Third Sunday After Pentecost

Laudetur Iesus Christus! Sunday is the third Sunday after Pentecost and as custom we share a commentary on Sunday’s Mass:

Sunday is also traditionally the 3rd day within the ancient octave of St. John the Baptist (whose feast was also called “Summer Christmas”) which fittingly is placed just days away from the great feasts of Ss. Peter and Paul (Wednesday), and this symbolism linking these two feasts was not missed by Dom Prosper Gueranger, who notes:

John the Baptist, placed on the confines of the two Testaments, closes the prophetic age, the reign of Hope, and opens the era of Faith which possesses the long expected God, though as yet without beholding him in his Divinity. Thus even before the Octave is ended, wherein we pay our homage to the son of Zachary, the apostolic confession comes grafting itself on the testimony rendered by the Precursor to the Word, the Light.

Upcoming Feast Days & Masses

There is much symbolism interwoven in the upcoming feast days, many were placed there in connection to the octaves which occurred on the liturgical calendar prior to 1955 (e.g. octaves of St. John the Baptist and Ss. Peter & Paul)

  • Tuesday June 28 – Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul: Major feast days in the traditional calendar are often proceeded by a preparatory vigil ahead of the great feast, and often penitential in nature. As such, the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul is commemorated with a vigil on Tuesday. There are no Latin Masses scheduled in Charlotte this day, regrettably.
  • Wednesday June 29 – Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul, 6pm Latin Mass, St. Ann: Commemorates the day of their of martyrdom by Nero, June 29 67 A.D.
  • Thursday June 30 – Commemoration of St. Paul, 7pm Latin Mass, St. Thomas Aquinas: The Church, giving St. Peter, the first pontiff, more emphasis in Wednesday’s feast day, now gives St. Paul his own special “feast day” commemorating his martyrdom.
  • Friday July 1 – Feast of the Precious Blood, 7am (St. Ann), 12:30pm (St. Mark): This is a feast that is unique to the Traditional Latin Mass, and was eliminated in the Novus Ordo Mass (or combined with the feast of Corpus Christi). Providentially this year, the Precious Blood feast falls on the ancient octave day of the feast of the Sacred Heart. You can pray the litany to the Precious Blood here:
  • Saturday July 2 – Feast of the Visitation & first Saturday, 10am (St. Thomas Aquinas): This feast falls on the ancient octave day of St. John the Baptist, finishing off the eight-day celebration of his nativity, the day when he would be circumcised (and given his name John) by focusing on the visitation of the Blessed Mother, and the moment he was cleansed of original sin (Luke 1:41). The feast of the visitation would probably mark the actual time when the Blessed Virgin Mary would have concluded her 3-month visit with St. Elizabeth and Zachary and return to Nazareth.  

Community News

  • Holy Face Devotions: Three parishes in Charlotte now offer the Holy Face devotions – a timely and powerful devotion to combat communism (among which abortion is its “anti-sacrament”). As background, in 1843, Sr. Mary of St. Peter, a Carmelite nun in the monastery in Tours, France, received a series of revelations from Jesus telling her that reparation for certain sins were an imperative, and that it was to be done through devotion to the Holy Face.  The primary purpose of this apostolate is to, by praying certain prayers, make reparation for the sins committed against the first three Commandments of the Lord: The denial of God by atheism (communism), blasphemy, and the profanation of Sundays and Holy Days. Devotion to the Holy Face has been referred to as the devotion for Jesus Crucified.  The schedule is as follows:
  • St. Mark – Mondays 2-3pm
  • St. Thomas Aquinas – Tuesdays 6am in the main church
  • St. Ann – Tuesdays 7:30am in the chapel after the Novus Ordo Mass (uses the booklet which takes 15-20 minutes)

Latin Mass & Traditional News

  • Traditional Catholicism – Peter Kwasniewski with Raymond Arroyo: Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, (who visited the CLMC last fall), was interviewed by EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo about recent criticism in Rome about Latin Mass attendees, and how they are “against Vatican II”. In his usual scholarly brilliance, Dr. Kwasniewski turns the tables and shows how those very church leaders who accuse traditionalists, are themselves acting against the text of the Vatican II documents:
  • A Neglected Gem in the Traditional Roman Missal: The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus: Separately, Dr. Kwasniewski also penned a great article on the rediscovery of a beautiful votive Mass which occurs during the Thursday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (this Thursday June 30). This Mass which was in use prior to 1955 is entitled the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and in a sense links the feast of Corpus Christi with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Commemoration of St. Paul (June 30)

