, this is my Blood," grant them to apply to themselves: "I am no longer myself, I am Jesus, Jesus crucified. I am, like the bread and wine, a substance no longer itself, but by consecration another."

O my God, I burn with desire for the sanctification of Thy priests. I wish all the priestly hands which touch Thee were hands whose touch is gentle and pleasing to Thee, that all the mouths uttering such sublime words at the altar should never descend to speaking trivialities.

Let priests in all their person stay at the level of their lofty functions, let every man find them simple and great, like the Holy Eucharist, accessible to all yet above the rest of men. O my God, grant them to carry with them from the Mass of today, a thirst for the Mass of tomorrow, and grant them, ladened themselves with gifts, to share these abundantly with their fellow men. Amen.

The prayer is still worth saying. The Life of Fr. Doyle, written by Prof. Alfred O'Rahilly, is available here.

Monday 7 June 2010

Corpus Christi in Cork

Members travelled to Cork this morning to participate in the Corpus Christi procession. First, they attended the 12 noon Mass in the Extraordinary Form in St. Peter and Paul's Church.

After Mass we attended the Corpus Christi Procession from the North Cathedral through the streets of Cork City. Here is a participant's eye view of the procession looking back towards the canopy sheltering the Blessed Sacrament carried by the Bishop of Cork and Ross, escorted by officers of the Defence Forces and followed by the Lord Mayor and members of the Corporation of Cork City, then looking forward, down the hill towards the River Lee past the Indian community with their native costumes and umbrellas.

Finally the procession reached the centre of the City. Benediction was given to the assembled thousands of Corkonians (and visitors) from a prepared platform on the Grand Parade.

St. Finbar of Cork, pray for us!

Sunday 6 June 2010

Two Years On...

On this day, the feast of St. Coca of Kilcock, two years ago, this blog was started. The first anniversary post gave the following statistics: "4 contributers have published 100 posts. 12,092 visits have been made to the blog by 7,099 unique visitors." Over the past year, 10 contributers have published a further 161 posts. A further 29,192 visits have been made by 18,816 unique visitors. That is, a total of 38,837 visits in the past two years.

Of the 500 most recent visitors, we have been privileged to welcome 24.80% from the United States, 23.40% from Ireland, 22.00% from the United Kingdom (including the North of Ireland, according to our statistics provider), 7.80% from Canada, 3.20% from France and 2.40% from both Australia and Italy. The latter has included visitors from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, the General House of the Dominican Fathers, and the Pontifical North American College. To our one visitor from the Vatican among those 500 most recent we say 'God bless Your Holiness!'

If you break that down by region, Dublin topped the chart with 9.2%, Kildare was next with 7.8%, Ontario visits accounted for 4.6% and Belfast featured 4.4%, just above London at 4%, after which Illinois visited 3%, California 2.2% and Texas 1.8%, the same as Lazio (excluding the Vatican).

The top three downloads were two pictures of the Mass in Carlow Cathedral, followed by the map of the River Lee. The favourite exit links were those relating to Latin Mass Statistics, the Traditional Roman Missal and The Standing Stone.

New Liturgical Movement, The Hermenutic of Continuity, Forest Murmers and Britcat were the source of a great number of the most recent guests. The most popular search words among those 500 most recent searchers were: "senan's holy well," "innisleena abbey" and "cronody." Nobody won the sweep on that one! Google (.co.uk, .ie, .com, .com.au, .fr, .it, .nl, .lk, .lu, .be and others) was once again the favourite search engine by 98.20%.

Our two associated blogs had reached 36,470 (http://www.fsspvocations.blogspot.com/) and 177,703 (http://www.tradvocations.blogspot.com/) by this morning.

St. Brigid, St. Conleth and St. Coca pray for the contributers, for the visitors and for the friends who showed them the way! May everything they publish and every internet visit they make redound to the Greater Glory of God, the honour of His Blessed Mother and the good of souls!

Saturday 5 June 2010


The June, 2010, issue of the twice-yearly journal of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association is now available, either in hardcopy here or for download here. Past issues are also available for download here.

The following articles are found in the Third Volume, Number Two (June, 2010):

