The LION & the CARDINAL by DANIEL MITSUI


The LION & the CARDINAL
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12 March 2014




Dear Friends, Patrons & Benefactors:

I am happy to say that my daughter, who was born more than three months prematurely last September, came home from the NICU on January 17th. So far, she is doing well, avoiding illness and gaining weight (she weighs more than nine pounds now, more than six times what she did at birth). I appreciate all of your prayers and help during this long ordeal.

Faithfully yours,

Daniel Mitsui 

8 September 2013


NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY



Its significance, explained in the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:



Salve, mater Salvatoris,
Vas electum, vas honoris.
Vas celestis gratie;
Ab eterno vas provisum,
Vas insigne, vas excisum
Manu Sapientie!

Salve, Verbi sacra parens,
Flos de spinis, spina carens,
Flos, spineti gloria!
Nos spinetum, nos peccati
Spina sumus cruentati,
Sed tu spine nescia.

Porta clausa, fons hortorum,
Cella custos unguentorum,
Cella pigmentaria:
Cinnamomi calamum,
Myrrham, thus et balsamum
Superas fragrantia.

Salve, decus virginum,
Mediatrix hominum,
Salutis puerpera;
Myrtus temperantie,
Rosa patientie,
Nardus odorifera!

Tu convallis humilis,
Terra non arabilis,
Que Deum parturiit;
Flos campi, convallium
Singulare lilium,
Christus ex te prodiit.

Tu celestis paradisus
Libanusque non incisus,
Vaporans dulcedinem:
Tu candoris et decoris,
Tu dulcoris et odoris
Habes plenitudinem.

Tu thronus es Salomonis,
Cui nuUus par in thronis
Arte vel materia:
Ebur candens castitatis,
Aurum fulvum charitatis
Presignant mysteria.

Palmam prefers singularem
Nec in terris habes parem,
Nec in celi curia;
Laus humani generis,
Virtutum pre ceteris
Tenes privilegia.

Sol luna lucidior,
Et luna sideribus;
Sic Maria dignior
Creaturis omnibus.

Lux eclipsim nesciens
Virginis est castitas,
Ardor indeficiens,
Immortalis charitas.

(Dum venerabilis Adam sequenti versiculo Beatam Mariam Virginem salutaret, ab ea resalutari et regratiari meruit.)

SALVE, MATER PIETATIS,
ET TOTIUS TRINITATIS
NOBILE TRICLINIUM.
Verbi tamen incarnati
Speciale majestati
Preparans hospitium!

O Maria, stella maris,
Dignitate singularis,
Super omnes ordinaris
Ordines celestium:
In supremo sita poli,
Nos assigna tue Proli,
Ne terrores sive doli
Nos supplantent hostium.

In procinctu constituti,
Te tuente simus tuti,
Pervicacis et versuti
Tue cedat vis virtuti,
Dolus providentie.
Jesu, Verbum summi Patris,
Serva servos Tue matris,
Solve reos, salva gratis,
Et nos Tue claritatis
Configura glorie. Amen.

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

Hail to thee, our Saviour's mother!
Vessel, honoured o'er all other!
Chosen vessel of God's grace!
Vessel, known before creation!
Noble vessel, whose formation
'Neath the All-wise hand took place!

Hail, the world's own mother holy!
Sprung from thorns, but thornless throughly!
Flower a thornbrake's glory born!
We the thornbrake are, surrounded
With sin's thorns, and by them wounded,
But thou art without a thorn.

Closed gate! fount through gardens pouring!
Storehouse, precious spikenard storing!
Store of unguents sweet to smell!
Cinnamon's sweet-scented reed,
Incense, balsam, myrrh, indeed
Thou in fragrance dost excel!

Hail, fair type of maiden grace;
Mediatrix of man's race!
Of salvation brought to bed!
Continence's myrtle-tree!
Rose of love and clemency!
Nard whence sweetest scents are shed!

Lowliest of valleys thou,
Soil that never felt the plough,
Which to God himself gave birth!
Meadow-flower! lily fair!
Which the valley, peerless, bare!
Christ of thee was born on earth!  

