Rorate Caeli

Appeal: Help keep the Roman Forum going

Many of our readers are aware of the critical work our friend, Dr. John Rao, and The Roman Forum  do every year on behalf of the Church and traditional Catholics everywhere. Their work is more important today than ever before, for obvious reasons.

The last time we implored you, our reader, to help, we helped raise over $10,000 to keep the Forum going. We are asking now once again. Please read below, and please click here to donate whatever you can.

The Roman Forum
11 Carmine St., Apt. 2C
New York, NY 10014
Dear Friends of the Roman Forum
Funds continue to be needed for Gardone because we have eleven scholarship candidates from among the eighty Summer Symposium participants--future seminarians, and students---none of whom has sufficient means for attending. Each of them needs $1,500 to be able to attend. Allow me to summarize why I think attendance is so important.

Event: Pilgrimage to ICKSP shrine in Preston, England, 5th May

The Latin Mass Society with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is organizing a pilgrimage to the magnificent historic church of the English Martyrs in Preston, Lancashire, on Saturday 5th May. (The national feast of the Martyrs of England and Wales falls on 4th May.)

Don't whitewash history: Paul VI was front and center the creator of the New Mass of Paul VI

Sandro Magister, the great Vaticanist of our age, has an article today with important excerpts from a biography of Paul VI in which it is claimed that he was almost a victim of the liturgical revolution, a bystander who had almost no control over what Bugnini did at the Consilium for the application of the liturgical reform.

Sorry, we don't buy that.

Saying Paul VI had little responsibility for the New Mass of Paul VI is like saying Louis XIV had no responsibility for Versailles, since he was not a mason and didn't actually build it with his hands.

Give us a break! Paul VI was the driving force of the liturgical reform. He was front and center the man responsible for it. Of course he was queasy about it: He was the executioner responsible for taking the traditional Roman liturgy to the scaffold, and even executioners feel queasy about doing their job.

All this whitewashing of history is taking place just because of the absurd canonization of Paul VI, which has been steamrolled against the sentiment of the faithful, who never had any devotion for this lousy pope and his disastrous pontificate. In order to implement his liturgical revolution, he led the persecution of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who only wanted to preserve the minimum of Tradition.

It is Lefebvre who should be canonized, not his persecutor.

Event: The FSSP at 30

The Very Reverend Josef Bisig, FSSP, is the co-founder and first superior of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, currently serving as the rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska, in the U.S.

Father Bisig will be in Washington, D.C., later this month to serve as a deacon at the throne for the solemn pontifical Mass at the basilica shrine on 28 April. [Coverage here, here and here.]  While in the region, he will offer a Missa Solemnis in northern Virginia on 29 April followed by delivering a talk on the former indult Mass, the creation of the Fraternity and the TLM events that led up to these historic benchmarks.

Event: Upcoming Concerts in Denver (April 21-22 and 29) to Feature Premiere of New Polyphonic Mass

The Vittoria Ensemble, under the direction of Rick Wheeler, is proud to announce the upcoming premiere, at three concerts in the Denver, Colorado area, of a new polyphonic Mass: the Missa Honorificentia Populi Nostri, composed in 2017 by Rorate contributor Dr Peter Kwasniewski.

Guest Op-Ed: Carrying the joys of Easter into daily life

By Veronica A. Arntz

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui paschalia festa peregimus; haec, te largiente, moribus et vita teneamus. Per Dominum nostrum.—Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who have celebrated the Paschal Feast, may, be Thy bounty, retain its fruits in our daily habits and behavior. Through our Lord.

After the glories of Easter week, these words of the collect of Low Sunday, or Domenica in albis, give us the direction for the rest of the liturgical year. Through the grace of God, we are meant to carry the fruits of the time we spent praising and thanking God during Easter week into our daily habits and lives.

Pontifical High Mass at D.C. basilica shrine, new details

In just two and a half weeks, a solemn pontifical Mass at the throne will be offered in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  This will be only the second such Mass there since 1969.  The first one was in the upper church of the basilica shrine in 2010, with over 3,500 people filling the largest church in North America.

Rorate announced the basics about the planned 28 April 2018 Mass back in July and announced the celebrant (Archbishop Sample) earlier this year. The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy -- the sponsors and organizers of the Mass -- have now shared several new details, including the planned music (Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony, including Father Victoria's "Missa Salve Regina") and sacred ministers (Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King and diocesan clergy).  Dozens of priests and seminarians will be in choir, and women religious will be in the front pews. The organization's latest news release is here.  The event page for the Mass is here.

