5 February 2020

Gaudeamus omnes ... S Agatha, ora, ora pro nobis

Cardinal Burke's Titular Church in Rome is S Agatha's of the Goths: the only Catholic church in Rome built originally for non-Catholics (Arians). (As Sir Michael Caine says, "Not many people know that.")

Those whose diaries won't accommodate a trip to Rome for its Patronal Festival will be looking forward to flocking instead to the great 'Venetian' Anglo-Catholic Basilica, now an Ordinariate church, of S Agatha in Landport, Portsmouth. S Agatha's Day is February 5; the External Solemnity at the weekend is the annual occasion for a Solemn High Mass (Ordinariate Rite) which could make you think you were back in the triumphalist Anglo-Papalism of the 1930s ... when "Faith was taught, and fanned to a golden blaze".

Anecdotally: I rather think that Tractarian church-founders rather liked dedications such as S Agatha, S Agnes ... I wonder why ...

SATURDAY 8 February: High Mass 11.00 a.m., 

The pp, the splendid Fr Maunder, continues the work of restoring and improving the church. The new  S Agatha Picture is now in place, painted in the baroque style. Here is Father's description:
"The Blessed Virgin holding forth a scroll [Anglicanorum coetibus] whilst S Agatha beckons towards Benedict XVI, who, kneeling, is vested in a cloth-of-gold cope with the triple crown placed to one side. Below, separated by putti and appropriate clouds, the first four priests of S Agatha's: Fr Linklater, Fr Dolling, Fr Tremenheere, and Fr Coles; kneel, eyes heavenward, offering prayer for unity with the Holy See."

The next project is the restoration of the Lady Chapel, a bit of which was lopped off when a road was abortively planned.

How wonderful it would be if Catdinal Burke, Fidei Defensor Eminentissimus, were in some future year to celebrate the Mass in this unique church!

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