MIchaelmas: Archangel Michael and Mont Saint Michel

Today’s quick takes are all related to St. Michael the Archangel. September 29 is the Church’s traditional Feast of St. Michael, also known as Michaelmas. (More recently it has become the Feast of the Archangels, honoring Gabriel and Raphael as well as Michael.) 

+++++++

1.

As Wikipedia explains:

In Christianity, the Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honoured for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven.[2] He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence. - source

+++++++

2.

A small rocky island off the coast of France has been dedicated to the Archangel Michael since the beginning of the 8th century:

According to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet.

But Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel’s instruction until Michael burned a hole in the bishop’s skull with his finger. That did the trick. The dedication to St Michael occurred on October 16, 708. - source

The island is known as Mont Saint Michel. From that original church a Romanesque Benedictine abbey was built, and then modified, and a town grew up around it.

+++++++

3.

image

In July I traveled to France with my husband.  After a week of sightseeing in Paris and Normandy we journeyed south to Lourdes where we worked with the North American Lourdes Volunteers.  As we left Normandy we spent a night on Mont Saint Michel.

The mount has become one of France’s top tourist sites, and it’s easy to figure out why.  Even on first glimpse from a distance across some fields, the island topped with its ancient monastery is stunning.  It only gets more impressive from closer vantage points.

image

Here is a photo showing the gorgeous water setting of Mont Saint Michel:

- source

+++++++

4.

At the tip top of Mont Saint Michel is a spire, surmounted by a statue of St. Michael the Archangel.  I wasn’t able to get a suitable photo of the statue - it is so high above the ground - but here is what the statue looks like up close:

image

                                 - image of statue at Mont St. Michel. source

+++++++

5.

image

Halfway up Mont Saint Michel on the way to the Abbey, there is the parish church of St-Pierre dating from the 15th-16th centuries. A carved side chapel is dedicated to St. Michael and has a statue of the Archangel slaying the devil in the guise of a dragon (picture above).

- You can read more about Mont St. Michel on the site Sacred Destinations, and on Mont Saint Michel, the official website of the Tourism Office

+++++++

6.

image

When we reached Lourdes we learned that the front gate is named the St. Michael Gate and there is a statue of St. Michael watching over the gate.  There are also statues of his fellow archangels Gabriel and Raphael flanking the gate.

+++++++

7.

Pope Leo the XIII wrote the St. Michael Prayer:

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle;

be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;

and do thou O Prince of the heavenly host,

by the power of God, cast into hell,

Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world

seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

+++++++

Michaelmas links (may be updated):

- My 2012 post on the Feast of the Archangels with a bit of information specifically about St. Michael and some photos as well.

"Michaelmas Traditions: Prayers, Food, and Flowers"  on the blog named, appropriately enough, Carrots for Michaelmas

- Bonnie of A Knotted Life interviewed Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas about the feast of Michaelmas.  You can watch the short video here.

- more about Michaelmas on Fisheaters.com

+++++++

For more Quick Takes from bloggers everywhere, visit this week’s roundup hosted by Jen of Conversion Diary.

September 14: Triumph of the Cross

image

- the crucifix at the entrance to the shrine of Lourdes, Franc, July 2014

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. There is such a rich history to this feast and to the tradition of veneration of the Cross. I’m sharing some of my favorite some online resources.

+++++++

A Clerk of Oxford has a beautiful post today, ‘Steadfast Cross,’ an extended meditation on the significance of the cross standing fast:

steadfast conjures up an irresistible echo of the Anglo-Saxon poem The Dream of the Rood [Cross], in which the cross describes its memories of the crucifixion:

Ealle ic mihte feondas gefyllan, hwæðre ic fæste stod.

“I could have felled all those enemies,” says the Rood, speaking of those who nailed his young Lord to the tree, “but I stood fast.” And again:

Bifode ic þa me se beorn ymbclypte; ne dorste ic hwæðre bugan to eorðan, feallan to foldan sceatum, ac ic sceolde fæste standan.

“I trembled when that man [Christ] embraced me, yet I dared not bow to the earth, fall to earth’s fields; I had to stand fast.”