Cardinal Burke to give speech in Bratislava

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will be giving a lecture on the indissolubility of marriage on April 27th at 6 P.M. in the Malá Scéna Theater in Bratislava, Slovakia (Dostojevskeho rad 7), as part of the Bratislavské Hanusove Dni. The lecture will be held in English, with a simultaneous translation into Slovak. The Italian philosopher and defender of Amoris Laetitia, Rocco Buttiglione will also be speaking at this year’s Bratislavské Hanusove Dni. 

Event: Pro Missa Tridentina Annual General Meeting, Bamberg, Germany, April 21, with Dom Josef Vollberg and Dr Peter Kwasniewski

St Jakob, one of the oldest churches in Bamberg
Pro Missa Tridentina, a group of Catholics in Germany dedicated to preserving and fostering the liturgical heritage of the Church, is pleased to announce its annual general meeting on April 21, 2018. Dom Josef Vollberg, abbot of Mariawald, will be the celebrant of the Pontifical High Mass. Dr. Peter Kwasniewski will be the featured speaker. Information below, in German and in English. All events are open to the public except for the lunch on Saturday, which requires registration with PMT.

De Mattei - Tu es Petrus: True devotion to the Chair of Saint Peter

On Saturday April 8th 2018, at Deerfield (Illinois) at the invitation of Catholic Family News, and on Monday April 10th at Norwalk in Connecticut, as a guest of The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, Professor Roberto de Mattei,  delivered addresses on the theme: Tu es Petrus: true devotion to the Chair of  St. Peter.   Here is the text of his conferences.

Tu es Petrus: True devotion to the Chair of Saint Peter

We find ourselves before one of the most critical moments that the Church has ever experienced in her history, but I am convinced that true devotion to the Chair of Saint Peter can offer us the weapons to come out of this crisis, victorious.

True devotion. Because there is false devotion to the Chair of Peter, just as – according to Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort – there is a true and false devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

The promise of Our Lord to Simon Peter in the city of Caesarea Philippi is clear: Tu es Petruset super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam (Matt. 16: 15-19).

“Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The primacy of Peter constitutes the bedrock on which Jesus Christ instituted His Church, and on which She will remain solid until the end of time. The promise of the Church’s victory, however, is also the announcement of a war. A war, which, until the end of time, will be waged by hell against the Church. At the center of this fierce war is the Papacy. The enemies of the Church, throughout the course of history, have always sought to destroy the Primacy of Peter, because they have understood that it comprises the visible foundation of the Mystical Body. The visible foundation, because the Church has a primary and invisible foundation which is Jesus Christ, of Whom, Peter is the Vicar.

True devotion to the Chair of Peter is, under this aspect, devotion to the visibility of the Church, and constitutes, as Father Faber observers, an essential part of the Christian spiritual life. [1]

Sermon for Quasimodo Sunday: My Lord and My God!

by Father Richard Cipolla

And Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!.” (John 20:28)
He arrived late on purpose, about five minutes, but he was not the only one that was late.  He found a seat in the back of the church so he could leave right way before Communion, not that he cared if anyone saw him leave. It made no difference to him.  He was there only out of a sense of obligation to his mother and father.  This was the once a year church visit.  It was usually on Easter, but he had heard that there was still great snow in Colorado, so he made a deal with his mother that instead of Easter he would go on the Sunday after Easter, and so here he was.

A homily from Silverstream Priory for Low Sunday — Ireland's Eleventh Hour

(Our thanks to Dom Mark Kirby, O.S.B., for his permission to share this homily with our readers.)

Hæc est victória, quæ vincit mundum, fides nostra.
This is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. (1 John 5:4)

The Primate of All Ireland, His Grace, the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Eamon Martin, enjoins all priests today to address the great question that very soon will be put to the people of Ireland. By God’s liturgical providence, a number of things converge in today’s Holy Mass to offer us, at this crossroads in Irish history, both light and truth.

EVENT: Roberto de Mattei in Norwalk, Connecticut - Monday, April 9

The Society of St Hugh of Cluny and the parish of St Mary, Norwalk will be sponsoring a lecture by Prof. Roberto de Mattei at the church of St Mary, Norwalk, CT. The title of Prof. de Mattei’s presentation is:
Tu es Petrus: True Devotion to the Chair of St. Peter
The lecture will follow a festive orchestral Mass in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation.
Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation: 6:00 PM

Lecture by Prof. de Mattei: 7:30 PM
A Reception will follow.
All are welcome – no charge!

In this presentation  Prof. de Mattei will discuss  the Papacy as established by Christ, the real "authentic magisterium," the Pope's authority, the errors of Papalotry, and what must be our reception and reaction to the present Pontificate.

