You might have thought that today (old rite) was the festival of S Augustine of Canterbury ... and so it is throughout the whole round world except in England ...
... where he occurred on the 26th. But that was a Sunday; so this year, all he got was a commemoratio in the Sunday (low) Mass. Another complication, of course, is that the mighty S Philip Neri has a claim to the same day; there is a real problem here in view of the fact that, to the enormous benefit of the English Church, Oratories of the sons of S Philip are sprouting like mushrooms all over the country. Deo gratias for this difficulty!
Clergy whose liturgical instincts stretch daringly back into the period before the Novus Ordo have a problem when it comes to 'local' feasts; not so much as regards the Mass, since one can find hand-missals with the propers of the dioceses of England and Wales as they were before the ... er ... but where is one to find proper lections for Breviary Mattins??
In the old Calendars for Westminster, Birmingham, Brentwood, Clifton, and Portsmouth, today is the festival of Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. She was executed by 'Act of Attainder' under Henry VIII; her main offence was that she had rather more royal blood in her veins than Henry himself did, although her case was made more perilous by the fact that her exiled son, Reginald Pole, later Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury, had written a treatise on the Unity of the Church. Henry regarded this as, er, off-message. (Bodley has a ms biography by John Grandisson of S Thomas Becket, with the signature Reginald Pole, in a beautiful renaissance hand, at the front ... I digress ... ). In an age in which it was customary for the aristocracy to accept decapitation with a ritual courtesy, the gallant old lady declared roundly that she was guilty of nothing, and made quite a fight of it.
So where on earth to find proper readings for Blessed Margaret?
Then I remembered!
In April, I was fortunate enough to receive a most agreeable and acceptable gift, from Fr Alexander Redman, of Our Lady of Lourdes in Weston sopra mare. Over the years, he had reconstructed, from various sources, the old Supplementum Cliftoniense. And he had published it in a most elegant form. So I was provided with the lawful text for Blessed Margaret! Together, of course, with much other material relevant to dioceses in addition to that of Clifton.
Thank God that erudition, scholarly instincts, and perseverance are still alive and well in the Clerus Anglicus. Every English diocese needs a Redman! How fortunate the Bishop of Clifton is to have such a jewel in his mitre! I anticipate that Father will soon be rewarded with a canonry or a prebend.
And thank you, Father, again!