  • Important Clarifications from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
    The Vatican interprets Summorum Pontificum and the proper manner of providing of the Gregorian Rite.
  • Singed (by rays felt during Missa cantata at Bl. Columba’s Altar)
    A poem composed by Revd. Fr. David Jones, D.D.
  • St. John the Baptist in the Gregorian Rite
    A survey of the place and significance of St. John the Baptist in the 1962 Missal and the lessons to be learned from it. The author goes through St. John's place in the Common of the Mass, the Proper Masses of his feast days and his place in the temporal and sanctoral cycles.
  • Brigid and her veneration: Two Sequences
    A study of the origins, structure and significance of two medieval Sequences included in the text of Masses to honour St. Brigid of Kildare found in the Arbuthnott Missal and in the Gradual of Coligny. The author also examines the origins and place of the Sequence as an element of the Liturgy. The text of the Sequences is appended to the article.
  • I came not to seek the just
    From the writings of Msgr. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux.
  • An Interview with Dom Samuel F. Weber, O.S.B.
    The experiences that have inspired of one of the most noted liturgical musicians and composers in the Church, and who is currently Director of the Institute of Sacred Music in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, given in his own words. He speaks about the influence that Benedictine Nuns, an Irish Grandmother, and the Archbishop of St. Louis have had upon the direction of his life.
  • The Irish Traditional Liturgical Calendar - Part II (1918 - 1962)
    The second part of a series looking at the development of the General Liturgical Calendar and the Irish Liturgical Calendar and the impact that various reforms have had upon them. It traces the fate of the local feasts of Saints, Dedication of Cathedrals, Votive Masses for the Dead, the changing character of Lent and Advent, etc., and the examines the various Calendar reforms from that point of view. Once again, the author illustrates the various points by reference to fictional clerics, Frs. O'Murphy and O'Toole, who struggle with the reforms amid their Parochial duties.
  • Saint Brigid and the Blessed Virgin Mary
    A careful and reverent study of the Irish traditional appelation of St. Brigid of Kildare as "Mary of the Irish," contrasting the approaches of the various ancient Irish sources such as the Hymn to St. Brigid of St. Ultán of Ard Breccan and the Life of St. Brigid by Cogitosus.
  • The Kildare Poems and the Friar who owned them
    A fascinating article examining the possible origins, authorship, contents and style of a cycle of poems known as 'The Kildare Poems' as well as the use that they were put to by itinerant Franciscan Friars in medieval Ireland.
  • Reports on Masses for the Holy Year of Priests
    Masses in the Gregorian Rite organised by St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association in the second half of the Holy Year for Priests.
  • Tuesday 1 June 2010

    Saint Columba Novena and Litany

    To celebrate the feast of Saint Columba (June 9) here is a selection of prayers in his honour from the 1941 edition of Saint Anthony's Treasury. This edition contains many prayers to Irish saints, which have been successively whittled down in later printings. The 1975 edition preserves only the Novena Prayer to Saint Columba but there is a litany and a short prayer in the older printing too.

    Novena to St. Columba

    O Glorious St. Columba, in remembrance of the love you bore your native land in the golden days, when you declared your spirit would always be with us, we beg of you to intercede for us that we may worthily imitate your virtues, especially your great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Turn to Jesus on the altar, and never cease to pray for us until the fire of Divine Love burns brightly and steadfastly in every Irish heart. Obtain for our rulers and for all, the true spirit of charity. Let not your interest in the schools of Ireland be less than it was formerly. Bless the labours of those who work in them that the land you loved so well on earth may become again the "Isle of Saints and Scholars". We invoke your powerful intercession against the dread evils of intemperance and for the preservation of the faith and virtue of the Irish people. Pray for us now and always, that faithfully fulfilling the duties of our state, we may love Jesus and Mary with our whole hearts, and thus prove worthy of your love and protection. Amen.

    Litany of St. Columba
    (For private recitation only)

    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, hear us.
    Christ, graciously hear us.
    Holy Mary, pray for us
    Queen of Angels, pray for us
    Queen of all Saints, pray for us
    St. Columba, greatest of Irish-born Saints, pray for us
    St. Columba, most illustrious of Irish Scholars, pray for us
    St. Columba, founder of Derry, pray for us
    St. Columba, patron of Ireland, pray for us
    St. Columba, apostle of Scotland, pray for us
    St. Columba, dove of the Church, pray for us
    St. Columba, Saint of the Eucharist, pray for us
    St. Columba, companion of the Angels, pray for us
    St. Columba, mirror of purity, pray for us
    St. Columba, model of humility, pray for us
    St. Columba, lover of temperance, pray for us
    St. Columba, father of the poor, pray for us
    St. Columba, protector of the innocent, pray for us
    St. Columba, advocate of the oppressed, pray for us
    St. Columba, friend of the children, pray for us
    St. Columba, guardian of schools, pray for us
    St. Columba, shield of our city, pray for us
    St Oran, monk of Derry, pray for us
    All ye holy Monks of Iona, pray for us
    St. Bran, Nephew of St. Columba, pray for us
    All ye holy Dead of Derry, pray for us
    St. Martin, pray for us
    All ye Patrons and Friends of St. Columba, pray for us

    V. Pray for us, O dearest St. Columba.
    R. That we may love the Sacred Heart of Jesus daily more and more.

    Let us Pray

    O God, Who didst vouchsafe to unveil to Thy Servant, Columba, the Angels who guard Thy Tabernacle, grant that we, whose privilege it is to pray where he knelt, may, through his intercession, be enabled to lead such lives of purity and holiness as will one day entitle us to behold those same Angels in the mansions of bliss, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer of St. Columba
    (Feast, June 9th)

    May the fire of God's love burn brightly and steadfastly in our hearts like the golden light within the sanctuary lamp. (Prayer of St. Columba in the Dubhregles of Derry.)

    St. Anthony's Treasury - A Manual of Devotions (Anthonian Press, Dublin, 1941), 278-81.