De Mattei: Pope Francis and the Eternal Destiny of Souls

Roberto de Mattei 
Corrispondenza Romana
April 4, 2018


The purpose of the Church is the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Salvation from what? Eternal damnation, which is the destiny awaiting those who die in mortal sin. For the salvation of men Our Lord offered His Redeeming Passion. Our Lady reminded us of this at Fatima: the first secret, conveyed to the three little shepherds on July 13th 1917,  began with the terrifying vision of a sea of hell-fires. If it hadn’t been for Our Lady’s promise to take them to Heaven - writes Sister Lucy -  the visionaries would have died of shock and fright. Our Lady’s words are upsetting and severe: “You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” A year before, the Angel of Fatima had taught the three little shepherds this prayer: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls into Heaven especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”

A Rare Moment of Clarity from Cardinal Lehmann

Cardinal Lehmann

H.E. Karl Cardinal Lehmann, who went to his eternal reward on March 11, was one of the most influential German prelates of the past few decades. A former assistant to Karl Rahner, Lehmann’s interpretation of the “spirit” of Vatican II was largely implemented in Germany. As president of the German Bishops’ Conference from 1987–2008, Lehmann accelerated the pace of the development of the German Church towards ever greater conformity to the spirit of the age. From a traditionalist point of view, his attempts at reconciling the German Church to the modern world were an unequivocal disaster, and a betrayal of his sacred duty as a successor of the Apostles. Remarkably, Lehmann’s last will and testament, written in 2009, but not published till after his death last month, can almost be read as admitting as much. Lehmann writes:

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 85 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Special Easter Week Request to Priests: Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100! 

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free for anyone to use. **

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

EX ORIENTE LUX -- Happy Easter!

Osanna, Sanctus Deus Sabaoth,
superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!

L'anima d'ogne bruto e delle piante
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e il moto delle luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira
la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora
vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.

c. VII
Hosanna holy God of Sabaoth,/ abundantly illumining with thy brightness/ the blessed fires of these kingdoms ... 
The soul of every brute and of each plant,/ The ray and motion of the sacred lights,/ Draw from complexion with meet power endued.
But this our life the Supreme Good inspires/ Immediate, and enamours of itself;/ So that our wishes rest forever here. 
And hence thou mayst by inference conclude/ Our resurrection certain, if thy mind/ Consider how the human flesh was framed,/ When both our parents at the first were made. 
(Transl. H.F.Cary, adap.) - ...Our regular Paschal feature...

Scalfari and the Pope: A farce that has to end

Riccardo Cascioli
La Nuova Bussola Italiana
March 30, 2018

Risultato immagine per scalfari and pope francis images

The Pope who denies the existence of Hell. A thing of such magnitude that was then spread by newspapers throughout the world for hours and hours before the Holy See issued a denial of  Eugenio Scalfari’s words. Yet some things don’t quite add up in the Press Office’s communiqué...

What must a poor Catholic think, when connecting to Internet on Holy Thursday morning he finds that the Pope has told an old journalist friend that hell doesn’t exist and that the souls who don’t repent simply disappear? A Pope who denies two truths of the Faith: Hell and the immortality of the soul.  It cannot be, it has never happened in the history of the Church. And right at the beginning of the Paschal Triduum, when we relive the Sacrifice of Our Lord, Who came to save us from sin. Diabolical timing. If Hell doesn’t exist neither does salvation.   It matters little that it is not a magisterial text and that it’s the ‘usual’ article by the founder of the Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari, who transcribed the sense of a conversation with Pope Francis at Santa Marta. The statement is of unprecedented magnitude and devastating consequences.

Saint Alphonsus in Holy Week:
VII- Sabbato Sancto (Holy Saturday): The Lady on Calvary

for Holy Saturday

Mary Present on Calvary at the Death of Jesus


There stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother. We observe in this the Queen of Martyrs, a sort of martyrdom more cruel than any other martyrdom, - that of a mother so placed as to behold an innocent Son executed upon a gibbet of infamy: “she stood.” Ever since Jesus was apprehended in the garden, He has been abandoned by His disciples; but Mary abandons Him not. She stays with Him till she sees Him expire before her eyes: “she stood close by.”

Mothers, in general, flee away from the presence of their sons when they see them suffer, and cannot render them any assistance; content enough would they be themselves to endure their sons’ sufferings; and, therefore, when they see them suffering without the power of succoring them, they have not the strength to endure so great a pain, and consequently flee away, and go to a distance. Not so Mary. She sees her Son in torments; she see that the pains are taking His life away; but she flees not, nor moves to a distance. On the contrary, she draws near to the cross whereon her Son is dying.