Forced to take a part in his Lord’s destruction, the loyal Cross is shaken but stands firm; the disciples flee, and he alone is steadfast, rooted in position. … standing fast is one defining characteristic of the cross, ‘the still point of the turning world’: Stat crux volvitur dum orbis, the cross stands while the world turns. - source

+++++++

image

The cross as tree of life (BL Stowe 39, f. 23v)

+++++++

Father James Bradley’s homily for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is especially meaningful:

the holy and life-giving Cross is of supreme importance in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. In each of the Church’s rites the sign of the Cross is made, signifying the gift of God’s grace bestowed on us through the offering of Christ on that very Cross. The saintly parish priest of Ars, Saint John Vianney, tells us that this ‘is because all our prayers and all the sacraments draw from the Cross their power and their virtue’. And this is why, also, the Cross is enthroned above every altar; why the Priest is instructed to gaze at the Cross at particular moments in the Mass. It is the reason the Cross is honoured with sweet-smelling incense and a bow of the head, and why it far from inappropriate for the Cross to be made of precious metals, adorned and ornate; because this is no longer simply the wood of death, but now the glorified ‘ladder by which we may get to heaven’. It has been redeemed and restored, just as we hope to one day be.

Read the whole homily.

+++++++

more:

- my post from 2013, with lots of links and info.

- The Dream of the Rood” post on the blog Once I was a Clever Boy has lots of information and links related to the Feast of the Exaltation of the cross from both Catholic and Orthodox perspectives, and also related to the medieval poem The Dream of the Rood.

- Stephanie Mann’s 2013 article for Our Sunday Visitor about the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and tomorrow’s memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

See also her post "Lift High the Cross" on her own blog Supremacy and Survival today, about Spanish choral music relating to the Cross

image

- homily of Msgr Charles Pope for the Exaltation of the Cross.

- The Salt and Light TV blog has two posts about the Cross addressing: why we venerate the cross and why did Christ have to die on the cross.

Quick Takes: Manuscript edition

Much of the content of my social media feeds is related to medieval manuscripts, and I thought I’d share some of the highlights in these quick takes:

+++++++

1.

image

 In January of this year the Rothschild Prayer Book sold for $12million at auction at Christie’s in New York.  Although the identity of the purchaser was shrouded in mystery, it has recently been revealed that Australian billionaire Kerry Stokes is the new owner of the storied book, whose provenance has involved mystery and intrigue in the 500 years since its production in Bruges.

Click here for a video report about the book and its owner.

image

+++++++

2.

Here’s a very nice introduction to the basics of manuscripts from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

+++++++

3.

And here’s a beautiful video from the Getty Museum about Making Manuscripts:

+++++++

4.

image

- source

The blog Medieval Manuscripts Provenance has a fascinating tale of the provenance of the stunning Beauvais Missal just before it was cut up and sold in pieces.  Read the story here.

+++++++

5.

For a discussion of the implications of the dismantling of important manuscript books and the dissemination of their pages, read these posts by Elaine Treharne’s on her blog Text Technologies:The Broken Book I: Getty Exhibition “Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister”' and 'The Broken Book II: From a Book of Hours to a Book of Bits,' which considers .

+++++++

6.

image

- source

If you happen to be in London in late October and early November you can attend the Panizzi Lecture.  The topic is the Giant Bibles of 12th Century England:

In each lecture, Dr de Hamel will be taking a closer look at three outstanding examples of this kind of manuscript – the Bury Bible, the Winchester Bible and the Lambeth Bible – using evidence of their decoration, codicology and provenance to explore why these large and incredibly expensive books came into and fell out of fashion within a single century.  Further details about the lectures may be found on the British Library website and on the above leaflet. - source

And if, like me, you will not be in London at that time, you can click to the British Library’s medieval manuscripts blog post and see some fine images from these bibles.

+++++++

7.

image

- source

Durham Cathedral (Anglican) in England has a fine collection of medieval manuscripts.  Its library is descended from the monastery of Lindisfarne, founded in the 6th century.  The Cathedral features one of the manuscripts or objects in its collection on its website each month:

Durham Cathedral has acquired an internationally renowned collection of manuscripts and historic artefacts over the centuries. Each month we feature one of these objects as ‘Treasure of the Month’ on our website.

The collections at Durham Cathedral are not currently on display, for want of suitable space and conditions in which to display them. Our development project Open Treasure will address these issues by transforming public access to some of the Cathedral’s most spectacular spaces and breathtaking collections.

