Saturday, April 17, 2021

19th April: Blessed Isnard of Chiampo and Blessed Sybllina Biscossi


Blessed Isnard of Chiampo

Deus, qui sapiéntiae tuae luce ténebras ignorântiae repéllis, auge, méritis et précibus Beâti Isnârdi, virtütem fidei et presta, ut ignis grâtiae tuae quo illum nitére fecisti, nullis in nobis tentatiônibus exstinguâtur. Per Dôminum.

O God, who does repel the darkness of ignorance by the light of your wisdom, increase by the merits and prayers of blessed Isnard the strength of faith and grant that the fire of your grace, by which you made him shine, may never be quenched in us by temptations.


Blessed Sybllina Biscossi

Corda nostra quésumus, Dômine, divino illo Sancti Spiritus igne succénde, quo Beate Sibyllinae mentem mirabiliter recreâsti ut, eiüsdem supérno lümine suffûlti, Iesu Christi Crucifixi secréta hauriâmus et in tua semper dilectiéne crescâmus. Per Dôminum.

Enkindle our hearts, we beseech you, O Lord, with the divine fire of the Holy Spirit, by which you wondrously recreated the heart of blessed Sibyllina, that sustained by the same heavenly light, we may drink of the mysteries of the Jesus Christ crucified and may grow ever in your love.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Blessed Clara Gambacorta, Widow, Nun/ Blessed Mary Mancini, Widow and Nun

 Blessed Clara Gambacorta

Tribue nobis, miséricors Deus, spiritum oratiônis et paeniténtiœ, ut, Beate Clara vestigiis inharéntes, corénam quam ipsa in célis accépit, obtinére mereâmur. Per Dôminum.

Grant to us, O merciful God, the spirit of prayer and penitence, that following the footsteps of blessed Clara, we may be worth to obtain the crown she received in heaven.

Deus, gratiae largitor et maerentium consolator, qui Beatam Mariam admirabili patentia invictaque animi constantia in adversis vitae roborasti, ipsius nobis intercession concede ut, voluntati tuae sincere corde obsequentes, per varias vitae semitas fideliter ambulemus. Per Dominum.

O God, the giver of grace and the consoler of those who mourn, who strengthened Blessed Mary with wondrous patience and invincible constancy in adversity of life, grant to us by her intercession that following your will with a sincere heart, we may walk faithfully in the various paths of life.


Blessed Clara Gambacorta is a widow and Dominican nun who was known for her and her community's religious observance and her great charity and forgiveness.

Born in Pisa in A.D. 1362, Blessed Clara's father became the governor of Pisa when she was seven years old and betrothed her to a young man named Simon di Massa. Although chosen for marriage by her parents, Blessed Cara was devoted, tradition tells, to living a life entirely for God. At the age of 12 Blessed Clara was forced to submit to marriage, but her husband left immediately after the marriage to fight in foreign wars and died in 1377 without ever returning to Pisa. Now a widow at the age of 15, Blessed Clara was determined to join a religious order, but her parents were intent on seeing her remarried.

In the face of her parents' opposition, Blessed Clara cut off all her hair, gave all she owned to the poor, and, wearing rough penitential clothes, entered the local Convent of the Poor Clares. In her choice of a religious life, Blessed Clara was encouraged in letters by Saint Catherine of Sienna, whom she had met on the Saint's visit to Pisa two years earlier. In the convent, she exchanged her baptismal name, Thora, for the religious name of Clara. However, she was not in the convent long because her brother, with an armed force, removed her from the convent and took her home where she was kept for many months against her will. However, on the feast of Saint Dominic, Clara's sister-in-law took her to mass a the local Dominican church where she received a call to the religious life as a Dominican.

Finally, through patience, Blessed Clara overcame the objections of her family and was allowed to join the Dominican Convent of the Holy Cross outside Pisa.

While the Convent of the Holy Cross had a devout and pious spirit, it was not a place of strict religious observance. So, after four years Blessed Clara, and four others, moved into a new convent dedicated to Saint Dominic and built for them by Peter Gambacorta, where strict religious observance was kept by Blessed Clara and her fellow sisters.

