25 April – St. Mark and Major Rogation Day

Years ago I heard an old Italian bishop, tired of the yakking inside the meeting of their conference, react to my description of a Corpus Christi procession in the Vatican Gardens and say: “Meno chiacchiere – più processioni. … Less jabbering – more processions.”

Today, 25 April, the Feast of St. Mark, is when Holy Church traditionally had it’s “Major” Rogation Day, with the singing of litanies and a procession asking God to bless new crops, etc. The “Minor” Rogation Days occur from Monday through Wednesday before Ascension Thursday… THURSDAY.

“Rogation” comes from rogo “to ask”.

The procession, which often went about the boundaries of a parish, was called the “beating of the bounds”, handy back when there were no or few maps for keeping boundaries in the common knowledge.

Another wonderful tradition which should be revived.   The Church’s calendar was intimately bound up with the journey of your planet around its yellow star.

Præsta, qu?sumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui in afflictióne nostra de tua pietáte confídimus, contra advérsa ómnia, tua semper protectióne muniámur.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who in our affliction put our trust in Thy mercy, may ever be defended by Thy protection against all adversity.

I would add… “adversity from without and from within”.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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4 Responses to 25 April – St. Mark and Major Rogation Day

  1. Tom says:

    Yet another tradition revived in the calendar of the ordinary form by way of the Personal Ordinariates.

  2. MichaelDowd says:

    The Church needs to bring back Rogation days as means of living our spiritual lives and as a cultural reminder of our Catholic faith. Our faith dissipates without physical expressions of what it means to be a Catholic.

  3. Simon_GNR says:

    Beating of the bounds is one of the old Catholic traditions than some Church of England parishes still maintain – or have revived. I find that there is sometimes a much greater sense of continuity with the pre-Reformation Catholic Church in Anglican churches and cathedrals than in many Catholic ones. In some respects the CofE has not so often “thrown the baby out with the bathwater” as has the Catholic Church since Vatican II.
    A couple of miles from my home there are fields that still bear their names associated with the Rogation Day beating of the bounds – Gospel Field, Epistle Field and Amen Corner, the last still sometimes used as the name of the road junction adjacent to it.

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I find it very striking that the Golden State Killer was finally caught on this day. He broke the bounds of homes and neighborhoods, as well as the bounds of decency. Now, finally, he cannot scare people anymore.