O sorrowing Mary! Disdain me not for a companion to assist at the death of thy Jesus and mine.


She stood near the cross. The cross, then, is the bed whereon Jesus leaves His life; a bed of suffering, where this afflicted Mother is watching Jesus, all wounded as He is with scourges and with thorns. Mary observes how this her poor Son, suspended from those three iron nails, finds neither a position nor repose. She would wish to give Him some relief; she would wish, at least, since He has to die, to have Him die in her arms. But nothing of all this is allowed her.

Ah, cross! She says, give me back my Son! Thou art a malefactor’s gibbet; whereas my Son is innocent.

But grieve not thyself, O Mother. It is the will of the Eternal Father that the cross should not give Jesus back to thee until after He has died and breathed His last. O Queen of Sorrows! Obtain for me sorrow for my sins.


There stood by the cross His Mother. Meditate, my soul, upon Mary, as she stands at the foot of the cross watching her Son. Her Son! But, O God, what a Son! A Son Who was, at one and the same time, her Son and her God! A son Who had from all eternity chosen her to be His Mother, and had given her a preference in His love before all mankind and all the angels! A Son so beautiful, so holy, and so lovely; A Son Who had been ever obedient unto her; a Son Who was her one and only love, being as He was both her Son and God. And this Mother had to see such a Son die of pain before her very eyes!

O Mary, O Mother, most afflicted of all mothers! I compassionate thy heart, more especially when thou didst behold Jesus surrender Himself up upon the cross, open His mouth , and expire; and, for love of this thy Son, now dead for my salvation, do thou recommend unto Him my soul.

And do Thou, my Jesus, for the sake of the merits of Mary’s sorrows, have mercy upon me, and grant me the grace of dying for Thee, as Thou hast died for me: “May I die, O my Lord” (will I say unto Thee, with St. Francis of Assisi), “for love of the love of Thee, Who hast vouchsafed to die for love of the love of me.”
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The Ascetical Works : The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
Meditations for Holy Week

[Contributor Francesca Romana]

De Mattei: “Europe will be Muslim, if it is the will of Allah”

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
March 28, 2018
Image result for muslim immigration in Europe images

For years now the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been officially celebrating May 29th 1453 which saw the conquest of Constantinople by Mohamed II, along with the date of August 26th 1071, when the Seljuks of Alp Arslān defeated the Byzantine army at Manzikert and founded the first Turkish State in Anatolia.

Saint Alphonsus in Holy Week:
VI - Feria Sexta in Parasceve (Good Friday): Hanging Dead from the Cross

for Good Friday

Jesus hanging Dead upon the Cross


Raise up thine eyes, my soul, and behold that crucified man. Behold the Divine Lamb now sacrificed upon that altar of pain. Consider that He is the Beloved Son of the Eternal Father; and consider that He is dead for the love that He has borne thee. See how He holds His arms outstretched to embrace thee; His head bent down to give the kiss of peace; His side open to receive thee into His heart. What dost thou say? Does not a God so loving deserve to be loved? Listen to the words He addresses to thee from that cross: “Look, my son, and see whether there be any one in the world who has loved thee more than I have.”

No, my God, there is none that has loved me more than Thou. But what return shall I ever be able to make to a God Who has been willing to die for me? What love from a creature will ever be able to recompense the love of his Creator, Who died to gain his love?


O God! Had the vilest one of mankind suffered for me what Jesus Christ has suffered, could I ever refrain from loving him? Were I to see any man torn to pieces with scourges and fastened to a cross in order to save my life, could I ever bear it in mind without feeling a tender emotion of love? And were there to be brought to me the portrait of him, as he lay dead upon the cross, could I behold it with an eye of indifference, when I considered: “This man is dead, tortured thus, for love of me. Had he not loved me, he would not so have died.”

Ah, my Redeemer, O love of my soul! How shall I ever be able to forget Thee? How shall I ever be able to think that my sins have reduced Thee so low, and not always bewail the wrongs that I have done to Thy goodness? How shall I ever be able to see Thee dead of pain on this cross for love of me, and not love Thee to the uttermost of my power?


O my dear Redeemer! Well do I recognize in these Thy wounds, and in Thy lacerated body, as it were through so many lattices, the tender affection which Thou does retain for me. Since, then, in order to pardon me, Thou has not pardoned Thyself, oh, look upon me now with the same love wherewith Thou didst one day look upon me from the cross, whilst Thou wert dying for me.

