Lumen Scholasticum

Elucubrations, translations, and commentary from a Scholastic and Catholic integralist perspective

Suarez on ius liturgicum III: De sacramentis, disp. LXXXIII, sect. i

In today’s translation from Fr. Suárez’s De sacramentis, his great and copious commentary upon the latter portions of the Tertia Pars of the Summa of St. Thomas, the subject matter is the verbal rites of the Mass. Having been occupied in disp. 74-79 more with the nature and institution of the Sacrifice considered substantially in itself, in disp. 80-88, following the order of St. Thomas (IIIa, q. 83), Suárez undertakes to examine the circumstances, instruments, ceremonies, and obligations attendant to the Sacrifice. Disputation 83 is concerned with the verbal rites, and consists of only three sections: the first discusses all the verbal rites from the Introibo down to the Last Gospel, excepting the Canon; the second is devoted to the Canon, running through each of its constituent prayers; and the third discusses whether the priest is obliged sub præcepto to say everything which is prescribed in the Missal.

Owing to the great length of the first two sections, and the rather laborious nature of translating them, we have elected to post the parts of this disputation separately, and have already completed the first and third sections; the second, on the Canon, still remains to be completed but shall be in (hopefully) short order.

In our past translations of Suárez, and owing to our wonted usage of earlier rather than later editions, we have neglected to include the numbering, included in later editions of his works, which subdivided the sections of each disputation; but owing to the length of the present sections, we have opted to use them here to facilitate reference and citation.

In making this translation, we primarily have employed the 1599 Moguntiæ edition, with some reference to the 1861 Vives. A .pdf version of this translation can be found here.suarez de missae sacrificio


On the rites of the Mass, which consist in words.

Thus far we have spoken of those things, which precede the Mass, that is, which lie outside of it, or are in preparation for it: now it follows that we must speak of those things, which are done in the Mass itself, which can be distinguished into words and deeds, as they are distinguished by St. Thomas in this and the following article. What are called words are all the prayers, which the Priest proffers, either publicly or secretly, whilst sacrificing; likewise the readings, benedictions, and suchlike: while what we call deeds are the genuflexions, raising of hands, and other signs or gestures; of which latter we shall speak in the following disputation. For here we are to speak only of those things, which are recited in the Mass.


Whether it was fitting that, besides the words of consecration, certain others be adjoined, to be said in the sacrifice of the Mass.

1. The heretics, who reject the other ceremonies, much more reject these ceremonies which consist in various prayers and supplications, and especially do they condemn the canon of the Mass, which canon they say is a mass of errors. Whence they think, that nothing is to be added to the things which Christ did at the supper, and thus they are said to celebrate the Lord’s supper, reading only the Evangelic history of that supper, and consecrating, distributing, and partaking of bread and wine; especially also do they inveigh against certain peculiar rites, which the Church observes in the things that are said in the Mass, namely, that she does not use the vulgar tongue, that not all things are said aloud, but certain things are said in a low voice, and similar things, of which we shall speak anon.