Blessed Clara was soon chosen as the prioress of the new convent and from it several sisters went on to reform communities throughout the region. The community was renowned for its religious observance and even was responsible for initiating a reform of friars because of their example and prayers.

Tradition tells of Count Galeazzo who one day was praying in front of a crucifix in a half-ruined church in the city. From the crucifix came a voice asking that the Count carry it to the Covent of Saint Dominic. While the Count was enroute to the convent, Blessed Clara heard a voice that urged her to the convent's door to meet her spouse. At the door she found Count Galeazzo and the crucifix, which she accepted with great deoviton and hung it above the convent's high altar.

Although Blessed Clara's convent lived in strict religious observance, it was a community known for its charity. No poor person who approached the convent was left unaided. And, Blessed Clara organized out-sisters who would work in institutions around Pisa ministering to those in need under the direction of Blessed Clara. As well, Blessed Clara was a spiritual guide for many through her wise counsel and letters. Known for her prudence and charity, Blessed Clara even pardoned the assassins of her father and brothers, even giving the assassin's widow and daughters safe refuge in the convent. Blessed Clara also prized study and encouraged her sisters to do so too.

Blessed Clara died on 17 April 1419, at the age of 57. Tradition tells that many miracles and signal graces have been obtained by the intercession of Blessed Clara. She was beatified by Pope Pius VIII.


Blessed Mary Mancini:

Catherine Mancini was born in Pisa, of noble parentage, and almost in babyhood began enjoying the miraculous favors with which her life was filled. At the age of three, she was warned by some heavenly agency that the porch on which she had been placed by a nurse was unsafe. Her cries attracted the nurse's attention, and they had barely left the porch when it collapsed. When she was five, she beheld in an ecstasy the dungeon of a place in Pisa in which Peter Gambacorta, one of the leading citizens, was being tortured. At Catherine's prayer, the rope broke and the man was released. Our Lady told the little girl to say prayers every day for this man, because he would one day be her benefactor.

Catherine would have much preferred the religious life to marriage, but she obeyed her parents and was married at the age of twelve. Widowed at sixteen, she was compelled to marry again. Of her seven children, only one survived the death of her second husband., and Catherine learned through a vision that this child, too, was soon to be taken from her. Thus she found herself, at the age of twenty five, twice widowed and bereft of all her children. Refusing a third marriage, she devoted herself to prayers and works of charity.

She soon worked out for herself a severe schedule of prayers and good works, fasting and mortifications. She        tended  the sick and the poor, bringing them into her own home and regarding them as Our Lord Himself. She gave her goods to the poor and labored for them with her own hands. Our Lord was pleased  to show her that He approved of her works by appearing to her in the guise of a poor young man, sick, and in need of both food and medicine. She carefully dressed his wounds, and she was rewarded by the revelation that it was in reality her redeemer whom she had served.

 St. Catherine of Siena visited Pisa at about this time, and the two saintly women were drawn together into a holy friendship. As they prayed together in the Dominican church one day, they were surrounded by a bright cloud, out of which flew a white dove. They conversed joyfully on spiritual matters, and were mutually strengthened by the meeting.

 On the advice of St. Catherine of Siena, Catherine (Mary Mancini) retired to an enclosed convent of the Second Order. In religion, she was given the name Mary, by which she is usually known. She embraced the religious life in all its primitive austerity, and, with Blessed Clare Gambarcota and a few other members of the convent, she founded a new and much more austere house, which had been built by Peter Gambacorta. Our Lady's prophecy of his benefactions was thus fulfilled.

Blessed Mary was favored with many visions and was in almost constant prayer. She became prioress of the house on the death of her friend Blessed Clare Gambacorta, and ruled it with justice and holiness until her death.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Ad libitum Pascal Tide

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Vespers: (saec. V-VI)

O rex ætérne, Dómine,
semper cum Patre Fílius,
iuxta tuam imáginem
Adam plasmásti hóminem.

