Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iesu quadragenariae

Station at Saint Mary's Beyond the Tiber

The Station moves today from St Cecilia's in Trastevere to the venerable church of Our Lady in Trastevere, reputedly the oldest church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin in Rome. The titulus Callisti was built in the 4th century by Pope Julius I shortly after the peace of Constantine on a site of a 2nd-century oratory believed to have been built in honour of St Calixtus who was martyted near here. It is believed that this is possibly the first church where a public Mass in Rome was celebrated. The current church dates to the 12th century when Pope Innocent II rebuilt it.

The apsidal mosaic (below) depicts Our Lady being crowned beside her Son and flanked by the saints. On the facade of the church, Our Lady is depicted in mosaic as seated on a throne among wise virgins who have their oil lamps lit to receive the Bridegroom. This is an allusion to a legend that a spring of oil gushed from this site on the occasion of the birth of Jesus to signal Him as the Christ, the Anointed One.

It is to Him that we sing this 9th-century hymn, Iesu quadragenariae appointed for the weekdays of Lent:

'O Jesus Christ, from you began
This healing for the soul of man,

By fasting sought, by fasting found,

Through forty days this yearly round.

And now, behold your Church, O Lord,

And grace of penitence accord

To all who seek with generous tears

Renewal of their wasted years.

Forgive the sin that we have done,

Forgive the course that we have run,

And show henceforth in evil day

Yourself our succour and our stay.

Therefore, let every heart prepare,
By sacrifice of fast and prayer,
To keep with joy magnifical

The solemn Easter festival.

Father and Son and Spirit blessed,

To you be every prayer addressed,

Who are in threefold name adored,

From age to age, the only Lord. Amen.'


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