Lumen ad Revelationem. Viganò’s Homily on the Feast of the Purification of Mary Most Holy : STILUM CURIAE

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

My Eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of every people.  With these words, the aged Simeon praises the Lord for having granted him the privilege of being able to witness the fulfillment of the Prophecies, being able to hold in his arms the Infant Messiah, brought to the Temple to be circumcised according to the prescriptions of the Old Law. That short but profound canticle is repeated every night at Compline, because the prayer that the Church recites at the end of each day prepares us for the end of our earthly exile with our faces turned towards Our Lord.

Today’s feast was dedicated, up until the reform of 1962, to the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, and it was therefore a Marian recurrence of a pentiential nature, as evidenced by violet-colored vestments; just as the rite of Purification which all Jewish mothers had to undergo forty days after giving birth was penitential (Lev 12:2). Holy Church also preserves in the Rituale Romanum the special Blessing for Mothers who have given birth, which has now fallen into disuse but which it would be a pious practice to restore in its spiritual significance. Just as for the rite of the Baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan, so also the rite of Purification did not strictly have sense or utility for Mary Most Holy, since she is Most Pure and without sin in virtue of her Immaculate Conception. By her submission to the Law then in force, Our Lady gives us an example of obedience to religious precepts, so that we may not forget that we are children of wrath and that we merit Grace only because of the infinite merits that Our Savior acquired for us through His Passion and Death on the Cross.

The reform of Roncalli – which was worked on by many of the same experts who worked on the reform of Holy Week under Pius XII and then on the entire corpus liturgicum with the Montinian rite – changed the name of the feast from the Purification of the Blessed Virgin to the Presentation in the Temple of Our Lord. The motivation was to set the celebration in a Christocentric light – something in itself licit and which was therefore welcomed by parish priests. In reality, the purpose of the authors of the 1962 reform was to open the conciliar Overton window, inaugurated with the Ordo Hebdomadæ Sanctæ instauratus. The unmentionable purpose, which for this reason was to be kept strictly concealed so as not to compromise future developments, consisted in weakening the cult of the Virgin and the Saints – as can be seen, for example, from the reclassification of the feasts of the Sanctoral Cycle – in a pro-Protestant mode. We understand then how, under the guise of a harmless and doctrinally acceptable change, the desire was not so much to emphasize the centrality of Our Lord in the liturgical cycle as to use it as a pretext to exclude the Mother of God, who was considered an obstacle to ecumenical dialogue. Thus, by small steps, the innovators succeeded in making the doctrine of the Mediation and Co-redemption of Mary Most Holy be forgotten, without explicitly denying it.

Catholics know well that giving the veneration of hyperdulia to the Virgin does not detract from the worship of latriaowed to the Divine Majesty, but rather favors the Son through His most august Mother, in whom He has worked wonders: quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est. Instead, heretics show their horror even at simply naming Our Lady, because Her humility and obedience constitute an intolerable affront to the pride and disobedience of Satan, their father. And if in His infinite wisdom the Lord wanted the Immaculate Virgin to trample on the head of the ancient Serpent, why should we pretend – as Protestants do – to deal directly with Him, despising the powerful Mediatrix that He gave us at the foot of the Cross as Mother and Advocate? Would we not offend the Lord by treating with little regard and distrust the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the honor of our people?


Lumen ad Revelationem. Viganò’s Homily on the Feast of the Purification of Mary Most Holy : STILUM CURIAE

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