Just Too Cool: TRANSLATION in Louisville! (Not the translation you perhaps think.)

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

Fr. Z,

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. albinus1 says:

    the church will be celebrating a Solemn High Mass in EO

    I’m sorry, but what is “EO”? I know that “EF” = Extraordinary Form, and presumably “OF” would mean “Ordinary Form”, but “EO”? Thanks!

  2. jmgazzoli says:

    One of my choices for a papal name is Magnus the Great, or Magnus Magnus. Also up for consideration is Lando II.

  3. The noon Sunday Mass at St. Martin of Tours Church in Louisville has been an EF Mass since long before it was called EF. Indeed, exemplary celebrations of the Roman rite in both its ordinary and extraordinary forms have coexisted at St. Martin’s for longer than at any other U.S. church (other than St. John Cantius in Chicago) that I am personally familiar with.

  4. Matt R says:

    Yes, it is Mass in the EF. Father Beach, our pastor, might have done it after the principal OF Mass, but didn’t for a few reasons. 1) His vocation is due to the TLM so he has a strong appreciation for it. 2) The Roman Ritual no longer includes this particular rite, which is a biggie. 3)Logistics…
    Henry Edwards might be correct. St Martin’s has had the TLM regularly since the indult from Bl John Paul II, and I suspect they celebrated it before then; the EF and the choir are the only reasons we managed to stay open for a number of years (two very important bricks. Long story short: The Germans moved out during white flight, after years of strain due to anti-German sentiment in WW1 and 2. The parish was dying, and the new pastor was the last pastor, or so they thought. He hired a choir, and eventually brought in the TLM. In fact, our recently-transferred pastor was in the choir before seminary…So many good things are at St Martin’s. Our parish isn’t perfect, but boy, I wouldn’t trade it for any other parish.

  5. David Collins says:

    The EF mass at St. Martin’s is going to be a long one tomorrow, I have a feeling. Oh well, with Fr. Beach presiding it should be beautiful.

  6. chantgirl says:

    Speaking of too cool church facts- I recently discovered this one in Cincinnati, Ohio. Old Saint Mary’s has a privileged altar. This means that a requiem Mass said for a deceased person at this altar gains them a plenary indulgence. I cannot think of anything cooler!!!


  7. David Collins says:

    That really is cool, chantgirl.

    The two saints at St. Martin’s weren’t being refurbished; a local archaeologist, named Philip DiBlasi, got permission to study them. He wasn’t able to tell much about St. Magnus other than that he was a man who was 45 or more and probably white. St. Bonosa was 24 year old white woman, he found out, and she spent a lot of time squatting. Was she a slave who scrubbed floors?

  8. Pingback: “Translation” at St. Martin of Tours « Traditional Thought

  9. C. says:

    Thanks, acardnal. The pictures of the sanctuary are beautiful. Does anyone know who the architect was?

  10. L. says:

    Doesn’t the gentleman mean “re-interment?”

  11. Matt R says:

    I think we are getting too worked up about his typos. It’s OK; everyone has them.

  12. Winfield says:

    The date of their martyrdom was AD 207, not AD 307. Septimius Severus died in AD 211.

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