Saturday, June 14, 2008

St Antony of Padua

Last night I heard Mass of St Anthony of Padua, Confessor and Doctor, although I spent most of the silent parts of the Mass in prayer - saying Matins and Lauds! I must admit I found it an admirable way to participate in the work of our redemption. Of course, I did attend to the chants, lessons and orations; the proper prayers for St Antony are instructive:

Ecclesiam tuam, Deus, beati Antonii Confessoris tui atque Doctoris solemnitas votiva lætificet: ut spiritualibus semper muniatur auxiliis et gaudiis perfrui mereatur æternis. Per...

(May the votive solemnity of Thy Confessor and Doctor blessed Anthony rejoice Thy Church, O God: that she may ever be defended by spiritual helps and merit to enjoy eternal joys. Through...)

There is a set of words in the collect - lætificet... gaudiis... perfrui... - which all refer to joy and rejoicing in English. It is instructive to compare this Franciscan collect with that of St Dominic, Founder not of the Friars Minor, but the of Friars Preachers:

Deus, qui Ecclesiam tuam beati Dominici Confessoris tui illuminare dignatus es meritis et doctrinis: concede; ut, eius intercessione temporalibus non destituatur auxiliis, et spiritualibus semper proficiat incrementis. Per...

(O God, Who hast deigned to enlighten Thy Church by the merits and doctrines of blessed Dominic Thy Confessor: grant, at his intercession, that she may never be destitute of temporal assistance, and always advance in spiritual matters. Through...)

This prayer to St Dominic might almost be more apposite if applied to St Anthony, who, after all, is most widely invoked to supply temporal wants, such as for the finding of lost articles, rather than to obtain spiritual aid!

The secret for the feast of St Antony is especially interesting, being addressed to God the Son:

Præsens oblatio fiat, Domine, populo tuo salutaris: pro quo dignatus es Patri tuo te viventem hostiam immolare. Qui vivis...

(May the present oblation be salutary for Thy people, Lord: for whom Thou didst deign to immolate Thyself as a living Victim unto Thy Father. Who livest...)

After Mass, I had dinner with various parishioners, Fr Rowe, and our friend and former parishioner Anastasia, now happily engaged, who has come back to the West for a while (to visit family, etc.), though she will soon return to country Victoria for her upcoming wedding to Brad, on the 26th of July, the Feast of St Anne, a most appropriate day. I cannot forbear to quote the prayer that, I've been told by a old friend of mine, ladies pray to obtain a husband: "St Anne, St Anne, get me a man, get me a man as fast as you can!" ROTFL! Anyway, congratulations to Brad and Anastasia - they will make a great couple, and I pray will have a happy life together.

No comments: