Catholic Encyclopedia – Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

[Our Lady of Mount Carmel]Article

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title “Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. duplex” to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 January 1226. The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to Saint Simon Stock; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order, and is now celebrated in the Carmelite calendar as a major double of the first class with a vigil and a privileged octave (like the octave of Epiphany, admitting only a double of the first class) under the title “Commemoratio solemnis B.V.M. de Monte Carmelo”. By a privilege given by Clement X in 1672, some Carmelite monasteries keep the feast on the Sunday after 16 July, or on some other Sunday in July. In the seventeenth century the feast was adopted by several dioceses in the south of Italy, although its celebration, outside of Carmelite churches, was prohibited in 1628 by a decree contra abusus. On 21 Nov., 1674, however, it was first granted by Clement X to Spain and its colonies, in 1675 to Austria, in 1679 to Portugal and its colonies, and in 1725 to the Papal States of the Church, on 24 Sept., 1726, it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the “Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular.

MLA Citation

  • Frederick Holweck. “Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Catholic Encyclopedia – Feast of Orthodoxy

Article

(or Sunday of Orthodoxy) The first Sunday of the Great Forty days (Lent) in the Byzantine Calendar (sixth Sunday before Easter), kept in memory of the final defeat of Iconoclasm and the restoration of the holy icons to the churches on 19 February (which was the first Sunday of Lent), 842 (see ICONOCLASM). A perpetual feast on the anniversary of that day was ordained by the Synod of Constantinople, and is one of the great feasts of the year among Orthodox and Byzantine Uniats. The name “Orthodoxy” has gradually affected the character of the feast. Originally commemorating only the defeat of Iconoclasm, the word was gradually understood in a more general sense as opposition to all heterodoxy. In this way, though its first occasion is not forgotten, the feast has become one in honour of the true Faith in general. This is shown by its special service. After the Orthros and before the holy Liturgy a procession is made with crosses and pictures to some destined spot (often merely round the church). Meanwhile a Canon, attributed to Saint Theodore of Studium, is sung. Arrived at the place, the Synodikon is read. This Synodikon begins with the memory of certain saints, confessors, and heroes of the faith, to each of whose names the people cry out: “Eternal Memory!” three times. Then follows a long list of heretics of all kinds, to each of which the answer is: “Anathema” once or thrice. The heretics comprise all the old offenders of any reputation, Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, Monothelites, Iconoclasts, and so on. Then comes again “Eternal Memory” to certain pious emperors, from Constantine on. There is inevitably considerable difference between the Orthodox and Uniat lists. The Orthodox acclaim Photius, Cerularius, other anti-Roman patriarchs and many schismatical emperors. They curse Honorius among the Monothelites, the opponents of Hesychasm. The Uniat Synodikon is purged of these names. In Russia politics have their place in the Synodikon; the emperor and his family are acclaimed; all are cursed who deny the divine right of the Russian monarchy and all who “dare to stir up insurrection and rebellion against it”. The text of the Canon, Synodikon, etc., and the rubrics will be found in either Triodion, Orthodox or Uniat.

MLA Citation

  • Adrian Fortescue. “Feast of Orthodoxy”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Catholic Encyclopedia – Feast of Fools

Article

A celebration marked by much license and buffoonery, which in many parts of Europe, and particularly in France, during the later middle ages took place every year on or about the feast of the Circumcision (1 Jan.). It was known by many names — festum fatuorum, festum stultorum, festum hypodiaconorum, to notice only some Latin variants — and it is difficult, if not quite impossible, to distinguish it from certain other similar celebrations, such, for example, as the Feast of Asses, and the Feast of the Boy Bishop. So far as the Feast of Fools had an independent existence, it seems to have grown out of a special “festival of the subdeacons”, which John Beleth, a liturgical writer of the twelfth century and an Englishman by birth, assigns to the day of the Circumcision. He is among the earliest to draw attention to the fact that, as the deacons had a special celebration on Saint Stephen’s day (26 December), the priests on Saint John the Evangelist’s day (27 December), and again the choristers and mass-servers on that of Holy Innocents (28 December), so the subdeacons were accustomed to hold their feast about the same time of year, but more particularly on the festival of the Circumcision. This feast of the subdeacons afterwards developed into the feast of the lower clergy (esclaffardi), and was later taken up by certain brotherhoods or guilds of “fools” with a definite organization of their own. There can be little doubt — and medieval censors themselves freely recognized the fact — that the license and buffoonery which marked this occasion had their origin in pagan customs of very ancient date. John Beleth, when he discusses these matters, entitles his chapter “De quadam libertate Decembrica”, and goes on to explain: “now the license which is then permitted is called Decembrian, because it was customary of old among the pagans that during this month slaves and serving-maids should have a sort of liberty given them, and should be put upon an equality with their masters, in celebrating a common festivity.”

