Our word “translation” means, in essence, to “transfer”. It comes from Latin transfero, which has as one of its forms the participle translatum (trans-fero, tuli, latum). When you transfer something you move it from one place to another.
In churchy language we use the word “translation” in a technical sense. For example, “translation” refers to the moving of a saint’s relics from one place to another, usually to a permanent and more worthy place. This is actually a big deal, which requires a precise procedure and permission from the Congregation for Causes of Saints. Many of the feasts of saints we celebrate in the Roman calendar fall on the day their relics were transferred rather than on the day the saint died. A great saint for England, for example, St. Edward the Confessor’s feast is on the day of the translation of his relics because his death date was impeded by another feast.
Translation is also used for the moving of a bishop from one diocese to another and also the changing of a feast to a different day.
“But Father! But Father!”, I can hear some of you say, “What is this all about? Why are you talking about this sort of translation out of the blue? Are you tired of translating prayers””
There will be an interesting translation in Louisville, KY.
A reader sent me this notice, which I want to share with you, for it is Just Too Cool:
Subject: A big event at St. Martin’s in Louisville, KY
You may already have this on your radar, but if not I think this would be a really cool story for your blog. I am a parishioner at St. Martin of Tours and tomorrow, Sunday, September 9, the church will be celebrating a Solemn High Mass in EO at noon that will feature the re-internment of Sts. Bonosa and Magnus.
Louisville is actually unique in the US to have not only one but two full skeletal saints. Over the past several months, these saints have been undergoing a refurbishment (? – now sure the right term here). The work on the reliquaries and side altars is complete, and the time to return the relics of our saints is quickly approaching. A special Mass is being planned for Sunday, September 9th at 12:00 noon.
In 1901, Pope Leo XIII gave the full skeletal remains of two third-century Roman martyrs to the parish at the request of the pastor, Msgr. Zabler. [Nothing ventured, nothing gained!] St. Bonosa, a virgin persecuted for her beliefs, and St. Magnus, the Roman centurion who tried to save her life, both died in the Colosseum at the hands of Emperor Septimius Severus in A.D. 307. Originally buried in the catacombs of Rome, the remains were later moved to a monastery in Agnani, [I am pretty sure he means Anagni.] Italy. Then, when the Italian government confiscated the monastery and forced the nuns to leave, Msgr. Zabler petitioned the Holy Father for the relics. Harking back to the years of religious persecution shortly before the birth of St. Martin, these relics are a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many early Christians for the faith.
If you are anywhere near Louisville, I suggest you go.