O thou paradise in heaven!
Lebanon no axe hath riven,
Breathing sweetness all around!
Virgin whiteness, beauty's brightness,
Finest flavours, sweetest savours,
Plenteously in thee abound!

Thou the wise king's throne appearest.
Which, in shape and substance, fairest,
'Mongst all thrones hath ever been:
Chastity in ivory's whiteness,
Charity in red gold's brightness,
Shadowed forth, therein are seen.

Peerless is the palm thou bearest,
Peerless thou on earth appearest,
And in heaven amongst the blest:  
As the praise of all man's race,
Thee peculiar virtues grace,
Given to thee above the rest.

As the sun outshines the moon,
And the moon each twinkhng star,
Mary is than every one
Of God's creatures worthier far!
 
Light, that no eclipse can know,
Is her virgin chastity;
Heat, which ne'er will cease to glow,
Her love's deathless constancy!

(As the venerable Adam was saluting the Blessed Virgin Mary in the following stanza, he was himself in return saluted and thanked by her.)

MOTHER OF FAIR LOVE, WE NAME THEE!
FAMED TRICLINIUM WE PROCLAIM THEE,
WHICH THE TRINITY ALL SHARE;
Though thou dost a special dwelling
For the majesty excelling
Of the Incarnate Word prepare!
 
Mary, Star o'er ocean glowing!
Rival none in honour knowing!
Foremost in precedence going  
'Mongst all ranks around God's throne!
Placed in highest heaven, commend us
To thine Offspring to befriend us,
And from fear of foes defend us,
Lest by guile we be o'erthrown.  

Safe, in battle-line extended,
May we be, by thee defended;
May foes' force and shrewdness blended
Bow before thy virtues splendid,
And their craft 'neath thy foresight.  
Christ the Word, God's generation!
Guard Thy mother's congregation;
Pardon guilt, grant free salvation.
And with the illumination
Of Thy glory make us bright! Amen.

1 September 2013


ST. GILES



His life, according to the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

Congaudentes exultemus,
Exultantes celebremus
Egidii solemnia,
Qui triumphans de terrenis
Coronandus in supernis
Summa petit gaudia!

Hunc insignem pietate,
Virum plenum sanctitate,
Stirpe natum regia,
Templum Deo mox futurum,
Mundo satis profuturum
Procreavit gratia.

Qui in primo evi flore
Quantus floret in virore
Premonstravit gratia;
Data veste mendicanti
Confert diu languescenti
Salutis remedia.

Hinc, post mortem genitorum,
Plenus laude meritorum,
Sua vendens omnia,
Larga manu dat egenis,
Egens ipse, alienis,
Exsulat a patria.

Undis naute fatigati
Portum petunt liberati
Per ejus suffragia;
Medicina dum rogatur,
Sanitati revocatur
Vidualis filia.

Pellitur sterilitas,
Succedit fertilitas,
Surgit messis copia.
Egri reparatio,
Pulso morbi vitio,
Mestis fit letitia.

Ad deserta sitiens
Properavit, fugiens
Hominum consortia.
Panis ubi deerat,
Christus tamen aderat
Parando cibaria;
Fame ne deficeret,
Affuit, que pasceret
Virum Dei, bestia.

Sic latere voluit;
Sed latentem reperit
Regalis familia.
Per nutricem cognitus,
A rege commonitus
Struit monasteria.
Illic castra militum
Pro Christo certantium
Collocavit fortia.

Hunc devote qui precatur
Voto regis non frustratur,
Protestante Gallia;
Dum pro rege supplicatur
Qui commisso premebatur,
Impetratur venia.

Mox nacturus premia
Pro mundi victoria,
Subiit celestia:
Quem celi militia
Duxit ad palatia 
Ubi pax et gloria.

Hujus festum veneremus,
Venerantes habeamus
Semper in memoria.
Hunc submisse flagitemus,
Flagitantes imploremus
Nobis dari gaudia,
Quo felices maneamus
Et cum Sanctis decantemus
Festivum alleluia ! Amen.

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

Let us joy with exultation,
And, exulting, celebration
Make to-day of Giles's rites,
Who, o'er things of earth victorious,
Seeks those joys of all most glorious,
And a crown in heavenly heights!