The Feast of Fools and the almost blasphemous extravagances in some instances associated with it have constantly been made the occasion of a sweeping condemnation of the medieval Church. On the other hand some Catholic writers have thought it necessary to try to deny the existence of such abuses. The truth, as Father Dreves has pointed out (Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, XLVII, 572), lies midway between these extremes. There can be no question that ecclesiastical authority repeatedly condemned the license of the Feast of Fools in the strongest terms, no one being more determined in his efforts to suppress it than the great Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln. But these customs were so firmly rooted that centuries passed away before they were entirely eradicated. Secondly, it is equally certain that the institution did lend itself to abuses of a very serious character, even though the nature and gravity of these varied considerably at different epochs. In defense of the medieval Church one point must not be lost sight of. We possess hundreds, not to say thousands, of liturgical manuscripts of all countries and all descriptions. Amongst them the occurrence of anything which has to do with the Feast of Fools is extraordinarily rare. In missals and breviaries we may say that it never occurs. At best a prose or a trope composed for such an occasion is here and there to be found in a gradual or an antiphonary. It is reasonable to infer from this circumstance that though these extravagances took place in church and were attached to the ordinary services, the official sanction was of the slenderest.

The same conclusion follows from two well-known cases which Father Dreves has carefully studied. In 1199, Bishop Eudes de Sully imposed regulations to check the abuses committed in the celebration of the Feast of Fools on New Year’s Day at Notre-Dame in Paris. The celebration was not entirely banned, but the part of the “Lord of Misrule” or “Precentor Stultorum” was restrained within decorous limits. He was to be allowed to intone the prose “Laetemur gaudiis” in the cathedral, and to wield the precentor’s staff, but this was to take place before the first Vespers of the feast were sung. Apart from this, the Church offices proper were to be performed as usual, with, however, some concessions in the way of extra solemnity. During the second Vespers, it had been the custom that the precentor of the fools should be deprived of his staff when the verse “Deposuit potentes de sede” (He hath put down the mighty from their seat) was sung at the Magnificat. Seemingly this was the dramatic moment, and the feast was hence often known as the “Festum ‘Deposuit’”. Eudes de Sully permitted that the staff might here be taken from the mock precentor, but enacted that the verse “Deposuit” was not be repeated more than five times. A similar case of a legitimized Feast of Fools at Sens c. 1220 is also examined by Father Dreves in detail. The whole text of the office is in this case preserved to us. There are many proses and interpolations (farsurae) added to the ordinary liturgy of the Church, but nothing which could give offense as unseemly, except the prose “Orientis partibus”, etc., partly quoted in the article FEAST OF ASSES. This prose or “conductus”, however, was not a part of the office, but only a preliminary to Vespers sung while the procession of subdeacons moved from the church door to the choir. Still, as already stated, there can be no question of the reality of the abuses which followed in the wake of celebrations of this kind.

The central idea seems always to have been that of the old Saturnalia, i.e. a brief social revolution, in which power, dignity or impunity is conferred for a few hours upon those ordinarily in a subordinate position. Whether it took the form of the boy bishop or the subdeacon conducting the cathedral office, the parody must always have trembled on the brink of burlesque, if not of the profane. We can trace the same idea at Saint Gall in the tenth century, where a student, on the thirteenth of December each year, enacted the part of the abbot. It will be sufficient here to notice that the continuance of the celebration of the Feast of Fools was finally forbidden under the very severest penalties by the Council of Basle in 1435, and that this condemnation was supported by a strongly-worded document issued by the theological faculty of the University of Paris in 1444, as well as by numerous decrees of various provincial councils. In this way it seems that the abuse had practically disappeared before the time of the Council of Trent.

MLA Citation

  • Herbert Thurston. “Feast of Fools”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Catholic Encyclopedia – Feast of Asses

