“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie                                                                                                                                                 "Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God" - Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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SUNDAY 29th AUGUST - PASSION OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

Salome with the Head of the Baptist by Caravaggio, 1607
The Feast of the Decollation, or Passion of our Blessed Patron was this year displaced by the occurring Sunday. Whereas the Nativity is a Solemnity which would take precedence over the Sunday, this Feast does not, even in the oratories of the Order.

In the Conventual Church, as part of the monthly day of Recollection on Saturday (with excellent conferences given by Father Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory) the Feast was observed by sung votive First Vespers, and during Holy Hour the singing by Schola Baptista of the glorious English early Tudor motet 'O Baptista vates Christi' by Hugh Aston (born 1485).

"O Baptist, Prophet of Christ,
who arose greatest among those
born of women,
whom we entreat in this temple
with concordant voices,
be on the side of us, thy people.

Defend this choir,
whose members we are
and whose leader and best patron
thou art after Christ,
lest the smoke of anger harm us;
let love be in our hearts.

Thou art nothing without God,
who chose thee alone
among so many mortals
to be a witness to our hope,
the true preacher of the word of God,
pointing out the Son of God..."

Holy Hour was followed by veneration of the relic, which was also present on the altar for the Mass of the Sunday.

The Grand Prior was present on Sunday, and thus able to greet everyone on this patronal feast which we share with the Hospital.

SUFFRAGE OF THE PASSION OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
Misso Herodes spiculatore, praecepit amputari caput Joannis in carcere : quo audito, discipuli ejus venerunt, et tulerunt corpus ejus, et posuerunt illud in monumento.
V/. Gloria et honore coronasti eum, Domine.
R/. Et constituisti eum super opera manuum tuarum.
Oremus. Sancti Joannis Baptistae Praecusoris et Martyris tui, quaesumus Domine, veneranda festivitas, salutaris auxilii nobis praestet effectum : Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deum, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.