8 May 2016

In Apparitione S Michaelis

It's interesting how these nice old feasts, suppressed during the Great Rupture, have a bit of a tendency to get their foot back in through the door. Today's feast (double major) features in the calendar of the Anglican diocese of Truro (which encompasses Cornwall) as, I think I recall, S Michael, Protector of Cornwall. I presume this goes back to the researches and imagination of Canon 'Patrimony' Doble, and has not a little to do with the former monastery on a dramatic island called S Michael's Mount. According to the pre-Pius XII rubrics, the Archangel gets a commemoratio today. I am told that the 1962 Missal has this feast in an appendix.

Lectio v in the old Breviary will reveal how, at Gargano in Apulia, a certain bull wandered off from the cows. After a long search, they found him stuck (haerentem) in the entrance of a cave. Someone fired an arrow, which - a common occurrence - rebounded upon the archer, so of course they went off to consult the bishop of Sipontinus. As one does. He ... it's what bishops are for in the Analecta Bollandiana ...  ordered a triduum of fasting and prayer to seek God's will. After that, S Michael, as he tends to, appeared and explained that the place was under his protection and that (well, he would, wouldn't he?) he wanted (Yes! Yes! You've guessed!) cultus there. They found the cave was shaped like a temple (you were expecting that, weren't you?), and so of course they used it for worship. As generally happens, miracles followed.

Ah. The splendours and fun of real religion. Perhaps one happy day we shall get it all back, bulls and all.

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