September 2014’s featured manuscript is the 12th century Bible of Hugh of Le Puiset (pictured above):

One of the Cathedral Library’s most celebrated and richly decorated manuscripts, this magnificent Bible was commissioned by Hugh of le Puiset, Bishop of Durham, 1153–95. The ambitious work of a team of scribes working simultaneously, the four volumes contain almost 7 miles of writing on parchment and weigh over 45 kg. The manuscript is one of the masterpieces of twelfth-century English book production. Each volume has illuminated initials and a blind-stamped binding. Historiated initials introduce the biblical books, although many of the initials were cut out, possibly by a nursemaid in the 17th century who was teaching her charges to read. The text is beautifully clear, decorated throughout in vivid colours and gold leaf. It is not known whether Le Puiset commissioned the Bible for Durham Cathedral or for his own private chapel, but in due course the books passed to Durham Cathedral Priory. - source

+++++++

For more quick takes from bloggers near and far, check out this week’s linkup hosted by Jen of Conversion Diary

Nativity of the Virgin

Today, September 8 is the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

Here are some links related to the feast day:

+++

image

                                                               - source

There is a group of religious sisters in Rome who have the nickname “The Baby Mary Sisters” because they take care of a very old wax statue of the infant Virgin Mary:

The Baby Mary Sisters got their name because since the 1700s they have been caretakers of a wax statue of the Holy Child Mary (Maria Bambina).  The statue was carved in 1730 by a Franciscan nun and was transferred from one religious congregation to another until it eventually came into the care of the Sisters of Charity at Lovere, Italy.  In 1866, the Sisters of Charity accepted responsibility for a hospital in Milan, and in 1867, they moved the waxen image to their Motherhouse there.  The wax statue was exposed for veneration each year on September 8, the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, until 1884. - source

read the rest on Seasons of Grace

+++

On the site New Liturgical Movement, there is a post which gives a good deal of background of the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, and how it has been celebrated through history in the eastern and western churches:

This event does not of course occur in the Bible, but is first mentioned in the popular apocryphal work known as the Protoevangelium of James. The precise origin of the feast is a matter of speculation, and the reason for the choice of date is unknown. It was celebrated at Constantinople by the 530s, when St Romanus the Melodist composed a hymn for it; by the seventh century, it has passed to the West-

read the rest: liturgical notes on the Nativity of the Virgin

+++

More:

- "The Birthday of Our Lady" on Once I was a Clever Boy blog

- Father Lawrence Lew has a photo of the silk relic, the Tunic of the Virgin, which is housed at Chartres Cathedral in France.

- my post from last year (with background, images, links)

- my post from 2012 (containing images and links)

Zurbaran, 350 years on

image

St. Francis in Meditation, 1635, oil, National Gallery of Art, London - source

+++++++

Francisco de Zurbarán was a painter of Spanish Golden Age who died on this date (August 27) in 1664, 350 years ago.

Zurbarán is best known for his paintings of saints and monks who are depicted as monumental single figures bathed in dramatic light emphasi[z]ing their three-dimensional quality, and to impart a sense of their inner spirituality. - source

The bulk of Zurbarán’s work was commissioned by churches and  monastic communities around Seville, Spain.  Late in his career, Zurbarán sent paintings to the South American countries.

Zurbarán’s clientele, though restricted, was nevertheless representative of seventeenth-century Spain; his approach to spiritual subjects reflects the authority of tradition, the demands of doctrine, and the requirements of patrons and of a public for whom the story, not the style, was the essence of a work of art. The synthesis of tradition and innovation in Zurbarán’s art, of forms that are at once timeless and tangible, perfectly expresses the spirit of Counter-Reformation theology and of contemporary Spanish society, with its faith in both mystical and earthly reality. - source

Always somewhat out of the public view, Zurbaran’s work became more obscure shortly after his death:

By 1700, Zurbarán’s work was already unfamiliar to collectors and the general public because most of it was isolated in churches and monasteries. These sites were looted by Napoleon’s generals in the Peninsular Wars of 1808–14, which, with the secularization of ecclesiastical property in 1835, made Zurbarán’s paintings better known, but robbed them of their original context and much of their meaning. - source

+++++++

Here are some works by Zurbarán:

image

Agnus Dei, 1635 - 1640, oil, Prado Museum - source

+++++++

The painting of Saint Luke as artist standing at the foot of Christ’s cross is thought to be a self-portrait:

image

Saint Luke as a Painter Before Christ on the Cross, 1650, oil, Prado Museum - source

