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Showing posts from August, 2020

Pio X

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Pio X This coming Friday marks the feast day of Pope St. Pius X (1835-1914). A man of great simplicity and piety, Pius X reigned as Bishop of Rome for eleven years during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Vehemently opposed to Catholic Modernism--that is, the numerous attempts to reconcile Roman Catholic teachings with the philosophies of the modern world--Pius X defined the movement as heretical in a series of encyclicals. In 1910, he instituted a requirement for all clergy and teachers of theology to swear an oath against modernist thought. The requirement was rescinded by Pope Paul VI in 1967 during the Second Vatican Council. 
In addition to his 'hard-line' approach to Catholic Modernism, Pius X had a particularly uncompromising attitude towards countries that had begun to embrace secular government (i.e. the separation of religion and state) owing to his refusal to accept the annexation of the Papal States by the Kingdom of Italy. One of Pius X's greatest …

Assumption/Dormition

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Assumption/Dormition    This coming Saturday marks the Solemnity of the Assumption of the BVM. It is the day on which Our Lady died and was taken, body and soul, up to heaven--it is the glorious transportation that is emphasized in the traditions of the Western Church. Meanwhile, in the traditions of the Eastern Church, it is Our Lady's bodily death that is emphasized--the title of the Feast Day is the 'Dormition' or 'falling asleep'. 
Icons that depict the Dormition tend to have broad similarities with those of the Nativity. Indeed, the concept of the Assumption/Dormition is an inversion of the Nativity--death as opposed to life, to heaven as opposed to from heaven &c. In these icons, one can see Our Lady's body on brier, surrounded by the Apostles and various Patriarchs. Standing above the brier is a curious image of Jesus holding a baby in swaddling clothes. In fact, the baby is a depiction of Our Lady's soul. 
Closely mirroring the classic 'Virgin…

Transfigured

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Transfigured Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. Falling in the middle of the summer months and in close proximity to the Solemnity of the Assumption of the BVM (15th August), it seems to be the forgotten feast day of the liturgical year. It marks the day when Jesus ascended a mountain (traditionally considered to be Mount Tabor) with Peter, James, and John. On the mountaintop, Jesus is transfigured before their eyes with his face and clothes becoming unbearably bright. Both Moses and Elijah at Jesus side and begin conversing with him. Finally, a bright cloud appears and a loud voice declares out of it that Jesus is his beloved Son. On hearing the voice, the three disciples fall to the ground in fear but Jesus reaches out to touch them and reassu. re them. As soon as they look up, Elijah, Moses, and the cloud are gone. They descend from the mountain with Jesus instructing them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until after his Resurrection. This account is found in all…