He, for piety most noted,
Full of holiness devoted,
Scion of a regal race.
Soon to be God's holy temple,
And earth's very bright example,
Was begotten of God's grace.

In his youth's first early flower,
What in riper age his power
Would be, he, through grace, foreshowed;  
Clothing to a beggar giving,
Medicine too, his health reviving.
He on him, long sick, bestowed.

When his parents died, o'erflowing
With the praise due to well-doing,
Selling all, with open hand
Needy strangers he endoweth,
And, himself a pauper, goeth,
Exiled, from his native land.

Sailors, tempest-tost and wearied,
To the port they seek are carried.
Rescued by his earnest prayer:
To a widow he restoreth
Whole her child, while she imploreth
A physician in despair.

Barrenness away is chased,
By fertility replaced.
And a plenteous harvest comes:
Sick men with new health are filled,
Dire diseases thence expelled,
Causing joy in mournful homes.

To a bare and barren waste.
Sore athirst, he then made haste,
To escape from man's abode.
Christ Himself was present there,
Since but scanty was the fare,
To provide His servant's food;
Lest of hunger he should die,
A wild animal drew nigh
To sustain the man of God.  

Hidden thus he fain would be,
But the royal family
Of his place of hiding hear:
Through his nurse discovered, there
At the monarch's earnest prayer
He a monastery near, -
Where he many a warrior bold.
In the cause of Christ enrolled,
By his side encamped, - doth rear.

Through this monarch's prayer, whoever
Prays to Giles devoutly never, -
France is witness, - prays in vain;
For, when for the king he prayeth
On whose mind a dark deed weigheth,
He his pardon doth obtain.

To receive those laurels soon
By his earthly triumphs won,
Hath this saint to heaven gone,
Whom the host about God's throne
To those mansions, where alone
Peace and glory are, led on.

Giles's feast then venerate we,
Venerating, consecrate we
In perpetual memory!
Humbly now let us entreat him,
And, entreating, supplicate him,
That true joys our portion be.
Where in bliss that endeth never
We may Alleluias ever
With the Saints sing joyfully! Amen.

29 August 2013


DECOLLATION of ST. JOHN the BAPTIST



Its significance, explained in the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

Precursorum summi regis 
Et preconem nove legis 
Celebrat Ecclesia. 
In hac luce tam festiva, 
Gaude, mater, et votiva 
Deprome preconia. 

Hujus ortum veneremur, 
Sed nec minus delectemur 
In ejus martyrio. 
Totus mundus sit jocundus! 
Nulli martyr hic secundus 
Virtute vel premio. 

Non est nostre pravitatis 
Virum tantas sanctitatis 
Laudare per omnia. 
Summa rei recitetur, 
Ut affectus inflammetur 
Ex ejus memoria. 

Non arundo levitatis, 
Sed columna veritatis 
Nulla palpat crimina; 
Scribas tangit et doctores, 
Vocans legis transgressores 
Vipere genimina. 

Arguebat hic Herodem, 
Nec terretur ab eodem 
Ligatus in carcere. 
Fert injuste Justus penam, 
Rem detestans tam obscenam 
Regis et adultere. 

Sevit in hunc vis tyranni: 
Laus accrescit hinc Johanni, 
Tyranno supplicium; 
Stultus servit sapienti, 
Quia Justus in presenti 
Purgatur per impium. 

In natalis sui cena 
Capitali plecti pena 
Johannem rex imperat. 
Spiculator saltatrici, 
Saltatrix dat genetrici 
Caput quod petierat. 

Crux presignat sublimari 
Christum, sed hunc minorari 
Capitis abscissio. 
Mors est justi pretiosa 
Quam precessit gloriosa 
Vite conversatio. 

Nos ad laudem tui, Christe, 
Precursoris et Baptiste  
Colimus solemnia. 
Tu nos ab hac mortis valle, 
Duc ad vitam recto calle 
Per ejus vestigia. Amen.  