Quem diábolus decéperat
hostis humáni géneris,
eius et formam córporis
sumpsísti tu de Vírgine,

Ut nos Deo coniúngeres
per carnis contubérnium,
datúrus in baptísmate,
Redémptor, indulgéntiam.

Tu crucem propter hóminem
suscípere dignátus es;
dedísti tuum sánguinem
nostræ salútis prétium.

Tu surrexísti, glóriam
a Patre sumens débitam;
per te et nos resúrgere
devóta mente crédimus.

Esto perénne méntibus
paschále, Iesu, gáudium,
et nos renátos grátiæ
tuis triúmphis ággrega.

Iesu, tibi sit glória,
qui morte victa prænites,
cum Patre et almo Spíritu,
in sempitérna sæcula. Amen.

O King eternal, O Lord, Son ever with the Father, you created the man Adam according to your own image.  Whom the devil, the enemy of the human race, deceived, but you took the form of the body from the Virgin, that you might join us to God through a community of flesh, O Redeemer, to be given pardon in baptism. You did vouchsafe to undergo the cross for the sake of man; you gave your blood, the price of our salvation. You did rise, receiving due glory from the Father; through you we devoutly believe that we will rise.

Office of Readings

Lætáre, cælum, désuper,
appláude, tellus ac mare:
Christus resúrgens post crucem
vitam dedit mortálibus.

Iam tempus accéptum redit,
dies salútis cérnitur,
quo mundus Agni sánguine
refúlsit a calígine.

Mors illa, mortis pássio,
est críminis remíssio;
illæsa virtus pérmanet,
victus dedit victóriam.

Nostræ fuit gustus spei
hic, ut fidéles créderent
se posse post resúrgere,
vitam beátam súmere.

Nunc ergo pascha cándidum
causa bonórum tálium
colámus omnes strénue
tanto repléti múnere.

Esto perénne méntibus
paschále, Iesu, gáudium,
et nos renátos grátiæ
tuis triúmphis ággrega.

Iesu, tibi sit glória,
qui morte victa prænites,
cum Patre et almo Spíritu,
in sempitérna sæcula. Amen.

Be glad, heaven above, clap your hands, earth and sea, Christ rising after the cross, gives life to mortal men. Now he has restored the appointed time, we recognize the day of salvation, when through the blood of the Lamb, the world again shines from out of the darkness.  That death, the passion of that death is the remission of sin; his might abides undiminished, the victor grants us victory.  This taste of hope causes the faithful to trust that they too will be able to rise after death and receive a blessed life. Now therefore clothed in paschal white we all powerfully celebrate such great good to be filled with such a great gift.


Chorus novæ Ierúsalem
hymni novam dulcédinem
promat, colens cum sóbriis
paschále festum gáudiis,

Quo Christus invíctus leo,
dracóne surgens óbruto,
dum voce viva pérsonat,
a morte functos éxcitat.

Quam devorárat ímprobus,
prædam refúndit tártarus;
captivitáte líbera
Iesum sequúntur ágmina.

Triúmphat ille spléndide
et dignus amplitúdine,
soli políque pátriam
unam facit rem públicam.

Ipsum canéndo súpplices
Regem precémur mílites,
ut in suo claríssimo
nos órdinet palátio.

Esto perénne méntibus
paschále, Iesu, gáudium,
et nos renátos grátiæ
tuis triúmphis ággrega.

Iesu, tibi sit glória,
qui morte victa prænites,
cum Patre et almo Spíritu,
in sempitérna sæcula. Amen.

May the choir of the new Jerusalem sing a new sweet hymn, celebrating the feast of Easter with sober joys. When Christ the unconquered lion rises, the serpent destroyed, and cries with a living voice and wakes the departed from death. Greedy hell surrenders the prey it has devoured, delivered from captivity, the crowds follow Jesus.  Christ triumphs marvelously and with worthy strength, of heaven and earth he makes one republic. Let us in song as lowly soldiers beseech the King, that he command us to serve in his most glorious palace.

