Seven Invocations to the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

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Seven Invocations to the Seven Holy Founders
of the Servite Order

I. O glorious Patriarchs, even in the midst of the licentiousness of your age, ye kept ever burning the divine fire of charity and a tender love for the Queen of Heaven, whereby ye were made worthy to be called by her to go apart from the world. We humbly entreat you to intercede for us, that we too, being enkindled with the fire of divine love, may be enabled to please the Most High; and to imitate the charity and patience of our Lady of Sorrows; and even in the midst of adversity to conform ourselves to the dispositions of divine Providence.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

II. Ye shining examples of perfection, forsaking the world and all the prizes that it held out to you, with generous hearts ye desired to withdraw from the eyes of men, so that the Blessed Virgin herself made known to you in a dream the peace and quietude of Monte Senario. Obtain for us the grace to set at naught the deceitful and vain pleasures of earth and to devote ourselves to the practice of penance for our sins after your example; and if we are not worthy, as ye were, to serve the blessed Mother of Sorrows more especially in solitude, may we at least show our sorrow at having caused her to be so afflicted by our sins and thus renewing the bitter passion of her divine and only Son.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

Why is this Sunday called “Septuagesima”?

Because in accordance with the words of the First Council of Orleans, some pious Christian congregations in the earliest ages of the Church, especially the clergy, began to fast seventy days before Easter, on this Sunday, which was therefore called Septuagesima” – the seventieth day. The same is the case with the Sundays following, which are called Sexagesima, Quinquagesima , Quadragesima, because some Christians commenced to fast sixty days, others fifty, others forty days before Easter, until finally, to make it properly uniform, Popes Gregory and Gelasius arranged that all Christians should fast forty days before Easter, commencing with Ash-Wednesday.

Why, from this day until Easter, does the Church omit in her service all joyful canticles, alleluia’s, and the Gloria in excelsis etc?

Gradually to prepare the minds of the faithful for the serious time of penance and sorrow; to remind the sinner of the grievousness of his errors, and to exhort him to penance. So the priest appears at the altar in violet, the color of penance, and the front of the altar is covered with a violet curtain. To arouse our sorrow for our sins, and show the need of repentance, the Church in the name of all mankind at the Introit cries with David: The groans of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me: and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice from his holy temple. (Ps. XVII, 5-7.) I will love thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. (Fs. XVII. 2-3.) Glory be to the Father, etc. Continue reading

The Seven Holy Servite Founders

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The Seven Holy Servite Founders

(Mid 13th century)

Can you imagine seven prominent men of any large modern city banding together, leaving their homes and profession, and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the 13th century. At this time, the city was torn with political strife as well as by the heresy of the Cathari; morals were low and religion neglected.

On the feast of the Assumption in 1233, seven of the members of a Florentine Confraternity devoted to the Holy Mother of God were gathered in prayer under the presidency of Alessio Falconieri. The Blessed Virgin appeared to the young men and exhorted them to devote themselves to Her service, in retirement from the world. It was in 1240 that they decided to withdraw together from the city to a solitary place for prayer and the service of God. The eldest was Buonfiglio Monaldo, who became their leader. The others were Alexis Falconieri, Benedict dell’Antella, Bartholomew Amidei, Ricovero Uguccione, Gerardino Sostegni, and John Buonagiunta. Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by increasing numbers of visitors. They next retired to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario near Florence, where the Blessed Virgin appeared to them again. There the nucleus of a new Order was formed, called Servants of Mary, or Servites, in recognition of their special manner of venerating the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.

In 1244, under the direction of Saint Peter of Verona, O.P., this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit, choosing to live under the rule of Saint Augustine. The new Order took a form resembling more the mendicant friars than the older monastic Orders. One of the most remarkable features of the new foundation was its wonderful growth. Even in the fourteenth century, the Order had more than one hundred convents in several nations of Europe, as well as in India and on the Island of Crete. The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows is one of their regular devotions, as is also the Via Matris, or Way of the Cross of Mary.

Saint of the Day: The 173 Saints of the new Missal. Edited by Leonard Foley, O.F.M., Vol. I (Saint Anthony Messenger Press: Cincinnati, 1974); The Catholic Encyclopedia, edited by C. G. Herbermann with numerous collaborators (Appleton Company: New York, 1908).

THE MYSTERY OF SEPTUAGESIMA

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THE MYSTERY OF SEPTUAGESIMA

By the Right Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B. Abbot of Solesmes Abbey

The Season, upon which we are now entering, is expressive of several profound mysteries. But these mysteries belong not only to the three weeks, which are preparatory to Lent; they continue throughout the whole period of time, which separates us from the great Feast of Easter.

The number seven is the basis of all these mysteries. We have already seen how the Holy Church came to introduce the season of Septuagesima into her Calendar. Let us now meditate on the doctrine hid under the symbols of her Liturgy. And first, let us listen to St. Augustine, who thus gives us the clue to the whole of our Season’s mysteries. “There are two times,” says the Holy Doctor: “one which is now, and is spent in the temptations and tribulations of this life; the other which shall be then, and shall be spent in eternal security and joy. In figure of these, we celebrate two periods: the time ‘before Easter’ and the time ‘after Easter.’ That which is ‘before Easter,’ signifies the sorrow of this present life; that which is ‘after Easter,’ the blessedness of our future state. * * Hence it is, that we spend the first in fasting and prayer; and in the second, we give up our fasting, and give ourselves to praise.” [Enarrations; Psalm clviii.] Continue reading

Introitus : Circumdedérunt me

Dominica in Septuagesima

Introitus
Ps 17:5; 17:6; 17:7

Circumdedérunt me gémitus mortis, dolóres inférni circumdedérunt me: et in tribulatióne mea invocávi Dóminum, et exaudívit de templo sancto suo vocem meam.

The terrors of death surged round me, the cords of the nether world enmeshed me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; from His holy temple He heard my voice.

Ps 17:2-3
Díligam te, Dómine, fortitúdo mea: Dóminus firmaméntum meum, et refúgium meum, et liberátor meus.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen

I love You, O Lord, my strength, O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Circumdedérunt me gémitus mortis, dolóres inférni circumdedérunt me: et in tribulatióne mea invocávi Dóminum, et exaudívit de templo sancto suo vocem meam.

The terrors of death surged round me, the cords of the nether world enmeshed me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; from His holy temple He heard my voice.