St Edward, Blessed Alexandrina and Fatima


Rather a rich day, devotionally speaking, when it is the feast of St Edward the Confessor, also of Blessed Alexandrina da Costa, and the anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, coupled with the miracle of the sun.

After my own Low Mass, Exposition, Confessions and Benediction in the parish, I set my trusty Hyundai off on the A2 to Aylesford, a lovely location to celebrate further. Today was the Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage to Aylesford. We had Missa Cantata with John Taverner's Kyrie "Leroy", the rest of the Mass being his "Western Wynde". The singers were the group Cantus Magnus, led by Matthew Schellhorn, the LMS representative for Southwark North.

For the sermon, I concentrated on St Edward the Confessor, relating his saintly preservation of peace in the realm to the need for spiritual peace today in the face of of sin, the moral corruption of the young, the redefinition of marriage and the increasing encroachment of the state on the rights of the family. The sermon will be posted in due course.

For the talk later in the afternoon, I turned to Blessed Alexandrina da Costa. This was from notes and so will not be published here. (I have had to prepare two sermons, and three talks for Friday to Sunday and have not had time to get them all into publishable form.) I gave a potted life of Blessed Alexandrina: you can find a good summary of her life at the Vatican website, there is more information at Blessed Alexandrina, and Kevin Rowles has written a short life which introduced me to her, and which I warmly recommend.

The lesson which I drew from her life is that God raised up some truly great souls in the early 20th century, in advance of the terrible atrocities that were committed through war, genocide and the killing of millions through atheistic communism. The spiritual devastation of the West after the World Wars should also be seen as a disaster, even within the Church herself.

I did urge people to optimism in England at the present time, with the prospect of many episcopal appointments soon to be made. I suggested that if people really could not bring themselves to be optimistic, they should at least prepare for the possibility that things might get better in a quite brief space of time, and for the challenges that such an improvement would put before us.

Naturally, at the home of the brown scapular, in front of the relic of St Simon Stock who received the brown scapular from our Lady, I finished the day, after Rosary and Benediction, with the enrolment. Actually most of the congregation were already enrolled but I was glad that there was one person so that we could have the prayers from the ritual.

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