17 January: S. Antonio Abate

St. Anthony Abbot – Metropolitan Museum of Art

Once upon a time in Velletri, the main city of of the Suburbicarian Diocese of Velletri-Segni, at the Church of St. Anthony the Abbot, I did on this day stand outside the homonymous church in cassock, surplice, stole and biretta blessing pigs and horses. I found a photo page of this event in Velletri. The photos are not of the year I did this, but they are from Velletri, depicting the same event in another year.

Deus, qui beato Antonio abbati tribuisti
mira tibi in deserto conversatione servire,
eius nobis interventione concede,
ut, abnegantes nosmetipsos,
te iugiter super omnia diligamus

O God, who granted to blessed Anthony the Abbot
to serve You in the desert with a wondrous way of life,
grant now to us by his intecession,
that we, denying ourselves,
may always love you above all things.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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One Comment

  1. Henry Edwards says:

    For purpose of comparison, each line of Fr. Z’s text (in italics) is followed by the corresponding line of the ICEL version of today’s collect:

    O God, who granted to blessed Anthony the Abbot
    Father, you called Saint Anthony to renounce the world

    to serve You in the desert with a wondrous way of life,
    and serve you in the solitude of the desert.

    grant now to us by his intecession,
    By his prayers and intercession

    that we, denying ourselves,
    may we learn to deny ourselves

    may always love you above all things.
    and to love you above all things.

    ICEL usually does a much better (i.e., more faithful) job with propers on saint’s days than on Sundays. After all, in praise of a saint there’s not so much opportunity to muck it up — nor ordinarily any pernicious reason to try it — as in the typically more doctrinal context of Sunday prayers. Even so we see here a few typical ICELisms:

    — However God is addressed to open a collect, he more often than not becomes “Father” (line 1) in the ICEL version.

    — The Latin original is always a single sentence, but ICEL obligingly breaks it down into smaller bites (only two sentences here, thankfully) for us presumably cognitively challenged English-speakers.

    — In line 2 it may appear that ICEL helps us out with the information that it was Anthony’s solitude that was wondrous. But it may the “wondrous way of life” that had to go; life in the world of ICEL runs more toward the prosaic than the inspired.

    — Any request of God that he grant or concede us anything typically gets replaced (at least in emphasis) by our learning (line 4) to help ourselves (even if here by self-denial – it’s still us doing it). See also line 1.

    — Of course, the word “love” appears in every ICEL prayer (usually, as here, in the final line), but this prayer is unusual that the word “love” (diligamus) actually appears in the Latin as well, so that ICEL gets a chance to be uncharacteristically faithful to the original.

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