Look upon me and enlighten me, and draw my whole heart to Thyself, that so, from this day forth, I may love none else but Thee. Let me not ever be unmindful of Thy death. Thou didst promise that, when raised up upon the cross, Thou wouldst draw all our hearts to Thee. Behold this heart of mine, which, made tender by Thy death, and enamored of Thee, desires to offer no further resistance to Thy calls. Oh, do Thou draw it to Thyself, and make it all Thine own! Thou hast died for me, and I desire to die for Thee; and if I continue to live, I will live for Thee alone.

O pains of Jesus, O ignominies of Jesus, O death of Jesus, O love of Jesus! Fix yourselves within my heart, and let the remembrance of you abide there always, to be continually smiting me, and inflaming me with love.

I love Thee, O infinite goodness; I love Thee, O infinite love. Thou art and shalt ever be, my one and only love.

O Mary, Mother of love, do thou obtain me love.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The Ascetical Works : The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
Meditations for Holy Week

[Contributor Francesca Romana]

"THERE IS NO HELL" -- new Francis revelation to atheist journalist just in time for Good Friday

In another informal interview with Italian atheist journalist (and founder of liberal newspaper Repubblica) Eugenio Scalfari, published today, Pope Francis reveals that "hell does not exist".

His exact words below (full interview behind paywall here, most important excerpt below):

Saint Alphonsus in Holy Week:
V - Feria Quinta in Cœna Domini (Holy Thursday): Consummatum est

for Holy Thursday

Jesus dies upon the Cross


Behold how the loving Saviour is now drawing nigh unto death. Behold, O my soul, those beautiful eyes growing dim, that face become all pallid, that heart all but ceasing to beat, and that sacred body now disposing itself to the final surrender of its life.

After Jesus had received the vinegar, He said: It is consummated. He then passed over in review before His eyes all the sufferings that He had undergone during His life, in the shape of poverty, contempt and pain; and then offering them all up to the Eternal Father, He turned to Him and said, It is finished. My Father, behold by the sacrifice of my death, the work of the world’s redemption, which Thou hast laid upon me, is now completed. And it seems as though, turning Himself again to us, He repeated, It is finished; as if He would have said, O men, O men, love me, for I have done all; there is nothing more that I can do in order to gain your love.


Behold now, lastly, Jesus dies. Come, ye angels of heaven, come and assist at the death of your King. And thou, O sorrowing Mother Mary, do thou draw nearer to the cross, and fix thine eyes yet more attentively on thy Son, for He is now on the point of death. Behold Him, after having commended His spirit to His Eternal Father, He calls upon death, giving it permission to come to take away His life. Come, O death, says He to it, be quick and perform thine office; slay Me, and save my flock. The earth now trembles, the graves open, the veil of the temple is rent in twain. The strength of the dying Saviour is failing through the violence of the sufferings; the warmth of His body is gradually diminishing; He gives up His body to death: He bows His head down upon His breast, He opens His mouth and dies: And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost. The people behold Him expire, and observing that he no longer moves, they say, He is dead, He is dead; and to them the voice of Mary makes echo, while she too says, “Ah, my Son, Thou art, then dead.”


He is dead! O God! Who is it that is dead? The author of life, the only-begotten Son of God, the Lord of the world, - He is dead. O death! Thou wert the amazement of heaven and of all nature. O infinite love! A God to sacrifice His blood and His life! And for whom? For His ungrateful creatures; dying in an ocean of sufferings and shame, in order to pay the penalty due to their sins. Ah infinite goodness! O infinite love!

O my Jesus! Thou art, then, dead, on account of the love which Thou has borne me! Oh, let me never again live, even for a single moment, without loving Thee! I love Thee, my chief and only good; I love Thee, My Jesus, - dead for me! O my sorrowing Mother Mary, do thou help a servant of thine, who desires to love Jesus.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The Ascetical Works : The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
Meditations for Holy Week

[Contributor Francesca Romana]

The Look: Betrayal and Forgiveness

Risultato immagine per painting peter's denial the look

Peter's Denial by Carl H. Bloch (1834-1890)

The Meaning of the Look
I think that look of Christ might seem to say—
“Thou Peter! art thou then a common stone
Which I at last must break my heart upon
For all God’s charge to his high angels may
Guard my foot better? Did I yesterday
Wash thy feet, my beloved, that they should run
Quick to deny me ‘neath the morning sun?
And do thy kisses, like the rest, betray?
The cock crows coldly. —GO, and manifest
A late contrition, but no bootless fear!
For when thy final need is dreariest,
Thou shalt not be denied, as I am here;
My voice to God and angels shall attest,
Because I KNOW this man, let him be clear.”