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

John, the King of kings' precursor, 
John, the new Law's bold rehearser, 
Celebrates the Church to-day! 
Mother! on so glad a morning 
Joy, with praise his name adorning, 
And bring forth a votive lay! 

Let us keep his birthday rightly. 
But rejoice we no less brightly 
In the martyrdom he won. 
Show, Creation! exultation; 
Second is this martyrs station, 
In both mark and meed, to none!

'Tis not for our fallen nature 
To extol each single feature 
Of such special sanctity:  
Be the tale in sum repeated; 
That our love may kindle, heated 
With his blessed memory. 

He, no reed to bend and quiver, 
But Truth's pillar, firm for ever, 
Never calleth evil good; 
Scribes he strikes at and professors, 
Calling all the Law's transgressors 
Offspring of a viper's brood. 

Herod's sin he censured gravely; 
Bound by him, he bore up bravely. 
In a prison kept secure: 
Pains unjust the just endureth, 
Who such filthiness abhorreth 
In the king and paramour.

Tyrant power against him burneth: 
Whence John greater honour earneth, 
And the tyrant torments dure: 
Help to wisdom folly giveth, 
Since the just, while here he liveth, 
By the impious is made pure. 

At his birthday-feast at even 
Orders by the king are given, 
That the head of John be brought. 
She who danced that head receiveth 
From the officer, and giveth 
To her mother what she sought. 

Christ's increase the Cross foreshoweth, 
But, that less the Baptist groweth, 
His beheading shadows forth. 
Precious, if the life preceding 
Glory o'er that life were shedding, 
Is the righteous' death on earth. 

Christ! the better to adore Thee 
Through the Baptist sent before Thee,  
We this feast-day celebrate: 
Out of death's dark valley lead us 
Thither, where his steps precede us, 
And our path to life make straight! Amen.

28 August 2013


ST. AUGUSTINE of HIPPO



His life, according to the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

De profundis tenebrarum 
Mundo lumen exit clarum 
Et scintillat hodie: 
Olim quidem vas erroris, 
Augustinus vas honoris
Datus est Ecclesie. 

Verbo Dei dum obedit, 
Credit errans et accedit 
Ad baptismi gratiam; 
Quam in primis tuebatur, 
Verbis, scriptis exsecratur 
Erroris fallaciam. 

Firmans fidem, formans mores, 
Legis sacre perversores 
Verbi necat gladio; 
Obmutescit Fortunatus; 
Cedunt Manes et Donatus 
Tante lucis radio. 

Mundus marcens et inanis, 
Et doctrinis doctus vanis 
Per pestem hereticam, 
Multum cepit fructum ferre, 
Dum in fines orbis terre 
Fidem sparsit unicam. 

Clericalis vite formam 
Conquadravit juxta normam 
Cetus apostolici: 
Sui quippe nil habebant; 
Tanquam suum dividebant 
In commune clerici. 

Sic multorum pro salute 
Diu vivens in virtute 
Bona tandem senectute 
Dormivit cum patribus. 
In extremis nil legavit 
Qui suum nil estimavit, 
Immo totum reputavit 
Commune cum fratribus. 

Salve, gemma confessorum, 
Lingua Christi, vox celorum, 
Tuba vite, lux doctorum, 
Presul beatissime;
Qui te patrem venerantur, 
Te doctorem, consequantur 
Vitam in qua gloriantur 
Beatorum anime. Amen. 

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

From the depths of dark obscurest 
Comes forth light, which shines, the purest, 
On the earth to-day from heaven: 
Once a vessel, truth mistrusting, 
Now for honour made, Augustine  
To the Church of God was given. 

He, the Word of God obeying, 
Now believes, once from it straying, 
And for grace to baptism comes: 
He those errors, once commended, 
And in youth with words defended, 
Reprobates in written tomes. 

Faith confirming, precepts framing, 
Those, against Christ's law declaiming, 
Slays he with the Word's sharp sword: 
Fortunatus' utterance faileth. 
Manes with Donatus quaileth, 
'Neath such radiant light outpoured. 

Earth, made void and fast expiring, 
But vain doctrines' lore acquiring, 
Through the pest of heresy, 
To produce much fruit commences, 
As the one Faith he dispenses 
To its furthest boundary. 