2. But at the outset, it must be laid down, that the Church, holily and religiously, was able, in the celebration of this sacrifice, besides the words which are of its substance, to adjoin certain other words, partly antecedent, partly subsequent, which pertain to the praises of and thanksgiving to God, or to the instructing of the people, or to the stirring up of devotion, or to presenting her petitions and requests to God. This is a truth, certain de fide, which is sufficiently proved by the tradition and use of the Church. Now in the first place, it can be declared by reason in this way; for, if in all the words of this sort, which are adjoined to this sacrifice, there is nothing superstitious, that is, either containing falsity, or something not befitting the divine majesty and reverence, the use of such words considered in itself is religious, and holy; but, that these words are conjoined with the actual and substantial oblation of the Eucharistic sacrifice, such that it becomes a whole by way of one moral sacred action, has nothing indecent or indecorous about it: therefore the Church was well able to institute a rite of this sort. The consequence is certain, from the principle laid down above, and signified by Paul, 1 Cor 2, saying, The rest I shall set in order when I come, and declared by the Council of Trent, sess. 21. cap. 2., namely, that Christ gave to the Church the power, that in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain, or change, those things it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments. For although the Council speaks of the sacraments, it comprehends the sacrifice under them, as has been said above; as much because the character of all of them is the same; as because one of the sacraments is confected by the very action of sacrificing, and thus the same Council, sess. 22. cap. 4 and 6 and from canon 5 to 9, defines, that the Church has done rightly in instituting this rite: it supposes, therefore, that to the Church was given this power. And it is confirmed from use, for although some call this a divine institution, yet it is not to be thought, that Christ immediately and by himself so instituted these things, as he did the substance of the sacrifice; for it is clear that this is false, according to what has been said above, disp. 74. sect. 3, and what we have cited there, but it is to be understood, that this institution has sprung from Christ mediately, insofar as he himself gave power to the Apostles to do it, and perhaps, because he also gave a general precept of setting in order those things which would be expedient for the fitting use of this mystery, although he left to them the mode and determination of these things. Or finally, because it is to be believed, that Christ himself, through the holy Spirit, instilled in the Apostles and the Church those things which pertain to this rite, as we shall see. The major proposition, as it is taken in this discourse, although it is only conditional, is evident from the terms, when other principles of the faith are supposed; for, to give thanks to God for benefits received, is from its object religious and holy, and similarly to pray to God, to instruct the people in the things of faith, and suchlike: therefore, if in these things or words there is mixed nothing false, or superstitious, their usage will be worthy and holy of itself: therefore it only remains for us to see, whether in this rite of the Church, this sort of condition is preserved, which we shall provide forthwith. First it is necessary to explain, and confirm the other proposition taken up; namely, if there is elsewhere nothing irreligious in a verbal rite of this sort, neither can it also be censured from the mere fact, that it is conjoined with the substance of the Eucharistic sacrifice, and is ordered to the end, that said sacrifice be done with greater becomingness, and reverence of God, and for our own greater advantage. And firstly, whence can malice in this be shown? For from the mere nature of the thing, this has nothing inordinate, since that whole rite is supposed to be religious, and consequently it has the greatest fittingness with this sacrifice: for this is a sacrifice of praise, and thanksgiving, and is by itself God’s greatest benefice: thanksgiving therefore is very well conjoined with it. It is likewise an impetratory sacrifice, and of itself able to bestow efficacy to our petitions: very rightly, therefore, are petitions and prayers conjoined with it, not only for those offering, but also for others, both living and dead, because this sacrifice can be of profit to all. Finally, this sacrifice is a mystery of faith, and a confirmation of the new testament, and thus very aptly conjoined with it is the instruction of the Christian people regarding the things of faith, that is, the profession of that faith: in these things, therefore, there is nothing inordinate from the nature of the thing. Neither is there any obstacle from a special prohibition, either divine, or Ecclesiastical; for no such thing can be shown, neither written, nor passed down, nor would it have been fitting for the Church: for what usefulness can be imagined in it? Whence, on the contrary, we can argue positively, that a rite of praying etc. of this sort, was begun, at the inspiration of the holy Spirit, by the Apostles themselves, and afterward enlarged and confirmed by the pontiffs, and Councils: it is therefore holy and religious. The antecedent is clear, firstly, from what Paul says, 1. ad Timotheum 2. I desire first of all that obsecrations, prayers, postulations, and thanksgivings be made for all men, &c. Regarding this place it should be observed, firstly, that it can be explained in two ways; first, so that those four words, and especially the first three, be taken as synonyms, such that the repetition is done only for exaggeration, and vehemence of speech, as Theodoret signifies in his comment on that place, and it can be drawn from similar words of Paul, ad Philippenses 4. Be solicitous of nothing, but in every thing, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God, and ad Ephesios 6. By prayer and supplication praying: which is a probable exposition. Nevertheless there is a second exposition, that those words, both Latin, and Greek, are different, such that by them something different is signified, which is explained in various ways by the authors; some say, that obsecratio is when we ask to be freed from evils, prayer [oratio] when we vow something to God; postulatio when we petition for others: thus Cassian. coll. 9. cap. 11.12. & 13. But this is not agreeable to St. Thomas, nor does it have foundation, as will be clear from what is to be said. Others explain that obsecratio is also supplicatio, which is done in order that we be freed from evils: for the Greek word Δέησις properly means this: but oratio is the petition for good things, in Greek Προσευχάς, while postulationes are an interpellation, or complaint, by which we make lament to God regarding the things which do us injury, or impel us to evil: for the Greek word, ἔντευξις, also properly means this. Thus generally Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Theodoret. These four are distinguished differently by St. Thomas, 2.2. quæst. 83. art. 17; for he says that by oratio is meant the elevation of the mind to God, which elevation is necessary for petition, while postulationes means the petition of any sort of thing or benefice whatsoever, as the name itself suggests; obsecratio is a reason which we propose to God, to obtain something from him, as when the Church prays, Per nativitatem tuam, &c. Thanksgiving is sufficiently known by itself; but St. Thomas says that it is adjoined to petition, as a reason on our part for obtaining some benefice from God: and St. Thomas accommodates these to the four parts of the Mass, with the Glossa ordinaria. 1. ad Tim. 2. But that Gloss plainly speaks according to the mind of Augustine, who epist. 69. ad Paulin. accommodates those four to the four parts of the Mass, as we shall see, though he explains what they mean in a most obscure manner: yet by obsecratio he seems to mean petitions, which are made with some vow or oblation, according to the meaning of the Greek word, for έὐχή signifies a vow, whence, προσευχάς, that is, oratio, which is made for a vow, or with a vow or oblation; but Augustine does not explain what postulationes or interpellations mean, but only says, that they occur when the people is blessed by the Priest; For then the Bishops, as advocates, through the imposition of hands, offer what they have received to the most merciful power: he seems to indicate, therefore, that interpellation occurs, when, after petition has been made, for some vow offered to God in order to obtain a petition, one makes prayer with greater vehemence, and acts more familiarly with God to impetrate what has been requested. There are, besides these, other interpretations of these words, but these suffice for the present matter.

