Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus


Painting: Master of Perea (fl. c. 1490-1510) Saint Lazarus With His Sisters Martha And Mary', 16th Century,  Location: Museo Lazaro Galdiano-Coleccion, Madrid, Spain.


On 26th January the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments  issued a decree signed by Pope Francis proclaiming 29th July as the feast of Ss Martha, Mary and Lazarus together. Previously this has just been the feast of St Martha. The full text of the decree can be read below.

They already share this feast day in the Benedictine calendar:

Heavenly Father, 
your son was received as an honored and welcome guest in the home of Bethany. 
Keep us close to the Master in our prayer and work that, blameless in his sight, 
he may welcome us into our eternal home, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.    
  
                                                                                                                    Benedictine Missal supplement.

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The Lord’s raising of Lazarus from the dead is an anticipation of resurrection and a sign of eternal life for the rest of us who are baptized into the Mystical Body of Christ. Resurrection from the dead becomes, with this passage from the Gospels, a powerful “game-changer” in the life of every human being. The death and subsequent raising of Lazarus evokes in each of us the knowledge that we do not make ourselves, that God is the only Creator of who we are and what we are about. This gesture of the Lord’s invites each of us to a deeper faith in the Messiah.

So, why is honoring all three characters crucial in our Christian life? Each person: Mary, Martha and Lazarus are as one in the friendship with Jesus. If friendship, then fidelity, and perseverance, gratitude and hospitality.

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CONGREGATIO DE CULTU DIVINO ET DISCIPLINA SACRAMENTORUM

Prot. N. 35/21

DECREE
on the Celebration of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus
in the General Roman Calendar

In the household of Bethany the Lord Jesus experienced the family spirit and friendship of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, and for this reason the Gospel of John states that he loved them. Martha generously offered him hospitality, Mary listened attentively to his words and Lazarus promptly emerged from the tomb at the command of the One who humiliated death.

The traditional uncertainty of the Latin Church about the identity of Mary - the Magdalene to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection, the sister of Martha, the sinner whose sins the Lord had forgiven - which resulted in the inclusion of Martha alone on 29 July in the Roman Calendar, has been resolved in recent studies and times, as attested by the current Roman Martyrology, which also commemorates Mary and Lazarus on that day. Moreover, in some particular calendars the three siblings are already celebrated together.

Therefore, the Supreme Pontiff Pope FRANCIS, considering the important evangelical witness they offered in welcoming the Lord Jesus into their home, in listening to him attentively, in believing that he is the resurrection and the life, and accepting the proposal of this Dicastery, has decreed that 29 July be designated in the General Roman Calendar as the Memorial of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

The Memorial must therefore appear under this title in all Calendars and Liturgical Books for the celebration of Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours; the variations and additions to be adopted in the liturgical texts, attached to the present decree, must be translated, approved and, after confirmation by this Dicastery, published by the Episcopal Conferences.

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 26 January 2021, Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops.


Robert Card. Sarah
Prefect

Thursday, 21 January 2021

World Leprosy Day


Sunday 31st January is designated as World Leprosy Day (each year the last Sunday in January). At his installation our Grand Prior HE Anthony Dickinson requested chaplains to offer Mass on this day for the intentions of the Grand Master, HE Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz . Our Chaplain General in Great Britain, Fr Simon Henry will be do so at the 10am Mass that day in his parish of St Catherine Labouré.

Mass is also offered each year on the old Feast of the Precious Blood for all those suffering from leprosy and for all those whom our charitable activities are intended to help. Prompted by the thought of leprosy as a disease of the blood recalling that the Precious Blood of Our Lord shed for us is the healing salve to all our infirmities - spiritual and physical.



Monday, 18 January 2021

The Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, by its history and its structure, has always been and remains, in reality, an equestrian order.



Because of it's checkered history, at times almost dying out, the Order of St Lazarus sometimes faces questions on the question of in what way is it recognized by the Catholic Church.

The historical and spiritual identity of the Order is obviously equestrian in nature and we are happy to report that in December 2020 Cardinal Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, has  given us this confirmation by a letter sent to the Grand Master. 

The Cardinal specifies that he 

"considers that the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, by its history and its structure, has always been and remains, in reality, an equestrian order" 

and 

"wishes the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem to continue with great fruitfulness the work of sanctification of his members and of the noble service in favour of the poorest who characterise it in all the local Churches where it is present ”
.
The historical identity of the Order under our 50th Grand Master HE Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzeniczand and it's vocation within local Churches are thus confirmed by the Holy See and this is a great joy for us.

In conclusion, we can henceforth affirm that the Holy See confirms our historical identity as an equestrian order and encourages us to continue our action within the Catholic Church through the recognition of the local Churches.

Because of the historical vagaries of the Order, we have not had direct governance under the Holy See like the better known Equestrian Orders. Since October 16, 2016, the Apostolic See decided not to expand the number of its own equestrian orders; so new recognition in that manner would not be possible for any group. 

Therefore, encouraged by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, we continue the work oft gaining recognition at diocesan and Conference of Bishops level, as has happened already in many places.

We look forward to renewing our efforts under this encouragement as, God willing, we are able to return to meeting together to push forward our efforts fundraising for those in need.