Rules he made for priestly living; 
As their pattern, to them giving 
The Apostles' company: 
Nought their own these priests computed, 
But whate'er seemed theirs devoted 
To the whole community. 

Thus, for many's welfare striving, 
Many years in virtue living. 
At a good old age arriving, 
With his sires he slept at last. 
No bequests he left, when dying, 
Who, its ownership denying, 
Thought his wealth should be supplying 
All with whom his lot was cast. 

Hail, Confessors' gem bright burning! 
Tongue of Christ! heaven's voice of warning!  
Trump of life and light of learning! 
Prelate high amongst the blest! 
May those, Father! who revere thee, 
'Neath thy guidance that life near thee 
Gain, where joys the truest cheer thee 
In the Saints' all-glorious rest! Amen. 

24 August 2013


ST. BARTHOLOMEW



His life, according to the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:



Laudemus omnes inclyta
Bartolomei merita:
Cujus sacra solemnia
Nobis inspirant gaudia.

Per diem centum vicibus
Flexis orabat genibus,
Nec minus noctis tempore,
Toto prostratus corpore.

In ipsius presentia
Obmutescunt demonia;
Christi sonante buccina,
Falsa terrentur numina.

Non Astaroth illudere
Genti permisit misere;
Nec fallere, nec ledere,
Nec lesis potest parcere.

Gravi dignus supplicio
Cruciatur incendio;
Quanta fit ejus tortio
Berith patet indicio.

Per virtutes Apostoli
Patescit fraus diaboli.
Arte detecta subdoli,
Cultores cessant idoli.

Liber exultat Pseustius,
Hostis repressa rabie,
Credit et rex Polymnius,
Propter salutem filie.

Percussus as Apostolo
Demon mugit ex idolo:
"A vobis ultra, miseri,
Sacra non posco fieri.

"Me jam nil posse fateor,
Qui vix respirans torqueor;
Ante diem judicii
Penam ferens incendii."

Sic effatus disparuit
Et sigilla comminuit;
Sed nec presentes terruit,
Nam virtus crucis affuit.

Christi signat charatere
Fanum manus angelica:
Lesos absolvit libere
Potestate mirifica.

Mox pellem mutat India,
Tincta baptismi gratia;
Ruga carens et macula,
Celesti gaudet copula.

Currunt ergo pontifices
Ad Astyagem supplices,
Athletam jam emeritum
Poscentes ad interitum.

Sub Christi testimonio,
Caput objecit gladio;
Sic triumphavit hodie
Doctor et victor Indie.

Bartolomee, postula
Pro servis prece sedula,
Ut post vite curricula
Christum laudent in secula. Amen.

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

Come, let us all with praises now
Bartholomew's rare merits show,
Whose sacred feast-day here below
Makes all our hearts with gladness glow.

He used an hundred times a day
Upon his bended knees to pray;
Nor through the hours of night did he,
Laid prostrate, pray less frequently.

Wherever he was present here
The very devils dumb appear;
When he, Christ's trumpet, soundeth clear,
False gods and idols quake for fear.

He would not Ashtaroth allow
With lies an hapless race to cow:
Nor cheat, not hurt, them can he now,
Nor pity for his victims show.

He, worthy of grave punishment,
To writhe 'mid fires of hell is sent;
Where by what torments he is rent
From Berith's tale is evident.

Through this Apostle's might alone
The devil's fraud is fully shown;
And, when his cunning craft is known,
No followers more the idol own.

Pseustius exulted, when relieved
From demon's rage, held 'neath control:
And king Polymnius believed,
Because his daughter was made whole.

As 'neath the Apostle's stroke he lies,
The demon from the idol cries;
"From you, my wretched votaries!
I ask no further sacrifice.

"Powerless I am, I now declare,
Who scarce can breathe in torture here;
Before the judgment-day appear,
The punishment by fire I bear!"

He disappeared, as thus he spake,
And his own idol-image brake;
But made none present fear nor quake:
The Cross was there his place to take.

With Christ's own mark, the Cross's sign,
An angel's fingers mark the fane,
And thence, through wondrous power divine,
The vexed free absolution gain.