3. Secondly it should be observed, that all these things which Paul asks of the faithful in that locus, can be very well accommodated to the private prayers of individuals: for it is incumbent upon all, to pray for all, for Kings, Princes, and the whole world, which anyone can do simply by praying or making petition, and interposing some prayers, or by offering vows, or pressing upon prayer more vehemently, or giving thanks, so that what is requested might be obtained. Yet in another way those words can be referred to public prayers, especially those, which are made in the name of the whole Church, when the sacrifice of the Mass is offered, and understood in this way, this locus confers most of all to confirming the matter of which we treat; for from it we have it, that the rite, at least in common, and as regards these parts of prayer, takes its beginning from the times of the Apostles. And this sense is agreeable with Paul, who does not speak to individuals, but simply entreats Timothy, being a Bishop and Pastor of the Church, that in his Church all those things be done, namely, in the daily sacrifice, and common prayer, and thus this locus is interpreted by the holy Fathers; Chrysostom, homilia sexta speaks thus: The Priest is as it were a common Father of the whole world: it is therefore right, that he have care for all, and look after all, just as also God, whose ministry he serves, and whose place he holds: thus he says: obsecration, &c. And below he says: this is to be done in the daily service and perpetual rite of the divine religion, and further down, declaring this more clearly, he says, that from this locus it is gathered, that at the time of the Sacraments, it is necessary to offer, or to pray even for the gentiles, because at that time the Kings were still gentiles. This exposition is followed by Theophylact, Oecumenius, and other Greeks, and is suggested by Prosper, lib. 1. de vocat. Gent. cap. 4. who explains this locus in terms of the common prayer of the Church, and Ambrose signifies the same, lib. 6. de sacramentis, in the final chapter, and Tertullian in libro ad Scap. cap. 2. while alluding to this locus, says: We make sacrifice for the salvation of the Emperor. Augustine, in the aforesaid epistle 69, more copiously and distinctly accommodates to the four parts of the Mass those four things which Paul enumerates: And he says that obsecrations are to be made in the celebration of the sacraments, before that which is upon the table of the Lord begins to be blessed; prayers [orationes] when it is blessed and sanctified, and broken to be distributed: namely, because it is then that the oblation occurs. Which part (says he) nearly the entire Church concludes with the Lord’s prayer; whence in the remaining part, up to the consumption of the sacrament, he thinks that postulationes, or interpellations are made. Wherefore he adds: With these things completed, and the sacrament having been shared, thanksgiving concludes everything. This distribution [of the four] is probable, and is agreeable to St. Thomas in the place cited above. Yet perhaps it can be said no less probably, that all those things are done in the mystery of the Mass indiscriminately, now petitioning, now obsecrating, now again and again giving thanks; for, before the consecration we also find not only obsecrations, but also various petitions, in the Collects, and praises of God in the Introit and other versicles, and especially in that Ecclesiastical Hymn, Gloria in Excelsis, and in the Preface. For the Church seems in this to have imitated the divine Spirit, by which she is ruled: for the man who prays, and converses with God for a time, and acts more familiarly with him, this one the holy Spirit is accustomed to move, now to confession of his sins, now to the divine praises, now to petitioning, or obsecrating something: but afterwards, to return to giving thanks, and again to contrition of his sins, as the Spirit wills, and inspires him. In this sacred mystery, therefore, the Church seems to have done thus, and composed, from that variety, a most acceptable office of Mass. But however we explain it, it is clear from Paul, together with the expositions of the Saints, that this manner of conjoining this rite of praying with the substance of the sacrifice, is most ancient, and most approved in the Church. This is also clear from the Greek and Latin Liturgies, which are partly related in the fourth tome of the Bibliotheca Sancta; while Pamelius gathered them more copiously: but especially from the liturgies of James, Basil, and Chrysostom, whose testimony the sixth Synod uses. Likewise the antiquity of this rite is clear from Dionysius, cap. 3. de Ecclesiastica Hierarchia. Clement. libro 2. Const. Apost. cap. 54. & lib. 8. cap. 5. Justin, Apolog. 2. pro Christian. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 5. mystag. Tertullian, in the entire lib. De Orat. Chrysostom, homil. 18 in 2. ad Corinth. Ambrose, 4. de sacram. cap. 11. and from others, whom we shall very soon recall, when speaking in particular of the individual parts of this rite, nor do I see anything objected by the heretics, against this truth so generally considered, that is worthy of our response.