Bede on Revelation


v. 1. The revelation of Jesus Christ. The progress with which the Church that had been founded by the Apostles was to be extended, or the end with which it was to be perfected, had need to be revealed, in order to strengthen the preachers of the faith against the opposition of the world. And John, in his own manner, refers the glory of the Son to the Father, and testifies that Jesus Christ has received from God.

shortly. That is, which are to happen to the Church in the present time.

signified. He wrapped up this revelation in mystical words, that it might not be manifested to all, and become lightly esteemed.

angel. For an angel appeared to John in the form of Christ, as will be seen more clearly in that which follows.

John. That through John He might lay open to all His servants the things which he, by the privilege of a peculiar chastity, obtained above all others to behold.

2. testimony. That thou mayest not doubt of the person of John, he is the same who gave testimony to the eternal Word of God incarnate, according as he saw, saying, “Whose glory we saw, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.”

3. Blessed. Teachers and hearers are therefore blessed, because they who keep the Word of God find that a short time of labour is followed by everlasting joys.

4. seven. By these seven churches he writes to every church, for universality is wont to be denoted by the number seven, in that all the time of this age is evolved from seven days.

Grace. Grace he desires for us, and peace from God, the eternal Father, and from the sevenfold Spirit, and from Jesus Christ, Who gave testimony to the Father in His Incarnation. He names the Son in the third place, as he was to speak further of Him. He names Him also the last in order, as He is the first and the last; for He had already named Him in the Father by saying, “Who was to come.”

5. the first-begotten. This is the same that the Apostle says, “We have seen Jesus Christ for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour.” And in another place, in setting forth the reproach of the cross, he added, “Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name which is above every name.”

6. priests. Because the King of kings and heavenly Priest united us unto His own body by offering Himself for us, there is not one of the saints who has not spiritually the office of priesthood, in that he is a member of the eternal Priest

7. cometh. He Who was concealed, when at the first He came to be judged, will be manifested at the time when He shall come to judge. He mentions this, that the Church which is now oppressed by enemies, but is then to reign with Christ, may be strengthened for the endurance of sufferings.

pierced. When they see Him as a Judge with power, in the same form in which they pierced Him as the least of all, they will mourn for themselves with a repentance that is too late.

Amen. By interposing an Amen, he confirms that without doubt that will happen, which, by the revelation of God, he knows most surely is to come to pass.

8. Α and Ω. He is the beginning Whom no one precedes, the end Whom no one succeeds in His kingdom.

Who is. He had said this same thing of the Father, for God the Father came, as He also is to come, in the Son.

9. I John. He indicates the person, the place, and the reason of the vision; and he also testifies that he saw this in the spirit, lest he should be supposed to have been deluded by a fleshly apparition.

Patmos. It is a well-known story that John was banished to this island by the Emperor Domitian for the Gospel’s sake, and it was fitly given him to penetrate the secrets of heaven, at a time when it was denied him to go beyond a certain spot on earth.

10. the Lord’s day. He indicates also a fit time for a spiritual vision, for Scripture is wont to express the reason of things in terms, as, frequently, of the place, or the body, or the air, and in like manner, the time. The Angels, namely, visit Abraham at noon, Sodom in the evening; Adam after midday was afraid at the voice of the Lord, walking up and down; and Solomon received at night the wisdom which it was not to be his to retain.

heard. He is first admonished by a voice, that he may direct his attention to the vision.

11. seven churches. The Church of Christ was not at the time in these places alone, but all fulness is comprised in the number seven. Asia, which is interpreted elevation, denotes the proud exaltation of the world in which the Church is sojourning, and, as is the method of the divine mystery, the genus is contained in the species. For the Apostle Paul also writes to seven churches, but not to the same as St. John. And although these seven churches are a sevenfold figure of the whole Church, still the things which he blames, or praises, came to pass in them one by one.

12. turned. Here the figure of the Church is beautifully represented, as holding forth the light of divine love in the brightness of a chaste breast, according to that which the Lord saith, “Let your loins be girt, and your lamps burning.” And he denotes its perfection within and without by the two parts of the number seven; and the individual members of it, consisting of the four qualities of the body, “love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their strength.”