While through baptismal grace we see
India, so dark-hued formerly;
Without a spot, from wrinkle free,
Thus joined to heaven it joys to be.

Their high-priests to Astyages
Then hasten, and, upon their knees,
Demans that he at once will slay
The champion, victor in the fray.

To witness thus for Christ his Lord,
His head he bowed beneath the sword;
So he this day, as victor, shone,
Who India taught and India won.

In constant prayer God's throne before,
For us, Bartholomew! implore,
That we, when this life's course is o'er,
May sing Christ's praise for evermore! Amen.

22 August 2013


OCTAVE DAY of the ASSUMPTION



Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:



Gratulemur in hac die 
In qua Sancte fit Marie 
Celebris Assumpti; 
Dies ista, dies grata, 
Qua de terris est translata 
In celum cum gaudio. 

Super chores exaltata 
Angelorum, est prelata 
Cunctis celi civibus. 
In decore contemplatur 
Natum suum, et precatur 
Pro cunctis fidelibus. 

Expurgemus nostras sordes 
Ut illius, mundicordes, 
Assistamus laudibus; 
Si concordant linguis mentes, 
Aures ejus intendentes 
Erunt nostris vocibus. 

Nunc concordes hanc laudemus 
Et in laude proclamemus: 
Ave, plena gratia! 
Ave, virgo mater Christi, 
Que de sancti concepisti 
Spiritus presentia! 

Virgo sancta, virgo munda, 
Tibi nostre sit jocunda 
Vocis modulatio. 
Nobis opem fer desursum, 
Et post hujus vite cursum 
Tuo junge filio. 

Tu a seclis preelecta, 
Litterali diu tecta 
Fuisti sub cortice; 
De te, Christum genitura, 
Predixerunt in Scriptura 
Prophete, sed typice. 

Sacramentum patefactum 
Est, dum Verbum caro factum 
Ex te nasci voluit, 
Quod sua nos pietate 
A maligni potestate 
Potentur eripuit. 

Te per thronum Salomonis, 
Te per vellus Gedeonis 
Presignatam credimus  
Et pur rubum incombustum, 
Testamentum si vetustum, 
Mystice perpendiraus. 

Super vellus ros descendens 
Et in rubo flamma splendens, 
(Neutrum tamen leditur,) 
Fuit Christus carnem sumens, 
In te tamen non consumens 
Pudorem, dum gignitur. 

De te virga progressurum 
Florera mundo profuturum
Isaias cecinit, 
Flore Christum prefigurans 
Cujus virtus semper durans 
Nec cepit, nec desinit,  

Fontis vitas tu cisterna, 
Ardens, lucens es lucerna; 
Per te nobis lux superna 
Suum fudit radium; 
Ardens igne caritatis, 
Luce lucens castitatis, 
Lucem summe claritatis 
Mundo gignens Filium. 

O salutis nostre porta, 
Nos exaudi, nos conforta, 
Et a via nos distorta 
Revocare propera: 
Te vocantes de profundo, 
Navigantes in hoc mundo, 
Nos ab hoste furibundo 
Tua prece libera! 

Jesu, nostrum salutare, 
Ob meritum singulare 
Tuffi matris, visitare 
In hac valle nos dignare 
Tue dono gratie; 
Qui neminem vis damnari. 
Sic directe conversari 
Nos concedas in hoc mari, 
Ut post mortem munerari 
Digni simus requie! Amen. 
 
Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

Glad thanks let us Godward carry,
For the Assumption of St. Mary,
Which distinguishes this day:
'Tis a day with gladness mated,
When she was with joy translated
Up to heaven from earth away!

O'er angelic choirs uplifted,
She with higher rank was gifted
Than all heaven's own home-born sons.
In His beauty she surveyeth
There her Son, and there she prayeth
For all true and faithful ones.

Let us purge out sin's foul traces,
That we thus may in her praises
With hearts purified take part:
For her ears will listen ever
To our voices, if we never
Discord make 'twixt tongue and heart.