+++++++

image

Saint Serapion, 1628, Wadsworth Atheneum - source

+++++++

image

Francisco de Zurbaran, Head of a Monk, 1635 - 1655, drawing, British Museum - source

+++++++

image

Christ and the Virgin in the House at Nazareth, oil, 1640, Cleveland Museum of Art - source

+++++++

In addition to his religious oeuvre, Zurbaran was known for his masterful still life paintings:

image

Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and Rose, 1633, oil, Norton Simon Museum - source

+++++++

more:

- you can read the Metropolitan Museum catalog of the 1988 Zurbaran exhibit online, or download the pdf for free

- view Zurbaran’s work online, via the listing at Artcyclopedia

- listen to a short audio reflection by artist Alison Watt about the painting of Saint Francis at the National Gallery of Art, London [this painting is the one featured at the very beginning of this post, above]

Zurbaran entry in the Oxford Index

Quick Takes: Feast of Saint James and Pilgrimage

Today is the feast day of Saint James the Great, the brother of Saint John the Evangelist, a fisherman before he was called to be an apostle of Christ.

+++++++

1.

image- source: British Library: BL Stowe 12, f.279v

St James was the first of the apostles to be martyred and according to tradition at some point thereafter his body was brought to northern Spain.  His shrine, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, was a major pilgrimage destination throughout medieval times, third in significance to Rome and Jerusalem.  The Way of Saint James, or Camino de Santiago de Compostela, comprised pilgrimage routes that fanned all over Europe, all converging on Spain.  In one of those medieval displays of anachronistic artistic logic, St. James is often shown as a medieval pilgrim traveling to his own shrine, decked out with cockle shells, walking stick and drinking gourd, as in the 1320’s English manuscript illustration above.

+++++++

2.

You can find some general background on the Universalis page about Saint James:.

In every country there are churches of St James and known, well-trodden pilgrim routes. In Paris, the Tour St Jacques marks the start of the route and the Rue St Jacques points straight towards Compostela. In England, pilgrim routes lead from all parts of the country to the major ports that were used on the pilgrimage. This network of routes is a vital witness to the fact that the Middle Ages were not the static stay-at-home time that we often think them to be: everyone must have known someone, or known someone who knew someone, who had made the pilgrimage. The scallop-shell, the emblem of St James, has become the emblem of pilgrims generally. - source

http://universalis.com/20140725/today.htm

+++++++
3.
image

- source

From EWTN, a documentary about the Way of Saint James:
Step into the shoes of some incredible pilgrims! Several young men relay their stories as they embark on an extraordinary pilgrimage along a historic route in Spain known as the Way of St. James. Journey for over 600 miles alongside them, and watch as “El Camino-The Way of Saint James” tests these pilgrims’ physical and spiritual limits when this documentary airs at 5:30 p.m. ET, Friday, July 25—exclusively on #EWTN! Also available through EWTN Religious Catalogue here: http://bit.ly/14jO9R2
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152297998417582

+++++++

4.

To see a wonderful assortment of medieval images and text related to St. James and pilgrimage, click on A Clerk of Oxford’s post:

Since it’s the feast of St James, by medieval tradition the patron of pilgrims, here’s a miscellany of texts touching on pilgrimages, roads, and seeking. - source

+++++++

5.

image

Father Steve Grunow of Word on Fire has written a blog post today which gives some background of the Way of Saint James and makes some observations about pilgrimage:

this is precisely the point- a pilgrimage is not a vacation. A pilgrimage is directed by a spiritual itinerary rather than an agenda of leisure. Pilgrimages are about the hard work of conversion, and this interior crucible is externalized in the demands of the journey. The grace offered and accepted in the course of the sacred way is not easy; it is meant to further the transformation of the pilgrim- the fulfillment of which is not simply to view the relics of marvel at the splendor of a shrine, but to become a saint oneself. It is through the journey that one learns that sanctity is a possibility, not just for those men and women of renown who have had great shrines raised in their memory, but for all who would risk following the Lord, trusting in his Provident care, and surrendering to him mastery over one’s life. In these respects, a pilgrimage is a concrete display of the intentionality with which all Christians are invited to live: to be called, commissioned and sent, to be a bold witness to the Gospel in word and in deed, and to remain faithful to one’s mission in all circumstances.

Do read the whole thing.  It’s very good and not long.

+++++++

6.