13. Son of Man. He means that he is like the Son of man when He had overcome death, and had ascended into heaven. For “Although we knew Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we Him no more.” And it is well said, “in the midst,” for “All,” he says, “who are round about Him shall offer gifts.”

garment. “Poderis,” which is called in Latin, “tunica talaris,” and is a sacerdotal vestment, shews the priesthood of Christ, by which He offered Himself for us, as a victim to the Father, upon the altar of the cross.

girdle. By the “paps” he here means the two Testaments, with which He feeds the body of the saints in communion with Himself. For the golden girdle is the choir of saints, which cleaves to the Lord in harmonious love, and embraces the Testaments, “keeping,” as the Apostle says, “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

14. white. The antiquity and eternity of majesty are represented by whiteness on the head, to which all the chief ones adhere, as hairs, who, because of the sheep which are to be on the right hand are white, like wool, and because of the innumerable multitude of the white-robed and the elect, who come forth from heaven, are glistering like snow.

eyes. The eyes of the Lord are preachers, who, with spiritual fire, bring light to the faithful, and to the unbelieving a consuming flame.

15. feet. By the “fiery feet” he means the Church of the last time, which is to be searched and proved by severe afflictions. For orichalcum is brass, which, by much fire and various ingredients, is brought to the colour of gold. Another translation, which renders it, “like orichalcum of Lebanon,” signifies that in Judæa, of which Lebanon is a mountain, the Church will be persecuted, and especially at the last. The temple also frequently received the name of Lebanon, as there is said to it, “Open, O Lebanon, thy gates, and let the fire devour thy cedars.”

voice. The voice of confession, and preaching, and praise does not resound in Judæa alone, but among many peoples.

16. right hand. In the right hand of Christ is the spiritual Church. “On Thy right hand,” he says, “stood the queen in a vesture of gold.” And as it stands on His right hand, He saith, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom.”

mouth. He, the Judge of all things visible and invisible, “after He has killed, has power to cast into hell fire.”

countenance. Such as the Lord appeared on the Mount, will He appear after the judgment to all the saints, for at the judgment the ungodly will behold Him Whom they pierced. But all this appearance of the Son of Man belongs also to the Church, for He Himself was made the Christ in the same nature with it, and He gives to it a sacerdotal dignity and a judicial power, and to “shine as the sun in the kingdom of His Father.”

17. I fell. As a man, he trembles at the spiritual vision, but his human fear is banished by the clemency of the Lord.

the first. He is the first, because “by Him were all things made;” the last, because in Him are all things restored.

18. keys. Not only, He saith, have I conquered death by resurrection, but I have dominion also over death itself. And this He also bestowed upon the Church by breathing upon it the Holy Spirit, saying, “Whose sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them,” and the rest.

19. Write. Reveal to all the things which thou alone hast seen, that is, the various labours of the Church, and that the evil are to be mingled in it with the good unto the end of the world.

20. stars. That is, the rulers of the Church. For the priest, as Malachi says, is “the angel of the Lord of hosts.”

Oxford Oratory Hymnal


The Divine Office Hymnal

The Divine Office Hymnal

ByOxford Oratory

Usually printed in 3 - 5 business days
This pocket-sized book contains English translations of the traditional Latin hymns of the Roman Breviary. It contains four sections: i. The Hymns of the Psalter ii. The Proper of the Season iii. The Common of Saints iv. The Proper of Saints It is designed to act as a supplement to the English edition of the Divine Office, and is small enough to be carried easily with a breviary, but can also be used as a hymn book in its own right. It is no simple task to narrow the selection of hymns from all of the excellent translations available, but it is hoped that most of the favourite and well-known translations are included. Among the list of translators are Rev. John Mason Neale, Fr Edward Caswall, Mgr Ronald Knox, as well as many others.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Blessed Margaret of Castello: April 13t


Margaret was born blind into a poor, mountain family, who were embittered by her affliction. When she was five years old, they made a pilgrimage to the tomb of a holy Franciscan at Castello to pray for a cure. The miracle failing, they abandoned their daughter in the church of Città-di-Castello and returned to their home.

