3 June 2018

Introibo ITERUM ad altare Dei

Many readers will remember the story of the priest in Revolutionary France, who, vested as for Mass, said the praeparatio while ascending the steps to the guillotine. Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam. As the erudite Dr Simon Cotton reminded me the other day, his name was Noel Pinot; having refused to take the oath whereby he would have submitted to the State, he was arrested while secretly saying Mass in a remote farmhouse in the Vendee during the February of 1794, and executed not long afterwards.

I find it a haunting story. So often, as I stand at the foot of Mount Moriah and in my unworthiness prepare to go up the Temple Mount to offer to the Father the Tamid Lamb for His whole people, the image of Blessed Noel Pinot climbing that ladder comes back to me. And here is a certainty, for me as for every single priest in the world: there will be a day, one particular day and not another, when by God's grace I offer that Sacrifice, that Mystery, a Beauty so ancient and yet so new, for my last time in via.

If you are celebrating today the Feast or the Octave Sunday or the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi, of your charity pray for all of us who have this awe-full responsibility, and also for so many young men who this month will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood, to be sons of our Father Aaron.

May the Ancient of Days make His merciful Face to shine upon all His cohanim.


tubbs said...


And thank you, Father H.

Fifi's machine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Long-Skirts said...


WHO held the Fort
Till the Calvary came
Fighting for all
In His Holy Name?

WHO fed the sheep
As the pastures burned dry?
A few Good Shepherds
Heeding their cry.

WHO led the charge
‘Gainst heresy’s Huns
Exposing the degreed
To His lowliest ones?

WHO battened down
The hatch of the barque
To warm cold souls
From shivering-seas dark?

“WHO?” mocks Satan
Delighting in doubt
Fills you with questions,
Never lets you find out.

“Hoc est enum
Corpus meum…
and for many…” who kept
The dead words – Te Deum!

Deacon Nicholas said...

May the Lord God remember your priesthood in His kingdom.

Dr. Eric said...

This is one of the best posts on your blog, Fr. Hunwicke. It seems that martyrdom gives one clarity of mind; or rather The Holy Ghost speaks within the martyr:

“But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.” -St. Matthew 10:19-20

I offer my prayers for you and for all priests.