In a characteristically-short 1 minute video reflection, Cardinal Timothy Dolan reminds us that we are all pilgrims in this life, journeying back to God:

Summer Reflections with Timothy Cardinal Dolan - Week of July 21 from itv on Vimeo.

+++++++

7.

Here’s a short blog post about Santiago de Compostela on the blog Once I Was a Clever Boy.

+++++++

more:

image

My husband and I were blessed to be able to travel the Way of Saint James by bicycle in 2011.  Here are some of my previous posts about Saint James and Santiago de Compostela:

- 2013 post for the Feast of Saint James

Quick Takes about Santiago de Compostela for the 2012 Feast of Saint James

Tuesday Tour of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

2011 Quick Takes about the Camino de Santiago

+++++++

For more quick takes from bloggers near and far, check out this week’s linkup, hosted by Carolyn of Svellerella.

Quick Takes: Sacred Heart

In honor of yesterday’s Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this week’s quick takes are links I’ve found this week along with photos I’ve taken over the years, all relating the Sacred Heart:

+++++++

1.

image

18th century polychrome wood and fabric statue of the Sacred Heart in the Museum of Sacred Art in Sao Paulo Brazil

+++++++

2.

"Popular Piety: The Sacred Heart of Jesus" on the Dominican blog Godzdogz gives a good short introduction to history and meaning of the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Our Lord is compassion and love. Devotion to the Sacred Heart stirs us to call upon Him who provides all things, and to dedicate ourselves to Him in loving humility. We have in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, therefore, a timeless devotion which we would do well to make our own. - source

+++++++

3.

image

Chapel of the Sacred Heart in the church at the Santuário do Caraça Minas Gerais, Brazil

+++++++

4.

Here’s an excerpt from a post by Ellyn von Huben on the Word on Fire blog:

As May was the month of Our Mother Mary, June is the month of the Sacred Heart of her beloved her son Jesus. It is often said that the mother is the heart of the home. Which is not an expression I would dispute. But on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus we honor what should be the heart of hearts in every home. - source

+++++++

5.

image

side altar with statue of the Sacred Heart, Old Mission of San Juan Bautista in San Jose, California.  The mission dates from 1797.

+++++++

6.

image

The Monastery of the Visitation in Mobile, Alabama is a cloistered convent of nuns.  The building used to house a school; it is now used as a retreat center.

When you enter the Visitation monastery in Mobile, a mysterious framed image of the Sacred Heart from the 19th century is the very first thing you see.  It is titled “Archconfraternity of the Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart.”  The Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart originated in the 1860’s at a Visitation monastery in France, and in succeeding decades spread through the monasteries of that order worldwide.

image

According to an article on the website Catholic Truths:

the Guard of Honor to the Sacred Heart—the result of an inspiration given to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart Bernaud, a nun of the Visitation monastery in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, on March 13, 1863—as a way of keeping the Heart of Christ company, of honoring and consoling It. … On June 7, 1862, the community in Bourg-en-Bresse was solemnly consecrated to the Sacred Heart. At the end of the year, most of the nuns in this community signed and act of abandonment to the Heart of Jesus. On the feast of Epiphany 1863, the Sacred Heart was chosen as “King of the Year.” A few weeks later, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart had a mental vision of a dial showing the hours of the day and night. After drawing a reproduction, she wrote the words “glory, love, reparation” around it. She then put the image of the Sacred Heart in the center of the dial. On March 13th, the third Friday of Lent, the Feast of the Five Wounds of Our Lord, she brought this first dial of the Guard of Honor to her superior, who blessed it and gladly agreed to have the names of all the sisters in the community inscribed on it.

Those who wish to join this work of reparation can do so by dedicationg an hour each day to the “guard of honor.” Their name will be inscribed on the dial in the place corresponding to the hour they have chosen. During this hour, without changing their activity, they will mentally unite themselves to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, offering to Jesus whatever they are doing—at school, at work, reading, preparing a meal, doing errands, traveling, studying, doing a favor, praying… They will strive to think a little lore about Jesus and to make at least an act of love, and preferably a small sacrifice. But no particular action is prescribed—only goodwill is required. Thus “members” across the world will succeed each other in “standing guard” at the foot of the Cross, in the company of the Blessed Virgin, Saint Mary Magdalene, and Saint John. Jesus will not be forgotten at any hour during the day. …

