Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, HYMNS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – Queen on Whose Starry Brow Doth Rest

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – The Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes

Queen on Whose Starry Brow Doth Rest
St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530-c 609)
Translation by Monsignor Ronald A Knox (1888 – 1957)

Queen, on whose starry brow doth rest
The crown of perfect maidenhood,
The God who made thee, from thy brest
Drew, for our sakes, His earthly food.

The grace that sinful Eve denied,
With thy Child-bearing, reppears;
Heaven’s lingering door, set open wide,
Welcomes the children of her tears.

Fate, for such royal progress meet,
Beacon, whose rays such light can give,
Look, how the ransomed nations greet
The virgin-womb that bade them live!

O Jesus, whom the Vrgin bore,
Be praise and glory unto Thee.
Praise to the Father evermore
And His life-givine Spirit be.
Amen!

Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) Bishop, Poet, Hymnist, Writer – born c 530 at Rreviso, Italy and died c 609 at Poitiers, modern France of natural causes.
St Venantius was unique, first a travelling lay poet, he later became a Priest and then a Bishop. But he always remained a professional author of poetry, a “troubadour” of Christ.
He is the author of the Ave Maris Stella, amongst many others.

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY

Second Thought for the Day – 14 December – Ave Maris Stella

Second Thought for the Day – 14 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, the Memorial of St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) and a Marian Saturday

The Ave Maris Stella (“Hail Star of the Sea”) is a plainsong Vespers hymn to Mary.   It was especially popular in the Middle Ages and has been used by many composers as the basis of other compositions.   The creation of the original hymn has been attributed to several people, including Saint Venantius Fortunatus (6th century) Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (12th century) and Hermannus Contractus (11th century).

The text is found in 9th-century manuscripts, kept in Vienna and in the Abbey of Saint Gall.

The melody is found in the Irish plainsong “Gabhaim Molta Bríde”, a piece in praise of St Bridget of Ireland.   There are many translations of this most beautiful and favourite Catholic prayer, the one below is found in The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ave Maris Stella

Hail, O Star of the ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav’nly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve’s name.

Break the sinners’ fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.

Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.

Praise to God the Father,
honour to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one.
Amenave maris stellas 14 dec 2019 poss by st venantius fortunatus 14 dec 2019 or st bernard.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, YouTube VIDEOS

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – The God whom earth and sea and sky

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, the Memorial of St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) and a Marian Saturday

The God whom earth and sea and sky
For Mary, The Mother of God
For the Annunciation and Christmas
By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

The God whom earth and sea and sky
Adore and praise and magnify,
Whose might they claim, whose love they tell,
In Mary’s body comes to dwell.

O Mother blest! the chosen shrine
Wherein the architect divine,
Whose hand contains the earth and sky,
Has come in human form to lie.

Blest in the message Gabriel brought,
Blest in the work the Spirit wrought,
Most blest, to bring to human birth
The long desired of all the earth.

O Lord, the Virgin-born, to you
Eternal praise and laud are due,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Spirit blest for evermore.

the god whom earth and sea and sky st venantius fortunatus 14 dec 2019 hymn poem for mary

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS

Saint of the Day – 14 December – Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

Saint of the Day – 14 December – Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) Bishop, Poet, Hymnist, Writer – born c 530 at Rreviso, Italy and died c 609 at Poitiers, modern France of natural causes.

Today’s saint was unique, first a travelling lay poet, he later became a Priest and then a Bishop.   But he always remained a professional author of poetry, a “troubadour” of Christ.st venantius fortunatus 1.jpg

His impressive full name was Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus.   Born near Treviso in northern Italy, he received a good education in literature and law.

While studying at Ravenna, he was cured of an eye ailment by the intercession of St Martin of Tours.   To express his gratitude to the Gallic saint, he set out for France, intent on a thanksgiving visit to St Martin’s tomb.   He did not take the shortest route, however. He went to Mainz, Cologne, Trier and Metz in Germany, then crossed into Gaul (France) and visited Verdun, Rheims, Soissons and Paris before he reached his destination.   We know all this, because, we have the poetry he wrote for benefactors in each of these places.   Thus he earned his fare.

After Venantius had thanked the Saint of Tours, he went over to Poitiers, also in France and became attached to the Monastery of the Holy Cross at that place.   He had been attracted by the work that St Radegund was doing at Poitiers.

Radegund was the daughter of the King of Thuringia.   King Clotaire of the Franks had captured her and forced her to marry him.   Escaping from her husband, the unwilling queen had taken the veil at Poitiers and founded Holy Cross Abbey.   She chose her adopted daughter Agnes as abbess.   Venantius, who had a great sensitivity to women in need, volunteered to serve this monastery as its unofficial steward.   Later, he entered the priesthood and became the monastery’s chaplain.   His “mother” (as he called St Radegund) and his “sister” (as he called Abbess Agnes) were a good and gracious influence on him.ST venantius fortunatus AlmaTadema-VenantiusFortunatus.jpg

It was in 569, while Venantius was serving Holy Cross Abbey, that the Emperor Justin II sent to Queen Radegund a generous relic of the true Cross of Jesus.   King Sigebert of Gaul arranged for a splendid ceremony to welcome this relic.   Venantius composed the hymn Vexilla Regis, (“The royal banners forward go.”)   One of the greatest of the medieval hymns, it continued to be chanted at the rites of Good Friday until the 1960s.