4. I say secondly: in the whole rite of words, or prayers, which the Church now observes in the Mass, there is nothing, which is foreign to Apostolic doctrine, or which does not draw origin from ancient tradition, or which does not pertain to piety and the religious worship of God. This conclusion is defined by the Tridentine Council in express words only regarding the Canon of the Mass: but it is most certain even with regard to those things which precede and follow it. Now it can be proved in three ways; firstly, by the general reason taken from what has been said in the preceding conclusion: because in this whole rite, as it now is, there is found nothing, which does not pertain to one of those four parts of prayer, which Paul poses in the aforementioned place, except perhaps the sacred reading of epistles and Gospels: which can also be reduced to prayer, insofar as through it the mind is elevated to divine things, and, although it is different, it pertains to piety, and to the instruction of the people about divine things; and it is most ancient, as can be gathered from Paul, 1. ad Corinth. 14. where he says: When you come together, every one of you has a psalm, a doctrine, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation. And Justin Martyr, as if explaining these words, in the mentioned Apolog. 2. says: On the day of the Sun, there are gatherings of those who live in the cities, and the country, where the letters of the Apostles, and Prophets are read, so far as is possible. Then, when the reader falls quiet, the Presider offers hortatory words.

5. This truth can be proved secondly, by running briefly through the individual parts of this rite: in order that we might do this more distinctly, let us distinguish first a twofold Mass, or a twofold part of this rite. The first is called the Mass of the Catechumens, which lasts from the beginning of Mass up to the Gospel, or Creed inclusively: because the Catechumens were admitted to that, and at its end were dismissed; while the remaining part, from the first oblation up to the end of Mass, can be called the Mass of the faithful; because only those, who had professed the faith through baptism, were permitted to assist at it, as we have noted above disp. 74. sect. 3. from Augustine, Cyril, and other Fathers, and we shall soon present others.