Soon, other monasteries were invited to join this spiritual movement, and the devotion spread by word of mouth to the faithful attracted to this spiritual program. At the monastery of Paray-le Monial, there was great surprise when they received the dial of the Guard of Honor, because the dial exactly like it already had been developed there. One year later, on March 9, 1864, the Guard of Honor was approved by Pope Pius IX and erected as a Confraternity, then raised to an Archconfraternity under Leo XIII on November 26, 1878. - source

 The Mobile monastery’s website gives an explanation of the Guard of Honor:

The Guard of Honor, the Hour of Presence, of the Sacred Heart is a little army rallied around the Eucharistic Throne of Jesus, where hour after hour, faithful sentinels replace one another in spirit, to offer to the Heart of Jesus a perpetual homage of glory, love and reparation.

The origin of the Guard of Honor may be traced back to the first watch on Calvary, when our Blessed Lady, St. John and Mary Magdalen offered to the transpierced Heart of Jesus the first homage of glory, love and reparation.

CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP:  In order to become a member of the Guard of honor and to share in the Masses and in the indulgences granted to the Archconfraternity it is necessary:

1.  To be enrolled by the General Director of a Confraternity, canonically erected, or by a Zelator, regularly authorized to receive enrollments.

2.  To be inscribed on a Dial of the Archconfraternity.

3.  To make daily an hour of guard. Those who desire to be ranked amongst the Guards of Honor of the Sacred Heart must choose an hour during which, without changing their ordinary occupations, they place themselves each day, in spirit near the Tabernacle. - source

+++++++

7.

image

This life-sized statue of the Sacred Heart is in the visiting parlor of the Monastery of the Visitation in Mobile, Alabama.  In this room guests visit with the cloistered nuns who are behind a wooden grill screen.

+++++++

for more quick takes visit this week’s roundup, hosted by Jen of Conversion Diary

Quick Takes: Corpus Christi

In honor of the Feast of Corpus Christi, which was observed yesterday, this week’s quick takes all relate to the feast day.  Most of them are links to Dominican sites, which is fitting, since Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and noted Dominican, was closely associated with Eucharistic devotion.

note: I kept finding cool Corpus Christi links, so there are more than 7 quick takes this week.

+++++++

1.

image

The image above, of Saint Thomas Aquinas contemplating the Eucharist is a banner from St. Rose parish in Springfield, KY.  The photo was taken by Father Lawrence Lew OP, who notes:

The texts for the Office and Mass of this feast were composed and assembled by St Thomas Aquinas, who is sometimes called the ‘Eucharistic Doctor’ because of his sublime teaching on the mystery of the Eucharist. To hear St Thomas’ Sequence hymn, Lauda Sion Salvatorem being sung (be me!), visit this page. - source

+++++++

2.

Brother Alan Piper, OP, offers a primer on Corpus Christi, "This Really is His Body," on the Dominicana blog:

The Eucharist contains “the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324). This great gift is offered to us as a sacrament, that is, as a sacred, saving sign. But unlike some other signs (for instance, a photo of a loved one), in the case of the Eucharist, the sign literally involves the real presence of Christ in his humanity and divinity. This is why Catholics genuflect and kneel in the presence of the Eucharist. And this is the reason for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which is characteristic of celebrations of Corpus Christi. After the consecration, there is no longer any bread or wine on the altar. Jesus is there under the appearances of bread and wine, offering himself for the life of the world. - source

Dominicana is a blog of the Dominican Studium of the St. Joseph Province of the Order of Preachers.  Check out the other posts, it’s well worth your time.

+++++++

3.

Sunday was the feast day the Dominican Contemplative nuns at Corpus Christi Monastery in Menlo Park, California.  Here is the invite to their celebration as posted on their blog.  

image

more:

- The monastery of Corpus Christi is a strikingly beautiful place, which I featured here on the blog last spring.

- In addition to reading about the nuns on their blog, you can also follow them on facebook.

+++++++

4.

On the English Dominican Studentate blog, Godzdogz, Luke Doherty OP posted a short piece on Corpus Christi, focusing particularly on the Eucharistic procession that is traditionally associated with the feast day:

Many Christians find themselves in horrific situations, and are often unable to express their faith, their solidarity with the Lord. Let us give thanks that God has given us the liberty to praise him in our streets. We pray for those who are persecuted for the Faith, particularly the Dominicans and other Christians who remain in Iraq, who are unable to process through the streets for fear of violence or intimidation. For what is inside that monstrance in today’s processions is a pledge and sign of our unity, a hope of the future when we shall all be one. - source

more:

- why is the blog called “Godzdogz”? click here to find out!