Article

The celebration of the “Festum Asinorum” in medieval and ecclesiastical circles was a pastime in which all, from the dignitaries in the upper stalls of the sanctuary to the humblest among the esclaffardi, participated. The feast dates for the eleventh century, though the source which suggested it is much older. This source was the pseudo-Augustinian “Sermo contra judaeos, paganos, et Arianos de Symbolo” (P.L., XLII, 1117), written probably in the sixth century, but ascribed throughout the Middle Ages to St. Augustine (E.K. Chambers, The Medieval Stage, II, 53). For the reprint of an eleventh-century manuscript which gives the sermon in dramatized form, see Edélestand du Méril, Les Origines latines du theatre moderne, 179-187; and for a complete history of this manuscript, and the théâtre that grew out of it, Les prophètes du Christ, by Marius Sepet (Paris, 1878). The original sermon is itself a highly dramatic piece. The preacher impersonates the Hebrew prophets whose Messianic utterances he works into an argument establishing the Divinity of Christ. Having confuted the Jews out of the mouths of their own teachers, the orator addresses himself to the unbelieving Gentiles — “Ecce, convertimur ad gentes.” The testimony of Virgil, Nabuchodonosor, and the Erythræan Sibyl is eloquently set forth and interpreted in favour of the general thesis. As early as the eleventh century this sermon had taken the form of a metrical dramatic dialogue, the stage-arrangement adhering closely to the original. Additions and adaptations were gradually introduced. A Rouen manuscript of the thirteenth century outlined in Ducange (Glossarium, s.v. Festum) exhibits twenty-eight prophets as taking part in the play. After Terce, the rubric directs, “let the procession move to the church, in the centre of which let there be a furnace and an idol for the brethren to refuse to worship.” The procession filed into the choir. On the one side were seated Moses, Amos, Isaias, Aaron, Balaam and his Ass, Zachary and Elizabeth, John the Baptist and Simeon. The three Gentile prophets sat opposite. The proceedings were conducted under the auspices of St. Augustine, whom the presiding dignitary called on each of the prophets, who successively testified to the birth of the Messiah. When the Sibyl had recited her acrostic lines on the Signs of Judgment (Du Méril, 186), all the prophets sang in unison a hymn of praise to the long-sought Saviour. Mass immediately followed. In all this the part that pleased the congregation was the rôle of Balaam and the Ass; hence the popular designation of the “Processus Prophetarum” as “the Feast of the Ass.” The part of Balaam was soon dissociated from its surroundings and expanded into an independent drama. The Rouen rubrics direct that two messengers be sent by King Balaak to bring forth the prophet. Balaam advances riding on a gorgeously caparisoned ass (a wooden, or hobby, ass, for the rubric immediately bids somebody to hide beneath the trappings—not an enviable position when the further direction to the rider was carried out—”and let him goad the ass with his spurs”). From the Chester pageant it is clear that the prophet rode on a wooden animal, since the rubric supposes that the speaker for the beast is “in asinâ” (Thos. Wright, The Chester Plays, I, v). Then follows the scene in which the ass meets the angered angel and protests at length against the cruelty of the rider. Once detached from the parent stem, the “Festum Asinorum” branched in various directions. In the Beauvais thirteenth-century document, quoted by the editors of Ducange, the “Feast of Asses” is already an independent Trope with the date and purpose of its celebration changed. At Beauvais the Ass may have continued his minor role of enlivening the long procession of Prophets. On the fourteenth of January, however, he discharged an important function in that city’s festivities. On the feast of the Flight into Egypt the most beautiful girl in the city, with a pretty child in her arms, was placed on a richly draped ass, and conducted with religious gravity to St. Stephen’s Church. The Ass (possibly a wooden figure) was stationed at the right of the altar, and the Mass was begun. After the Introit a Latin Prose was sung. The first stanza and its French refrain may serve as a specimen of the nine that follow:

Orientis partibus
Adventavit Asinus
Pulcher et fortissimus
Sarcinis aptissimus.
Hez, Sire Asnes, car chantez,
Belle bouche rechignez,
Vous aurez du foin assez
Et de l’avoine a plantez.

“From the Eastern lands the Ass is come, beautiful and very brave, well fitted to bear burdens. Up! Sir Ass, and sing. Open your pretty mouth. Hay will be yours in plenty, and oats in abundance.”

Mass was continued, and at its end, apparently without awakening the least consciousness of its impropriety, the following direction was observed:

In fine Missæ sacerdos, versus ad populum, vice ‘Ita, Missæ Est’, ter hinhannabit: populus vero, vice ‘Deo Gratias’, ter respondebit, ‘Hinham, hinham, hinham.’ At the end of Mass, the priest, having turned to the people, in lieu of saying the ‘Ite, Missa est’, will bray thrice; the people instead of replying ‘Deo Gratias’ say, ‘Hinham, hinham, hinham.’

This is the sole instance of a service of this nature in connection with the Feast of Ass. The Festum Asinorum gradually lost its identity, and became incorporated in the ceremonies of the Deposuit or united in the general merry-making on the Feast of Fools. The “Processus Prophetarum”, whence it drew its origin, survives in the Corpus Christi and Whitsun Cycles, that stand at the head of the modern English drama.