From "The Look" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)

Event: Dominican Rite High Mass, Bloomington, Indiana, April 5th

Saint Alphonsus in Holy Week:
IV - Feria Quarta (Holy Wednesday): Christ speaks from the Cross

for Holy (Spy) Wednesday

The Words spoken by Jesus upon the Cross


While Jesus upon the cross is being outraged by that barbarous populace, what is it that He is doing? He is praying for them, and saying, O My Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. O Eternal Father, hearken to this Thy Beloved Son, Who, in dying, prays Thee to forgive me too, who have outraged Thee so much. Then Jesus, turning to the good thief, who prays Him to have mercy upon him, replies: Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise. Oh, how true is that which the Lord spake by the mouth of Ezekiel, that when a sinner repents of his faults, He, as it were, blots out from His memory, all the offences of which he has been guilty: But if the wicked do penance…I will not remember all his iniquities.

O would that it were true, my Jesus, that I had never offended Thee! But, since the evil is done, remember no more, I pray Thee, the displeasures that I have given Thee; and, by that bitter death which Thou hast suffered for me, take me to Thy Kingdom after my death; and, while I live, let Thy love reign within my soul.


Jesus, in His agony upon the cross, with every part of His body full of torture, and deluged with affliction in His soul, seeks for someone to console Him. He looks toward Mary; but that sorrowing Mother only adds by her grief to His affliction. He casts His eyes around Him and there is no one that gives Him comfort. He asks His Father for consolation; but the Father, beholding Him covered with all the sins of men, even He too abandons Him; and then it was that Jesus cried out with a loud voice: Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me? My God, My God, why has Thou also abandoned Me? This abandonment by the Eternal Father caused the death of Jesus Christ to be more bitter than any that has ever fallen the lot of either penitent or martyr; for it was a death of perfect desolation, and bereft of every kind of relief.

O my Jesus! How is it that I have been able to live so long a time in forgetfulness of Thee? I return Thee thanks that Thou has not been unmindful of me. Oh, I pray Thee ever to keep me in mind of the bitter death which Thou has embraced for love of me, that so I may never be unmindful of the love which Thou hast borne me!


Jesus then, knowing that His sacrifice was now completed, said that He was thirsty: He said, I thirst. And the executioners then reached up to His mouth a sponge, filled with vinegar and gall.

But, Lord, how is it that Thou does make no complaint of those many pains which are taking away Thy life, but complainst only of thirst?

Ah, I understand Thee, my Jesus; Thy thirst is a thirst of love; because Thou lovest us, Thou dost desire to be beloved by us. Oh, help me to drive away from my heart all affection which are not for Thee; make me to love none other but Thee, and to have no other desire save that of doing Thy will.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The Ascetical Works : The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
Meditations for Holy Week

[Contributor Francesca Romana]

De Mattei: The historical background of the abortion law in Italy

Abortion in Italy forty years later (1978-2018)
Roberto de Mattei 
Corrispondenza Romana 
March 21, 2018

Recently the attention of the media in Italy has been focused on the fortieth anniversary of Aldo Moro’s kidnapping. On March 16th 1978, in an ambush on Via Fani in Rome, the Christian Democrat politician was kidnapped and his bodyguards murdered by the Red Brigade. On May 9th, after a captivity of 55 days, his body was found riddled with bullets in the boot of a car in Via Caetani. No-one has yet to recall though, that, during that same springtime of 1978, the law n.194 on abortion was debated and approved by the Italian Parliament and that since then, it has been the cause of six million victims in our country. 

PCED permission for pre-1955 Holy Week, photos

As some readers may know, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" has given new permission to a handful of traditional priestly societies to offer Holy Week liturgies this month as they existed before the massive Pius XII / Archbishop Bugnini reforms of 1955.

The permission, confirmed by Rorate via several sources at the priestly societies, is for a limited time on an experimental basis.  In other words, if the Masses are offered well, with proper education and preparation beforehand, then perhaps this indult could lead to something larger in the future.

Traditional (and conservative) Catholic blogs were asked to hold off on reporting this until after Palm Sunday. (You may have noticed, however, several posts on the pre-1955 Holy Week in general.) The main goal, it seems, from the priests organizing this week's liturgies is to do them well -- and not necessarily cause too much of a global media fuss. Pastoral decisions were also made, and compromises such as using Pope Benedict's reformed Prayer for the Jews were decided upon, to avoid liberal advocacy group-driven complaints that caused a media stir in 2008 following Summorum Pontificum.

