An Excellent Homily on the Use of Latin in the Mass

VSI is very grateful to Fr Brian Becker, pastor of St. Margaret Mary’s Church in Swannanoa, North Carolina, and Vocations Promoter for the Diocese of Charlotte, for his kind permission to share this video of the Mass celebrated at his church this past Sunday. The subject of his homily, which begins at 29:20, is the […]

The Raising of Lazarus

One of the most commonly occurring Biblical stories in early Christian art, most of which is to be found in the ancient cemeteries known as the catacombs, is the raising of Lazarus, as recounted in the Gospel of St John 11, 1-45. This is an obvious choice in a funerary context, as an expression of […]

The Oldest Latin Versions of the Bible

If you were fortunate enough to attend a Mass yesterday at which the Introit was sung in Gregorian chant, you heard the following words which have given the 4th Sunday of Lent is traditional nickname, Laetare Sunday. “Laetáre, Jerúsalem, et conventum fácite, omnes qui dilígitis eam: gaudéte cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis, ut exsultétis, […]

New Latin Hymns for the Virgin Mary

Since today is one of the most ancient and important feasts of the Virgin Mary, the Annunciation, here is a look at two Latin hymns recently composed in Her honor for use in the sacred liturgy. I say “recently” speaking in relative terms, since they are only a bit more than 50 years old; the […]

Saint Cecilia and the Bona Dea

Today, the Lenten station in Rome is kept at the basilica in the Trastevere region dedicated to St Cecilia, the patron Saint of musicians. She was a Roman noblewoman martyred for the Faith around the year 220, and the traditional account of her life states that she requested the contemporary Pope, St Urban I, to […]

A Miracle of St John of God

Today is the feast of a Portuguese saint whose secular name was João Duarte Cidade, but is now known simply as St John of God. Born in 1495, and orphaned at the age of 8, in his youth he worked as a shepherd, a soldier and a bookseller. A sermon by the preacher St John […]

The Roman Houses on the Caelian Hill

The Lenten station church in Rome today is a basilica on the Caelian Hill dedicated to two martyrs named John and Paul, brothers killed for their Christian faith by the Emperor Julian the Apostate, who reigned from 361-63. They are said to have been military officers under Constantine, then to have served in the household […]

The Monuments of the Velabrum

Today we tie together a couple of our recent posts, yesterday’s about the Roman custom of the Lenten station churches, and one from last month about the damnatio memoriae of the Emperor Geta. The Lenten station today is held at a church dedicated to the martyred soldier St George, which stands in a low-lying region […]

Vocabula Mira: “Statio” and “Collecta”

From time immemorial, it has been the custom of the church of Rome not to fast on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, even in Lent and Holy Week. The Roman Lent was originally six weeks long, and therefore comprised forty-two days, but only thirty-six days of fasting, which St Gregory the Great (590-604) describes […]