2 May 2024

Was Gueranger a Great Liturgist?

Of course he was.

Surely, one of the signs of a truly great Liturgist is his ability to think up a truly profound reason for a liturgical phenomemon which to mere mortals appears counter-intuitive.

So here is Gueranger on why the Mary Month of May has no Marian festivals:

"Ever since our entrance upon the joys of the Paschal Season, ... of our Blessed Lady there has not been a single Feast to gladden our hearts by telling us of some mystery or glory of our august Queen. ... May and June pass without any special solemnity in honour of the Mother of God. It would seem as though Holy Church wished to honour, by a respectful silence, the forty days during which Mary enjoyed the company of her Jesus, after his Resurrection. We, therefore, should never separate the Mother and the Son ..."

He is going on to commend the Feast (pro aliquibus locis), on May 24, of Our Lady Help of Christians. It commemorates the day in 1814 when Pius VII brought to an end "five years  during which the spiritual government of the Christian world had suffered a total suspension". But his words (which have an intriguingly Newmanish ring to them!!!) have been falsified by the last century. 

The medievals took the words Salve Sancta Parens as the Lord's Easter greeting to his Mother. Cardinal Mercier persuaded the Pope to make May 31 the Festival of Mary Mediatrix of All Graces ... a fine theologoumenon with interesting Byzantine analogues. And Papa Pacelli changed that in order to suit one of his own little games; his intervention would have been theologically up-to-the-minute somewhere around 1300 A D. The post-Conciliar 'reformers' decided to replace this with their own piece of cleverness. 

Some places, apparently, were granted Our Lady of Light Spouse of the Holy Ghost on the Sunday after Ascension. Papa Bergoglio parked Mater Ecclesiae on Whit Monday. And our Lady of Fatima now appears on May 13.

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