August 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 146

LITURGY for Monday and Tuesday, August 21-22, 2000

Monday, August 21, 2000

      First Reading: Ezechiel 24: 15-24
      Psalms: Deuteronomy 32: 18-21
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 19: 16-22
Feast of Pope Saint Pius X, Pontiff of the Eucharist
        Born Joseph Sarto in 1835 near Treviso, Italy at Riese, this young parish priest went on to become one of the greatest Popes ever - Pope Saint Pius X - the Pope of the Blessed Sacrament. Prior to his elevation to the papacy he was ordained Bishop of Mantua in 1884 and became Cardinal Sarto in 1893. Against his own wishes he was unanimously elected the 257th pontiff in the line of Peter at the conclave on August 9, 1903. His pontificate was one of great accomplishments from his liturgical reforms in the Breviary, Mass, and Gregorian Chant to his establishing that all children who had reached the age of reason could receive Holy Communion. He promulgated a new Catechism and the Code of Canon Law and established the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (A.A.S.) He decreed the elevation of the Holst and Chalice at the Consecration of the Mass and was known for his staunch defense of the conservative Church and opposed staunchly to liberalism. He deplored diplomacy in the face of all of the hypocrism and false dealings between nations and many believe the loss of so many lives at the outbreak of World War I contributed to his early death on August 21, 1914, 22 days after war had broken out. His last words were: "To restore all things in Christ, so that Christ may be all in all." That was his motto throughout his eleven year papacy. Today his body is still incorrupt, having been moved from St. Peter's Basilica in Rome in 1959 to his home diocese of Venice, thus bringing true his last words to the Venetians before Cardinal Sarto headed off to the conclave in 1903, "Living or dead, I shall return." Venice sent the Church a great pontiff, now Holy Mother Church was returning a great saint.

Tuesday, August 22, 2000

      First Reading: Ezechiel 28: 1-10
      Psalms: Deuteronomy 32: 26-28, 30, 35-36
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 19: 23-30
        This special feast is the natural progression of what took place after Mary's Assumption into Heaven. Like our present pontiff Pope John Paul II, his Holiness Pope Pius XII was a devotee of the Blessed Mother and proclaimed four years after decreeing the Assumption dogma that the Queenship of Mary would be celebrated henceforth on May 31. This was accomplished through his encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam in commemoration of the one hundred anniversary of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In the Canticle of Mary recited on the feast of the Assumption there is theological substantiation for this feast as we read, "Today the Virgin Mary was taken up to Heaven; rejoice, for she reigns with Christ forever." After Vatican II it was moved to August 22nd as the octave day of the Assumption so Holy Mother Church could properly link her elevation to this glory with the crowning glory of Mary as Queen of the Angels and the Saints. In Lumen Gentium it says "The Immaculate Virgin...was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf Apocalypse 19: 16) and conqueror of sin and death." In AAS 38, Pius declared: "Mary is queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest and by singular election." He also proclaimed in Ineffabilis Deus that her queenship should be venerated "as something extraordinary, wondrous, [and] eminently holy." There is no record of a demand for this feast prior to the 20th Century but medieval hymns proclaim often Mary's title as Queen such as Salve Regina, Regina Coeli, and Ave Regina Coelorum. In the Litany of the BVM or Litany of Loreto she is proclaimed Queen in 12 instances beginning with "Queen of angels" to "Queen of peace." There is also the fifth mystery of the Rosary: The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. For a special prayer to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, see Devotions.

August 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 146

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