With one heart now let us bless her,
And, while blessing, thus address her,
"Hail, thou who such grace dost boast!
Hail to thee, Christ's mother-maiden!
With thy sacred burden laden
By the o'ershading Holy Ghost!

"Holy Virgin! spotless Virgin!
May our voices, upward surging.
Pleasant music to thee bear:
Bring us help, from heaven descended,
And, when this life's course is ended,
With thy Son unite us there !

"Thou, from all time pre-elected,
Wast for ages undetected
'Neath the letter of God's law,
Where, that thou should'st Christ be bearing.
Prophets of thee, truth declaring,
Spake in types in days of yore.

"Plain the mystery becometh.
When the Word our flesh assumeth,
Of thee willing to be born,
Who hath, in His love most tender,
Been for us a strong defender,
And our race from Satan torn.

"Type of thee we hold the gilded
Throne that Solomon erst builded,
Type too Gideon's fleece, to be, 
And the bush that never burneth:
If the mind aright discerneth
The old Scriptures' mystery.

"O'er the fleece the dewdrops flowing.
In the bush the bright flame glowing,
Though uninjured both remain,
Point to Christ, who flesh receiveth,
And who yet thy chasteness leaveth
Unimpaired by travail-pain.

"From thee, as the rod, there springeth
Fairest flower, Isaiah singeth,
Which shall all the world befriend;
Christ in this fair flower forecasting;
Him, whose virtue, ever lasting.
Ne'er began and ne'er shall end. 

"Cistern, whence life's fountain floweth!
Lamp, that with warm radiance gloweth!
'Tis through thee that heaven's light throweth
Down on us its rays so bright!
All the warmth of true love sharing,
Bright with Virgin light appearing,
To the world thine offspring bearing,
The effulgence of God's Light!

"O thou gate of man's salvation!
Hear us, give us consolation,
And without least hesitation
Call us back whene'er we stray:
From the deep we call thee, wailing;
Whilst on this world's ocean sailing.
Save us through thy prayer availing 
From our furious foe, we pray!

"Jesu, who art our salvation!
For the due commemoration
Of Thy mother's worth and station.
With Thy grace's free dotation
This our vale to visit deign:
Thou, who would'st that no man living
Perish, help to us be giving,
That, amid this ocean striving
To live well, at death arriving,
We may fitly rest obtain!" Amen.

17 August 2013


MIRA CALLIGRAPHIAE MONUMENTA

J. Paul Getty Museum:
In the 1500s, as printing became the most common method of producing books, intellectuals increasingly valued the inventiveness of scribes and the aesthetic qualities of writing. From 1561 to 1562, Georg Bocskay, the Croatian-born court secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, created this Model Book of Calligraphy in Vienna to demonstrate his technical mastery of the immense range of writing styles known to him.

About thirty years later, Emperor Rudolph II, Ferdinand's grandson, commissioned Joris Hoefnagel to illuminate Bocskay's model book. Hoefnagel added fruit, flowers, and insects to nearly every page, composing them so as to enhance the unity and balance of the page's design. It was one of the most unusual collaborations between scribe and painter in the history of manuscript illumination.

Because of Hoefnagel's interest in painting objects of nature, his detailed images complement Rudolph II's celebrated Kunstkammer, a cabinet of curiosities that contained bones, shells, fossils, and other natural specimens. Hoefnagel's careful images of nature also influenced the development of Netherlandish still life painting.

In addition to his fruit and flower illuminations, Hoefnagel added to the Model Book a section on constructing the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase.

















