Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bl James of Mevania, O.P.

My 1956 Dominican Diurnal – but not my 1962 Dominican Breviary – adorns to-day, the 23rd of August, with a Collect in honour of one Bl James of Mevania, with the following picturesquely unusual text:

Deus, qui prodigiosa tui sanguinis aspersione dignatus es beatum Jacobum Confessorem secura æternæ salutis fiducia roborare: dilata super nos eadem viscera misericordiæ tuæ; ut, redemptionis nostræ imbuti signaculo, inter oves dexteræ tuæ perpetuo computemur: Qui vivis...

(O God, Who didst deign, by an amazing sprinkling of Thy Blood, to strengthen blessed James the Confessor with secure trust in eternal salvation: open out above us the same bowels of Thy mercy; that, imbued with a little sign of our redemption, we may be counted for ever amongst the sheep of Thy right: Who livest...)

Wondering at this, I found the following statement in an old book available online:

"His virgin purity, the fame of his learning, his innocency of life, and the admiration and esteem of the people, instead of alleviating his fear of hell only increased his anxiety almost to despair, till one day (he supposed) the crucifix before which he was praying rained blood upon him from the wound in the Side, and a voice from Heaven assured him, 'This is the sign of thy salvation.'"

Well!  That explains his Collect then.

God grant us all such an assurance of salvation in the sacred laver of Christ's Blood.  As we sing in Viva, viva Gesù, "Grace and life eternal in that Blood I find; / Blest be His compassion, infinitely kind... Louder still and louder, praise the Precious Blood."

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