When St Radegund died in 587, Fortunatus was freer to travel about.   Wherever he went, he was still prevailed on to write new poems.   From 599 to 609 he was also bishop of Poitiers.   As such, he was a close associate of three other notable bishops – Saints Felix of Nantes, Leontius of Bordeaux and Gregory of Tours.  St Gregory urged him to collect and publish his poetical works.   He did so and it amounted to ten fat volumes.   More volumes were added after his death.

He had written cheerfully for every sort of celebration.   Some of his poems were complimentary, some were lives of the saints but the most durable were his devotional works.   Another of these was sung, like the Vexilla Regis, in the Good Friday liturgy: “Pange lingua gloriosi lauream certaminis” (“Sing, my tongue, the Saviour’s glory”).   A third is still used (in translation) for Easter – Salve festa dies (“Hail thee, festival day”).   St Venantius also wrote hymns to Mary – “Quem terra, fontes, aethera” (“To God whom earth and sea and sky”) and perhaps even the popular “Ave Maris Stella” (“Hail, bright star of ocean”).

Fortunatus wrote panegyrics and other types of poems, including praise, eulogies, personal poems to bishops and friends alike, consolations and poems in support of political issues, particularly those presented by his friends Gregory of Tours and Radegunde.   His eleven books of poetry contain his surviving poems, all ordered chronologically and by importance of subject.   For instance, a poem about God will come before the panegyric to a king, which will come before a eulogy to aBishop.  This collection of poems is the main primary source for writing about his life.

Venantius died with a reputation for genial holiness.   Although he has never been listed as a saint in the official Roman Martyrology, he was honoured as such even during his lifetime and now, in several French and Italian dioceses, great feasts are still held in his honour.   As a poet, his devotional verge can show a depth of poetic piety.   Thus, in addressing the Cross in his Vexilla Regis, he sings touchingly – (I took the liberty of making an image of this beautiful verse on the Salvidor Dali rendition of “Christ of St John of the Cross” based on St John’s drawing and on his Feast day today).

“On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey
All hail, O Cross, our only hope!”on whose dear arms so widely flung - st venantius fortunatus - 14 dec 2019 - exaltation of the holy cross.jpg

In his time, Fortunatus filled a great social desire for Latin poetry  . He was one of the most prominent poets at this point and had many contracts, commissions and correspondences with kings, bishops and noblemen and women from the time he arrived in Gaul until his death.   He used his poetry to advance in society, to promote political ideas he supported, usually conceived of by Radegunde or by Gregory and, to pass on personal thoughts and communications.   He was a master wordsmith and because of his promotion of the church, as well as the Roman tendencies of the Frankish royalty, he remained in favour with most of his acquaintances throughout his lifetime.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 14 December

St John of the Cross OCD (Memorial) (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
Full Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/saint-of-the-day-14-december-1542-1591-doctor-of-the-church/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/14/saint-of-the-day-14-december-st-john-of-the-cross-ocd-1542-1591/

St Abundius of Spain
St Agnellus of Naples
Bl Buenaventura Bonaccorsi
St Folcuino of Therouanne
Bl Joan Lambertini
St John Pan y Agua (Bread-and-Water)
Bl John Discalceat
St Justus of Spain
St Matronianus of Milan
St Pompeius of Pavia
Bl Protasi Cubells Minguell
St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)
St Viator of Bergamo
St Yusuf Jurj Kassab al-Hardini
Bl William de Rovira

Martyrs of Alexandria – 4 saints: A group of Egyptian Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Decius – Arsenius, Dioscurus, Heron and Isidore. They were burned to death in 250 at Alexandria, Egypt.

Martyrs of Apollonia – 7 saints: Martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only surviving details are three names – Callinicus, Leucio and Tirso. Apollonia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Ashkelon – 3 saints: Several pilgrims from Egypt to Cilicia (in modern Turkey) who planned to minister to fellow Christians suffering in the persecutions of emperor Maximinus. They were arrested, torture, mutilated and then imprisoned in Ashkelon. Some were ordered to forced labour in the mines, but we have the names of three who were martyred by order of governor Firmilian – Ares, Elijah and Promo. They were burned at the stake or beheaded at the gates of Ashkelon c 308.

Martyrs of Hayle – 2+ saints: Several Christians, including a brother and sister, who were martyred together by pagans. The only other information to survive are the names of the two siblings – Fingar and Phiala. 5th century at Hayle, Cornwall, England.

Martyrs of Syria – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together. Known to Saint John Chrysostom who preached on their feast day, and left us the only details we have – their names – Drusus, Theodore and Zosimus. The date and precise location of their martyrdom is unknown, but it was in Syria, possibly in Antioch.