Early reports show things went well two days ago. We are pleased to publish a selection of photos from Palm Sunday 2018:

Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter; Kansas City, Kansas

FSSP; Los Angeles, California

FSSP; Los Angeles, California

Saint Alphonsus in Holy Week:
III - Feria Tertia (Holy Tuesday): Consumed for Love

for Holy Tuesday

Jesus upon the Cross


Jesus on the cross! Behold the proof of the love of a God; behold the final manifestation of Himself, which the Word Incarnate makes upon this earth, - a manifestation of suffering indeed, but, still more, a manifestation of love. St. Francis of Paola, as he was one day mediating upon the Divine Love in the person of Jesus Crucified, rapt in ecstasy, exclaimed aloud three times, in these words, “O God – Love! O God- Love! O God - Love!” wishing hereby to signify that we shall never be able to comprehend how great has been the Divine love towards us, in willing to die for love of us.


O my beloved Jesus! If I behold Thy body upon this cross, nothing do I see but wounds and blood; and, then, if I turn my attention to Thy heart, I find it to be all afflicted and in sorrow. Upon this cross I see it written that Thou art a king; but what tokens of majesty dost Thou retain? I see not any royal throne save this tree of infamy; no other purple do I behold save Thy wounded and bloody flesh; no other crown save this band of thorns that tortures Thee. Ah, how it all declares Thee to be king of love! Yes, for this cross, these nails, this crown and these wounds are, all of them, tokens of love.


Jesus, from the cross, asks us not so much for our compassion as for our love; and, if even He does ask our compassion, He asks it solely in order that the compassion may move us to love Him. As being infinite goodness, He already merits all our love; but when placed upon the cross, it seems as if He sought for us to love Him, at least out of compassion.

Ah, my Jesus, and who is there that will not love Thee, while confessing Thee to be the God that Thou art, and contemplating Thee upon the cross? Oh, what arrows of fire dost Thou not dart at souls from that throne of love! Oh, how many hearts hast Thou not drawn to Thyself from that cross of Thine! O wounds of my Jesus! O beautiful furnaces of love! Admit me, too, amongst yourselves to burn, not indeed with that fire of hell which I have deserved, but with holy flames of love for that God Who has been willing to die for me, consumed by torments. O my dear Redeemer! Receive back a sinner, who, sorrowing for having offended Thee, is now earnestly longing to love Thee. I love Thee, I love Thee, O infinite goodness, O infinite love.

O Mary, Mother of beautiful love! Obtain for me a greater measure of love, to consume me for that God Who has died consumed for love of me.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The Ascetical Works : The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
Meditations for Holy Week

[Contributor Francesca Romana]

Saint Alphonsus in Holy Week:
II - Feria Secunda (Holy Monday): Hammers and Nails

for Holy Monday

Jesus is placed on the Cross


No sooner had the Redeemer arrived, all suffering and wearied out, at Calvary, than they strip Him of His clothes, - that now stick to His wounded flesh, - and then cast Him down upon the cross. Jesus stretches forth His holy hands, and at the same time offers His life to the Eternal Father, and prays of Him to accept it for the salvation of mankind. In the nest place, the executioners savagely lay hold of the nails and hammers, and, nailing His hands and His feet, they fasten Him to the cross.

O ye Sacred Hands, which by a mere touch have so often healed the sick, wherefore are they now nailing you upon the cross? O Holy Feet, which have encountered so much fatigue in your search after us lost sheep, wherefore do they now transfix you with so much pain? When a nerve is wounded in the human body, so great is the suffering, that it occasions convulsions and fits of fainting: what, then, must not the suffering of Jesus have been, in having nails driven through His hands and feet, parts which are most full of nerves and muscles!

O my sweet Saviour! So much did the desire of seeing me saved and of gaining my love cost Thee! And I have so often ungratefully despised Thy love for nothing; but now I prize it above every good.


The Cross is now raised up together with the Crucified, and they let it fall down with a shock into the hole that had been made for it in the rock. It is then made firm by stones and pieces of wood; and Jesus remains hanging upon it, to leave His life thereon. The afflicted Saviour, now about to die upon that bed of pain, and finding Himself in such desolation and misery, seeks for someone to console Him, but finds none.

Surely, my Lord, those men will at least compassionate Thee, now that Thou are dying! But no; I hear some outraging Thee, some ridiculing Thee, and others blaspheming Thee, saying to Thee, “Come down from the cross if Thou art the Son of God. He has saved others, and now He cannot save Himself.”

Alas, you barbarians, He is now about to die, according as you desire; at least torment Him not with your reviling.


