In the Calendar for England in the years before the post-1962 events, today was the feast of S Augustine (Double of the Second Class) with a commemoration of S Philip Neri. The Common Worship Calendar of the Church of England still combines these Saints on this day (let's pass over the third name it plonks onto May 26). Another missed opportunity here in the Ordinariate Calendar ...
It would be very easy to write a sermon on these two Saints together; the great link being Romanita. It was S Augustine who ignored the advice of S Gregory to foist upon the English Church an eclectic liturgy; S Augustine simply used the books of the Roman Rite which he had brought from Rome and thus bequeathed to Ecclesia Anglicana its wonderful tradition of being a distant island of the Roman Rite, the Ritus ipsius Urbis, a Liturgy of exquisite and majestic austerity, at a time when when most of Europe worshipped in styles marked by florid imprecision. And S Philip was the great Second Apostle of a Rome which stood in need of a reformation; who blessed the young men of the English college as they set out in S Augustine's footsteps to bring the Roman Rite, now standardised by S Pius V, back to England
Two intercessors for the restoration of Christendom, and of Romanita, to England. And two intercessors for a vibrant group of Christian women whose communal liturgical life exemplifies that Romanita and who are going through a time of trial.
I mean the contemplative Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate at Lanhearn in Cornwall; a young flourishing community occupying an historic Recusant House in which the continuities are unbroken. If this community were to go under, the risk could be that the House will end up as a Golfing Hotel or something similar. But I say this merely for context; it is of course for Mother Francesca, Mother Rosa, and their sisters that our prayers and Masses are needed.
26 May 2014
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It's also the feast of St Eleutherius (174-189); according to the Liber Pontificalis,. one King Lucius of Britain wrote to Pope Eleutherius asking for baptism. The Catholic Encyclopaedia has something to say about it:
And a Bank Holiday to boot!
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