+++++++

5.

And for a final Dominican link: on the blog of the Western Dominican Province, there is a Corpus Christi post by Father Michael Hurley OP about Eucharistic miracles and Corpus Christi:

As we celebrate this feast, let us rejoice in the gift of the Eucharist. We know that as incredible as Eucharistic miracles can be, it is not because of such miracles that we believe. Miracles are not the cause of our faith. To those who believe no miracle is necessary. Rather, such wonders confirm or witness to our belief. They rouse us and encourage us in living our faith. They quell doubts. So, like that monk of Lanciano, if the Eucharist is a difficult or doubtful part of your faith, you are not alone. Remember that most of Jesus’ disciples left Him precisely because He said, “If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). Yet, Jesus does not call his friends to “take and understand, but “take and eat.” When we come to Mass free from serious impediment and sin, let us be prepared to be nourished by His life-giving body and blood. In the Eucharist, Jesus feeds us, so that we can feed others. We receive what we believe so we can be what we receive. - source

+++++++

6.

image

Three years ago, my husband and I celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  Here’s my post about that day.

+++++++

7.

image

On the Word on Fire site Father Robert Barron has posted two videos about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist,

+++++++

8.

The site New Liturgical Movement has several posts for Corpus Christi, including one that collects historical images of Corpus Christi processions.

The featured images were gathered from an Italian blog called Scuola Ecclesia Mater which posted historical images of the Papal Corpus Christi procession, and also Corpus Christi processions in general.

+++++++

9.

Pope Francis delivered the homily at the Thursday Corpus Christi Mass in Rome:

“Besides physical hunger, people have another hunger, one that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food,” the Pope said yesterday. “It is the hunger for life, hunger for love (and) hunger for eternity.” - source

To see a video of the Rome Eucharistic procession and Mass, click over to Salt and Light TV’s site.

+++++++

10.

Over at the blog Supremacy and Survival, Stephanie Mann wrote a post that ties together Corpus Christ and the English Martyrs Thomas More and John Fisher whose feast day fell on Sunday:

Henry VIII, even though he separated himself and his country from the universal Catholic Church, continued to defend the Church’s teaching about the Holy Eucharist. Even as he sentenced Sts. John Fisher and St. Thomas More to death, commuting their sentences from being hung, drawn, and quartered to being beheaded, he had those who denied the Real Presence sentenced to being burned alive at the stake. What the holy martyrs knew, however, was that without the unity of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church the reality of the Holy Eucharist cannot hold. While Henry VIII held on to Christ’s teaching about the Eucharist as His body and blood, necessary for communion with Him in His Church, Henry’s Anglican Church would soon deny it (during the reign of Edward VI in Archbishop Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer). - source

+++++++

For more Quick Takes, visit the linkup, hosted this week by Kathryn at Team Whitaker.

Images of the Trinity

In honor of the Feast of the Trinity, today’s quick takes relate to depictions of the Trinity in Western art.  Last year’s Trinity Sunday post explained the way that the Eastern Churches show the Trinity in the guise of the Hospitality of Abraham.

+++++++

1.

The blog A Clerk of Oxford has a marvelous Trinity post, featuring a medieval carol and several medieval images of the Trinity in English manuscripts.

+++++++

2.

For some Italian examples, see Depictions of the Trinity, on the blog Idle Speculations

+++++++

3.

In the course of my travels in Germany, I photographed several painted examples of the Trinity.  In all of them, God the Father holds the suffering or crucified Christ, with the dove of the Holy Spirit hovering nearby.

The first is a 13th example, from a panel painting in Berlin’s Gemaldegalerie:

image

c.1250, Westphalian

+++++++

4.

image

Lucas Cranach the Elder, detail of the Trinity from The Dying Man,  c1518

+++++++

5.

image

Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Trinity worshiped by Mary and Saint Sebastian, c1518. Berlin, Gemaldegalerie

+++++++

6.

image

Cathedral of St. Mary, Erfurt, Germany

+++++++

7.

image

Master of the Darmstadt Passion, Trinity, c1440-1460. Berlin Gemaldegalerie

+++++++

Linking up with Quick Takes, hosted this week by Kathryn of the blog Team Whitaker

Quick Takes: various

It’s been a good long while since I’ve posted Quick Takes (or anything else) on the blog, and I’m sliding in right under the wire with the Monday night link-up deadline looming.  So with out further ado, here are some varied items of interest to me lately:

+++++++

1.

