4 June 2020


On 4 June 1944, Rome was liberated (I'm not quite sure which regiment of the British Army achieved this ... probably the Honourable Artillery Company). Immediately, some enterprising cleric at the Church of S Maria in Porticu clearly got to work and produced, in English ("To the Catholics of England"), a tiny booklet about the prayers for the Conversion of England customary in that Church. It bears the Imprimi potest of Joseph Forcellati, Rector Generalis, Romae, 17 iulii 1944.

It explains that our late Sovereign liege Lord King Henry IX, King (by the Grace of God) of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, when he was merely His Royal Highness the Duke of York, was created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XIV, 5 July 1747 (less than a year after the return of HRH the Prince Regent from 'the '45'), and was assigned the Diaconal Title of this Church (raised the following year to a Presbyteral Title). The booklet goes on to inform us that he had a great devotion to our Lady under this title; and enacted that her feast be celebrated with the sumptousness of Sacred Music, the richness of Sacred Vestments and Altar Ornaments, and with the splendour of Church liturgy.  Then, with the use of inverted commas but without any indication who or what is being quoted, it goes on
"' he endowed the Shrine with a perpetual legacy for the celebration of a Mass on every Saturday, at 11.00 a.m., followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and the offering of prayers for the return of the separatist brethren of England to the Catholic Church, the true Flock'".

Incidentally, the Feast of our Lady in Porticu is in the old Supplementum for England and Wales as to be observed in Wales on July 17 with the Mass Quae est ista. What is the Welsh connexion?

It seems to me endearing that His Majesty, embarking upon an ecclesiastical career after the failure of arms, lacking now any power to assist their bodies, was yet mindful of the souls of the people of this Kingdom.

After recording that Pope Leo XIII presided over a triduum in this Church in 1868, the panphlet gives the texts of two prayers, without indicating whether either or both was composed by His Most Eminent Majesty, Defender of the Faith, or by His Holiness.

It would be jolly to get some light on this.

The first prayer begins "O Holy Virgin Mary, thou who hast for so many centuries revealed to our souls the sweet attraction of Divine Maternity ..."

The second begins "Give thy servants, o Lord, your [sic] celestial help ..."

It offers this invocation:
Romanae Portus Securitatis, Ora pro nobis.

Did you know that His Majesty participated in the Consecration of the eventual Clement XIV, the pope who suppressed the Jesuits? Small world!


Scribe said...

"We beseech thee, O Almighty God, that thy servant George our King, who by thy mercy hath undertaken the government of these realms, may also receive an increase of all virtues, wherewith being adorned, he may avoid every enormity of sin, vanquish his enemies; and being rendered acceptable in thy sight, may, together with Charlotte our queen, and their royal issue, come at length to thee, who art the way, the truth and the life, through Christ our Lord. Amen."

Father, this is the prayer for the king and royal family following the Last Gospel in my Missal, printed in 1806 at Manchester in an edition widely used there, in Liverpool and in Dublin. The Church was still suffering persecution, but Catholics were still praying publicly for King George III, his consort and his family. These Catholics were my ancestors, loyal to the House of Hanover-Brunswick, as I and many others are at this day. Why recall this ragbag of exiled Stuarts with their ludicrous titles and pretensions? "Henry IX" indeed! What useless pensioners of foreign princes!

gutsy said...

Pope Leo XIII, in 1868 ?

vetusta ecclesia said...

I wonder if that Mass is still celebrated or if it it has gone the way of so many other “ perpetual” foundation Masses

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father.Us Catholics must have a great love and devotion to Our Lady, The Blessed Virgin Mary, for she is loved more by God than anyone else He created and if we desire to imitate God we too will love Mary more than any other saint.

John F. Kennedy said...

"Rome was liberated (I'm not quite sure which regiment of the British Army achieved this..."

Actually it was the American 5th Army. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/5/newsid_3547000/3547329.stm

A. Smith said...

Well, Father, you cannot leave us hanging like this! How may one come about a copy of this booklet?

gutsy said...

Looks like this post raised quite a bit of reaction.

Jovan-Marya Weismiller, T.O.Carm. said...

As a loyal Catholic, I take my cue from the Holy See which specifically refused to recognise the Stuart Pretenders after the death of the Old Pretender. There was no 'Charles III' or 'Henry IX'.

And, Scribe, the prayer you cite can still be found on page 923 of the Roman Catholic Daily Missal from Angelus Press, after the Leonine Prayers. It is also found in the St. Andrew Daily Missal.

V. Domine, salvum (-am) fac Regem nostrum (Reginam nostram), N.
R. Et exaudi nos in die, qua invocaverimus te.
Quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut famulus tuus N., Rex noster (famula tua N., Regina nostra), qui tua miseratione suscepit regni gubernacula, virtutum etiam omnium percipiat incrementa; quibus decenter ornatus (‑a), et vitiorum monstra devitare (tempore belli: hostes superare), et ad te qui via, veritas, et vita es, cum (Regina consorte et) prole regia gratiosus (-a) valeat pervenire. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

The rightful sovereign is an Australian Catholic Plantagenet (or at least his son, Simon Abney-Hastings): https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mike-hastings-rightful-king-of-england-1134366


The Saxe-coburg-Gothas are going to go (together with the oligarchs and "elite" that help keep the present criminal social order in place).


Grant Milburn said...

I have a copy of "The Small Roman Missal" published in 1952 which stipulates certain prayers to be said for the Queen, in England on Sunday after High Mass. 68 years later, the Mass contained in the Missal has disappeared from 99% of Roman Rite churches, its Holy Week ceremonies have disappeared from 99.9% of churches, but the Queen still reigns! (My Queen too, I am a Kiwi).

John Patrick said...

Interesting that the "ragbag of exiled Stuarts" is dismissed yet homage is paid to a collection of figurehead monarchs descended from distant cousins frantically brought in to prevent the horrible possibility of a Catholic Monarch sitting on the throne. That of course gave Parliament complete control so they could proceed to mismanage the country as they are continuing to do down throughout the years. End of rant.

Farmer's boy said...

The last time I sang 'domine salvam fac' was about 2006 when a group of old Beaumont boys, with the choir of St John's Beaumont, made a cd called 'Cantionale, the hymns of our youth'.