We share Dom Prosper Gueranger’s reflection on St. Paul’s feast day for this Thursday June 30 (which is different from his conversation on January 25)

On the Twenty-ninth of June, in the year 67, while Peter, having crossed the Tiber by the Triumphal bridge, was drawing nigh to the cross prepared for him on the Vatican plain, another martyrdom was being consummated on the left bank of the same river. Paul, as he was led along the Ostian Way, was also followed by a group of the Faithful who mingled with the escort of the condemned. His sentence was that he should be beheaded at the Salvian Waters. A two miles’ march brought the soldiers to a path leading eastwards, by which they led their prisoner to the place fixed upon for the martyrdom of this, the Doctor of the Gentiles. Paul fell on his knees, addressing his last prayer to God; then having bandaged his eyes, he awaited the death-stroke. A soldier brandished his sword, and the Apostle’s head, as it was severed from the trunk, made three bounds along the ground; three fountains immediately sprang up on these several spots. Such is the local tradition; and to this day, three fountains are to be seen on the site of his martyrdom, over each of which an altar is raised.

Martyrdom of St. Peter (June 29)

After reflecting upon St. Paul above, we conclude this update with a commentary by Dom Prosper Gueranger, on the bigger of the two feasts and saints (e.g. St. Peter), and the focus on St. Peter’s confrontation with his nemesis, the anti-Pope, Simon the Magician, who first appeared in Acts 8:9-24, and reappears in Rome around 67 AD. St. Peter confronted and defeated this false vicar of Christ, actions which ultimately led to St. Peter’s glorious martyrdom. Gueranger notes this confrontation is a reminder that “false brethren” have been present in the Church since its earliest days:

But before quitting earth, Peter must triumph over Simon the Magician, his base antagonist. This heresiarch did not content himself with seducing soul by his perverse doctrines; he sought even to mimic Peter in the prodigies operated by him. So he proclaimed that on a certain day, he would fly in the air. The report of this novelty quickly spread through Rome, and the people were full of the prospect of such a marvellous sight. If we are to believe Dion Chrysostom, Nero seems even to have entertained at his court this wonderful personage, who pledged himself to soar aloft in mid-air. More than that, the emperor would even with his own presence honor this rare sight. The imperial lodge was reared upon the Via Sacra, where the scene was to be enacted. But cruel for the impostor did this deception prove. “Scarce had this Icarus begun to poise his flight,” says Suetonius, “than he fell close to Nero’s lodge which was bathed in his blood.” The gravest writers of Christian antiquity are unanimous in attributing to the prayer of Peter this humiliation inflicted on the Samaritan juggler in the very midst of Rome, where he had dared to set himself up as the rival of Christ’s Vicar.

The disgrace, as well as the blood of the heresiarch, had fallen on the emperor himself. Curiosity and ill-will but needed, therefore, to be combined, in order to attract personally upon Peter an attention that might prove disastrous. Moreover, be it remembered, there was yet another danger, and to this Saint Paul alludes, namely, the peril of false brethren. To understand this term and justly to appreciate the situation, we must bear in mind how inevitable are the clashings of certain characters in a society so numerous as was already that of the Christians in Rome; and how discontent is necessarily caused to vulgar minds when existing circumstances sometimes demand higher interests to be exclusively consulted, in the always difficult question of choosing persons to offices of trust, or to special confidence.

The filial devotedness of the Christians of Rome took alarm, and they implored Saint Peter to elude the danger for a while, by instant flight. “Although he would have much preferred to suffer,” says Saint Ambrose, Peter set out along the Appian Way. Just as he reached the Capuan gate, Christ suddenly presented himself, seemingly about to enter the city. “Lord, whither goest thou?” cried out the Apostle. “To Rome,” Christ replied, “to be there crucified again.” The disciple understood his Master; he at once retraced his steps, having now no thought but to await his hour of martyrdom.