Pope France has just concluded his 3 day whirlwind visit to the Holy Land.  There has been excellent coverage of the events and moments of this historic journey in many of the news outlets.  My favorite photo is this one:

image

 - source

The obvious - and humorous - point of the photo is that Pope Francis lost his zucchetto in a gust of wind in Amman, Jordan, but what I love about the photo is the large representation of an icon of Christ in the background

+++++++

2.

Catholic writer Simcha Fisher has begun a new series of monthly blog posts about Catholic artists.  This month’s post is an interview with artist Timothy Jones

+++++++

3.

image

                                                                                   - source

Fr. Lawrence Lew is a Dominican priest from Edinburgh who, in addition to being an assistant chaplain at three universities, also uses social media to preach the Gospel, tweeting and blogging his photographs of churches he’s visited and other beautiful locations he’s seen.  Kathryn Jean Lopez recently interviewed him:

LOPEZ: … How do you decide what you’re going to photograph and how do you know when you’re going to use what?…

Fr. Lew: … I’m always on the lookout for obscure saints and interesting Scriptural passages rendered in art. However, I don’t decide what I am going to shoot, as such. I photograph everything in a church, and am always keen to visit any church. Consequently, I currently have almost 120,000 photos on my catalogue that take up about 1.5 terabytes!

To help me decide which photos to post each day, I look at the liturgy of the day. Saints’ days are often the easiest, especially if I have an image of the saint. If not, I look at their writings and see if some image they use fits a photo I may have. Often I will post three photos a day. One will be the main image that is inspired by the liturgy or Scripture reading of the day, and then the others will be photos from the church or place where the main image is located. On days where I can find no photo to fit the liturgy, I will post other photos from my catalogue, typically of life and scenes from where I am currently based, which is Edinburgh.

LOPEZ: Is your social-media use of religious art another form of preaching?

FR. LEW: Yes. I am very conscious that the main reason I do this and am online is to preach the Gospel. As St. Paul says, “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.” The human soul thirsts for truth as she does for beauty, and so I see the use of beautiful art and images as a vital part of preaching God who is Beauty and who is Truth. - source

More:

- read the entire interview here.

- follow Fr. Lew on Twitter and Tumblr (where you can read his daily homilies for the St. Albert’s Priory and Chaplaincy), and Flickr

+++++++

4.

Catholic blogger Steve Nelson has started a new photography linkup called the Catholic Photo Challenge.  Twice a month Nelson will publish a theme and everyone is welcomed to post photographs related to the theme and add a link to the list on his blog.

The first theme, open until the end of May (just a few more days!) is:

For this first challenge, show us a photo that represents to you God’s presence in the natural world.

read more about the challenge on Steve’s blog Everything Esteban

+++++++

5.

image

                                                                                                 - source

The town of Roha (now renamed Lalibela) in Ethiopia is home to twelve amazing and intricate little churches that were carved and chiseled out of solid rock.  The chapels were made at the behest of a ruler named Lalibela who wanted to create a holy pilgrimage site in response to the capture of Jerusalem by Moslims in the 12th century.

Read more:

"The Amazing Rock-Cut Churches of Lalibela"

- UNESCO World Heritage Site - Lalibela

+++++++

6.

Do you know if there’s a chapel near you that offers Adoration of the Holy Eucharist?  Or maybe you’re traveling and would love to visit an Adoration chapel.  Find locations of nearby Adoration chapels by clicking here. 

More:

- If you cannot make it to an actual chapel, you can participate in Eucharistic adoration via this live feed.

- Catholic writer the Anchoress talks about adoration here.

+++++++

7.

image

(via ferrebeekeeper)

We’ll end with a delightful look at some modern day gargoyles with unusual subjects:

The traditional gargoyle is a horrendous creature who leers out of medieval church walls. But people have continued making gargoyles right up into the modern day, bringing science fictional flourishes to these fantasy creations. - source

More:

"A menagerie of church gargoyles includes aliens and astronauts" on io9.com

+++++++

For more Quick Takes from dozens of other bloggers, check out this week’s links at Conversion Diary