Margaret was passed from family to family until she was adopted by a kindly peasant woman named Grigia, who had a large family of her own. Margaret's natural sweetness and goodness soon made themselves felt, and she more than repaid the family for their kindness to her. She was an influence for good in any group of children. She stopped their quarrels, heard their catechism, told them stories, taught them Psalms and prayers. Busy neighbors were soon borrowing her to soothe a sick child or to establish peace in the house.

 Her reputation for holiness was so great that a community of sisters in the town asked for her to become one of them. Margaret went happily to join them, but, unfortunately, there was little fervor in the house. The little girl who was so prayerful and penitential was a reproach to their lax lives, so Margaret returned to Grigia, who gladly welcomed her home.

Later, Margaret was received as a Dominican Tertiary and clothed with the religious habit. Grigia's home became the rendezvous site of troubled souls seeking Margaret's prayers. She said the Office of the Blessed Virgin and the entire Psalter by heart, and her prayers had the effect of restoring peace of mind to the troubled.

Denied earthly sight, Margaret was favored with heavenly visions. "Oh, if you only knew what I have in my heart!" she often said. The mysteries of the rosary, particularly the joyful mysteries, were so vivid to her that her whole person would light up when she described the scene. She was often in ecstasy, and, despite great joys and favors in prayer, she was often called upon to suffer desolation and interior trials of frightening sorts. The devil tormented her severely at times, but she triumphed over these sufferings.

A number of miracles were performed by Blessed Margaret. On one occasion, while she was praying in an upper room, Grigia's house caught fire, and she called to Margaret to come down. The blessed, however, called to her to throw her cloak on the flames. This she did, and the blaze died out. At another time, she cured a sister who was losing her eyesight.

Beloved by her adopted family and by her neighbors and friends, Margaret died at the early age of 33. From the time of her death, her tomb in the Dominican church was a place of pilgrimage. Her body, even to this day, is incorrupt. More than 200 miracles have been credited to her intercession after her death. She was beatified in 1609. Thus the daughter that nobody wanted is one of the glories of the Church

After her death, the fathers received permission to have her heart opened. In it were three pearls, having holy figures carved upon them. They recalled the saying so often on the lips of Margaret: "If you only knew what I have in my heart!" (Attwater2, Benedictines, Dorcy).

Born: in 1287 at Meldola, Vado, Italy

Died: April 13th, 1320 of Natural Causes (Her body is incorrupt)

Beatified: October 19th, 1609 by Pope Paul V

Patronage: Against poverty, disabled people, handicapped people, impoverishment, people rejected by religious orders, physically challenged people, poverty.

First Vespers:

Ant. This is a wise Virgin whom the Lord found watching, who took her lamp and oil, and when the Lord came she entered with Him into the marriage feast. (P.T. Alleluia.)

V. Pray for us Blessed Margaret. (P.T. Alleluia.)

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. (P.T. Alleluia.)


Ant. Come, O my chosen one, and I will place my throne in thee, for the King hath exceedingly desired thy beauty. (P.T. Alleluia.)

V. Virgins shall be led to the King after her. (P.T. Alleluia.)

R. Her companions shall be presented to Thee. (P.T. Alleluia.)

Second Vespers:

Ant. She has girded her loins with courage and hath strengthened her arm; therefore shall her lamp not be put out forever. (P.T. Alleluia.)

V. Pray for us Blessed Margaret. (P.T. Alleluia.)

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. (P.T. Alleluia.)


Let us Pray: O God, who wast pleased that Blessed Margaret, Virgin, should be born blind, that, the eye of her heart being inwardly enlightened, she might continually contemplate Thee alone, be Thou the light of our eyes, that we may have no part in the darkness of this world, but be enabled to arrive at the land of eternal brightness Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Compassionate God, you gave your divine light to Blessed Margaret who was blind from birth, that with the eye of her heart she might contemplate you alone. Be the light of our eyes that we may turn from what is evil and reach the home of never-ending light. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. - General Calendar of the Order of Preachers