16 August 2013


SALZBURG MISSAL







































World Digital Library:
The five volumes of the monumental feast missal of the Salzburg basilica, now in the Bavarian State Library, is among the most lavishly ornate, and probably the most costly, medieval missals in the world. Commissioned by the Salzburg Prince-Archbishop Bernhard of Rohr (1418–87, reigned 1466–82), an art lover and bibliophile, the manuscript was completed by 1494 under the rule of his successors.
It contains 22 liturgical texts for the most important religious feasts to be celebrated in the Salzburg basilica. In the late 1450s, the Salzburg painter Ulrich Schreier began work on the magnificent miniatures, but soon after he had started Berthold Furtmeyr (c1435/40–c1501) was commissioned to continue. Furtmeyr decorated the volumes with splendid miniatures, and the missal is considered his mature artistic masterpiece. The extent of the work and the division of its 680 leaves into five volumes testify to the extraordinary demands of the commission.
Written in large textura script, each volume is [15 inches] tall and [11 inches] wide, convenient to handle and at the same time impressive. Each volume contains liturgical texts and brightly colored illuminations. The first volume includes the three holy masses: the birth of Christ on December 25th, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on January 1st, and the feast of Epiphany on January 6th. The second volume contains liturgies for the Purification of the Virgin, the Annunciation, the Deposition of St. Rupert, Holy Thursday, Easter, and the Ascension. The third volume includes the liturgies of Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul, and the Assumption. The fourth volume contains the liturgies of St. Augustine, the Nativity of Mary, the Translation of St. Rupert, the Kermis of the Salzburg basilica, and the Translation of St. Virgil. In the fifth volume, the Solemnity of All Saints, St. Martin’s Day, and the Deposition of St. Virgil on November 27th complete the liturgical year.

15 August 2013


ASSUMPTION of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY



Its significance, explained in the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:



Ave, mundi spes, Maria,
Ave, mitis, ave, pia,
Ave, plena gratia;
Ave, virgo singularis,
Que per rubum designaris
Non passum incendia.

Ave, rosa
Speciosa,
Ave, Jesse virgula,
Cujus fructus
Nostri luctus
Relaxavit vincula!

Ave, cujus viscera,
Contra carnis federa,
Ediderunt filium,
Ave, carens simili,
Mundo diu flebili
Reparasti gaudium.

Ave, virginum lucerna,
Per quam fulsit lux superna
His quos umbra tenuit.
Ave, Virgo de qua nasci
Et de cujus lacte pasci
Rex celorum voluit.

Ave, gemma, celi luminarium,
Ave, sancti Spiritus sacrarium.

O quam mirabilis
Et quam laudabilis
Hec est virginitas,
In qua per Spiritum
Facta Paraclitum
Fulsit fecunditas!

O quam sancta, quam serena,
Quam benigna, quam amena
Esse Virgo creditur,
Per quam servitus finitur,
Porta celi aperitur,
Et libertas redditur!

O castitatis lilium,
Tuum precare filium,
Qui salus est humilium,
Ne nos pro nostro vitio,
In flebili judicio
Subjiciat supplicio;

Sed nos tua sancta prece
Mundans a peccati fece,
Collocet in lucis domo:
Amen dicat omnis homo! 


Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

Mary, hail! the world's hope truly!
Hail, so gentle! hail, so holy!
Hail, full filled with every grace!
Virgin, hail! o'er all elected!
Who art by that bush depicted,
On which fire could leave no trace!

Hail, thou fair one!
Rose of Sharon!
Rod of Jesse! hail to thee,
Whose fruit ever
Doth deliver
Man from bonds of misery!

Hail to thee, who didst produce,
Contrary to nature's use,
From within thy womb a Son!
Hail to thee who hast no peers!
Who for earth so long in tears
Hast once more true gladness won!

Hail, thou lamp to virgins given!
Through which shone the light of heaven
Unto those in darkness laid!
Virgin, hail ! who first to bear Him,
And, when born, with milk to rear Him,
By the King of Heaven wast bade!

Hail, thou bright gem that lightest up the sky!  
Hail, the blest Spirit's holiest sanctuary!

How unlike human ways,
How worthy all our praise,
Is that virginity,
With the sweet Spirit's aid
A fruitful parent made,
Brilliant exceedingly!

O how lovely, O how holy,
O how kind, how charming truly,
Is that Virgin held to be
Through whom bondage here is ended.
Heaven's bright portal wide extended.
And renewed man's liberty!

O chastity's pure lily! speak,
And from thy Son in worship seek,
Who is the Saviour of the meek,
That He of all our misdeeds ne'er
May in the tearful judgment there
Cause us the punishment to bear;

But at thy devout petition
Cleanse us from sin's foul condition,
And convey us to light's dwelling:
With "Amen" all lips be swelling!

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