See how much thy dying Redeemer is suffering upon that gibbet! Each member suffers its own pain, and the one cannot come to the help of the other. Alas, how does He experience in every moment the pains of death! Well may it be said that in those three hours during which Jesus was suffering His agony upon the cross, He suffered as many deaths as were the moments that He remained there. He find not there even the slightest relief or repose, whether He lean His weight upon His hands or upon His feet; wheresoever He leans the pain is increased, His most holy body hanging suspended, as it does, from His very wounds themselves. Go, my soul, and tenderly draw nigh to theat cross, and kiss that altar, whereon thy Lord is dying a victim of love for thee. Place thyself beneath His feet, and let that Divine Blood trickle down upon thee.

Yes, my dear Jesus, let this Blood wash me from all my sins, and set me all on fire with love towards Thee, my God, Who hast been willing to die for love of me. Do thou, O suffering Mother, who dost stand at the foot of the cross, pray to Jesus for me.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The Ascetical Works : The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
Meditations for Holy Week

[Contributor Francesca Romana]

Saint Alphonsus in Holy Week:
I - Palm Sunday: He moves along

for Palm Sunday

Jesus Carries the Cross to Calvary


The sentence upon Our Saviour having been published, they straightway seize hold of Him in their fury: they strip Him anew of that purple rag, and put His own raiment upon Him, to lead Him away to be crucified on Calvary, - the place appropriated for the execution of criminals: They took off the cloak from Him, and put on Him His own garments, and led Him away to crucify Him.” (Matt. xxvii 31.) They then lay hold of two rough beams, and quickly make them into a cross, and order Him to carry it on His shoulders to the place of His punishment. What cruelty, to lay upon the criminal the gibbet on which he has to die!

But this is Thy lot, O my Jesus, because Thou has taken my sins upon Thyself.


Jesus refuse not the cross; with love He embraces it, as being the altar whereon is destined to be completed the sacrifice of His life for the salvation of men: And bearing His own Cross, He went forth to that place which is called Calvary. The condemned criminals now come forth from Pilate’s residence, and in the midst of them there goes also our condemned Lord. O that sight which filled both heaven and earth with amazement! To see the Son of God going to die for the sake of those very men from whose hands He is receiving His death! Behold the prophecy fulfilled: And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim. The appearance that Jesus made on this journey was so pitiable that the Jewish women, on beholding Him, followed Him in tears: They bewailed and lamented Him.

O my Redeemer! By the merits of this sorrowful journey of Thine, give me strength to bear my cross with patience. I accept of all the sufferings and contempts which Thou dost destine for me to undergo. Thou hast rendered them lovely and sweet by embracing them for love of us: give me strength to endure them with calmness.


Behold, my soul, now that thy condemned Saviour is passing, behold how He moves along, dripping with blood that keeps flowing from His still fresh wounds, crowned with thorns, and laden with the cross. Alas, how at every motion is the pain of all His wounds renewed! The Cross, from the first moment, begins its torture, pressing heavily upon His wounded shoulders, and cruelly acting like a hammer upon the thorns of the crown. O God! At every step, how great are the sufferings! Let us meditate upon the sentiments of love wherewith Jesus, in this journey, is drawing nigh to Calvary, where death stands awaiting Him.

Ah, my Jesus, Thou art going to die for us. In time past I have turned my back upon Thee, I would that I could die of grief on this account! But for the future I have not the heart to leave Thee, O my Redeemer, my God, my love, my all! O Mary, my Mother, do thou obtain for me strength to bear my cross in peace.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The Ascetical Works : The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
Meditations for Holy Week

[Contributor Francesca Romana]

The Reform of Holy Week in the Years 1951-1956

Rorate Caeli first presented the following translation of Fr. Stefano Carusi's work on the reform of Holy Week under Pope Pius XII seven years ago. As our readership has grown dramatically over that time we are compelled to bring it back and share with new readers. This translation is the work of Fr. Charles W. Johnson, a U.S. military chaplain, and one of the first priests in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society:

From Disputationes Theologicae:


by Stefano Carusi

"It was felt necessary to revise and enrich the formulae of the Roman Missal. The first stage of such a reform was the work of Our Predecessor Pius XII with the reform of the Easter Vigil and the rites of Holy Week (1), which constituted the first step in the adaptation of the Roman Missal to the contemporary way of thinking"

(Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, April 3, 1969)

In the course of recent years, the publication of numerous studies concerning the history of the theological and liturgical debate of the 1950's has cast new light on the formation and the intentions (which were not always openly declared at the time) of those who were the actual composers of certain texts.