MLA Citation

  • Timothy J Crowley. “Feast of Asses”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Catholic Encyclopedia – All Saints’ Day

Article

The vigil of this feast is popularly called “Hallowe’en” or “Halloween”.

Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year.

In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr’s death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of Saint Basil of Caesarea (379) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of Saint John Chrysostom (407). At first only martyrs and Saint John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established; still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a “Commemoratio Confessorum” for the Friday after Easter. In the West Boniface IV, 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of Saint Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. A basilica of the Apostles already existed in Rome, and its dedication was annually remembered on 1 May. Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The vigil seems to have been held as early as the feast itself. The octave was added by Sixtus IV (1471-84).

MLA Citation

  • Francis Mershman. “All Saints’ Day”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Saint Marciano of Constantinople

Memorial

Profile

Cantor. Martyred by Arians in the persecutions of emperor Constantius.

Canonized

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Marciano of Constantinople“. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Saint Martirio of Constantinople

Memorial

Profile

Sub-deacon. Martyred by Arians in the persecutions of emperor Constantius.

Canonized

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Martirio of Constantinople“. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Catholic Encyclopedia – Saints Crispin and Crispinian

[Pictorial Lives of the Saints: Saint Crispin and Saint Crispinian, Martyrs]Article

Martyrs of the Early Church who were beheaded during the reign of Diocletian; the date of their execution is given as 25 October, 285 or 286. It is stated that they were brothers, but the fact has not been positively proved. The legend relates that they were Romans of distinguished descent who went as missionaries of the Christian Faith to Gaul and chose Soissons as their field of labour. In imitation of Saint Paul they worked with their hands, making shoes, and earned enough by their trade to support themselves and also to aid the poor. During the Diocletian persecution they were brought before Maximianus Herculius whom Diocletian had appointed co-emperor. At first Maximianus sought to turn them from their faith by alternate promises and threats. But they replied: “Thy threats do not terrify us, for Christ is our life, and death is our gain. Thy rank and possessions are nought to us, for we have long before this sacrificed the like for the sake of Christ and rejoice in what we have done. If thou shouldst acknowledge and love Christ thou wouldst give not only all the treasures of this life, but even the glory of thy crown itself in order through the exercise of compassion to win eternal life.” When Maximianus saw that his efforts were of no avail, he gave Crispin and Crispinian into the hands of the governor Rictiovarus (Rictius Varus), a most cruel persecutor of the Christians. Under the order of Rictiovarus they were stretched on the rack, thongs were cut from their flesh, and awls were driven under their finger-nails. A millstone was then fastened about the neck of each, and they were thrown into the Aisne, but they were able to swim to the opposite bank of the river. In the same manner they suffered no harm from a great fire in which Rictiovarus, in despair, sought death himself. Afterwards the two saints were beheaded at the command of Maximianus.

This is the story of the legend which the Bollandists have incorporated in their great collection; the same account is found in various breviaries. The narrative says that a large church was built over the graves of the two saints, consequently the legend could not have arisen until a later age; it contains, moreover, many details that have little probability or historical worth and seems to have been compiled from various fabulous sources. In the sixth century a stately basilica was erected at Soissons over the graves of these saints, and Saint Eligius, a famous goldsmith, made a costly shrine for the head of Saint Crispinian. Some of the relics of Crispin and Crispinian were carried to Rome and placed in the church of San Lorenzo in Panisperna. Other relics of the saints were given by Charlemagne to the cathedral, dedicated to Crispin and Crispinian, which he founded at Osnabrück. Crispin and Crispinian are the patron saints of shoemakers, saddlers, and tanners. Their feast falls on 1913. Saints.SQPN.com. 23 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Blessed Recaredo Centelles Abad

Memorial

Profile

Studied at seminaries in Tortosa and Tarragona in Spain. Priest, ordained on 25 May 1929. Member of the Diocesan Worker Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Worked as vocation director at the Tarragona seminary, and then rector of the seminary at Tortosa. Martyred in the Spanish Civil War.

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Recaredo Centelles Abad“. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>

Martyrs of Cruz Cubierta

Memorial

Profile

A mother, Blessed María Teresa Ferragud Roig de Masiá, and her four daughters, Blessed María Joaquina Masiá Ferragud, Blessed María Vicenta Masiá Ferragud, Blessed María Felicidad Masiá Ferragud and Blessed Josefa Ramona Masiá Ferragud, all nuns, who were Martyred in the Spanish Civil War.

Died

Beatified

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Martyrs of Cruz Cubierta“. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 October 2014. Web. 24 October 2014. <>