6. Regarding the Mass of the Catechumens, therefore, it should be observed, that at the beginning is first placed the confession of sins, and some brief prayers, which pertain to the greater preparation of the priest, and people; which also by itself pertains to the reverence due to God, and it is agreeable to the counsel of Wisdom, Proverb. 18. The just is first accuser of himself, and can confer to the approach to the altar, with greater purity of conscience. The priest therefore begins from that versicle of the Psalm, Introibo ad altare Dei, as Gregory Nazianzen signifies, orat. 28. at the end, and Ambrose, lib. 4. de sacramen. cap. 2. With the whole of Psalm 42. being finished, he makes a general confession; the author of which was Pope Damasus, according to Platina in his life of the same; while others ascribe it to Pope Pontianus, such as Berno lib. de officio Missæ, capit. 25., yet there is a general confession similar in sense found in the beginning of the Mass of James. Whence, that this whole part is most ancient, is clear from Micrologus, lib. de Eccles. Observat. capit. 23. & Radulph, lib. de Canonicis observantiis, proposit. 23. Secondly there follows the Introit; thus called, either because with it the Mass begins, or certainly, because when it is chanted by the choir, the priest goes in to the altar. Now it should be noted, that in the time of the Apostles, it was customary, that at the time when the faithful gathered to carry out the mysteries, many Psalms were chanted in praise of God, as is clear from the ancient Liturgies, and from Dionysius, cap. 3. De Eccles. Hierarch. where he says: The Psalms contain, in the form of praise, whatever is contained in sacred Scripture. But afterward, in place of them was set the introit; by which the advent of Christ into this world is said to be signified, or the ancient desires of the earlier Fathers for his coming; as Maximus the Monk notes in exposit. Liturg., Rupert, Innocent, and generally the others, who write about the Ecclesiastical offices, and finally Rabanus, lib. 1. de institut. Clericor. cap. 30. It is well, says he, that at the entrance of the priest, with the sound of choirs, the singing of the divine praise is heard, so that the harmony of the ministers might precede the mysteries of the Lord’s celebration, and a sacrifice of worthy praise precede the venerable sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. But when this consuetude began, is not quite clear: some opine that it began in the times of Pope Celestine: for, as Alcuin and other writers on Ecclesiastical matters relate, Celestine instituted that the Psalter be recited or chanted at the beginning of Mass: as Amalarius thus explains, lib. 3. de Eccles. officiis, c. 5., namely, that he established that antiphons be taken from all the Psalms, and said at the beginning of Mass. Yet, that this was in use even before Celestine, can be gathered from Cassian, lib. 3. Instit. capit. 11. Celestine, therefore, perhaps reduced the ancient use to a new form, but when this use began, as it is now observed in the Church, is not sufficiently clear, which does not lessen, but rather confirms its authority: for it is a sign that it is a thing most ancient.

7. Thirdly, the priest nine times repeats the Kyrie, and Christe eleison, and that this custom is most ancient is clear from the Liturgy of St. James, and from the Council of Vaison under Leo I, Can. 3. where it is commanded, that at Matins, and at Masses, and at Vespers, the Kyrie eleison be said: because in the Apostolic see and throughout all the Oriental provinces, and provinces of Italy, the sweet, and altogether salubrious consuetude has been introduced, that the Kyrie eleison be said more frequently with great feeling and compunction, and Augustine epist. 178. at the end, indicates the same consuetude, where he also translates the phrase, namely, Lord have mercy; and he gives a reason why it is said everywhere in Greek. Gregory is more clear, saying that this custom of saying the Kyrie eleison is present in both the Greek and the Latin Church, yet in a different way, because amongst the Greeks, the priest and people say it simultaneously; while amongst the Latins, the priest begins first, and the people responds; likewise the Greeks do not add Christe eleison, as do the Latins, who even in daily Masses say Kyrie eleison, and Christe eleison, so that they might be longer occupied in these words of prayer. Finally, St. Thomas, giving here an account of this rite, says, that after the divine praise, which occurs in the introit, there rightly follows the commemoration and recollection of one’s own misery, and of the divine power, and grace, but this is done each time those words are repeated as a confession of the Trinity, against the threefold misery: of ignorance, of fault, and of punishment; or against the nine kinds of sins, as Innocent says at greater length, lib. 2. de myster. cap. 19, regarding which many things can be found in Durandus in Rationali, lib. 4. cap. 12. and in other writers on the Ecclesiastical offices: and Turrecremata in cap. Iacobus, de Consecr. d. 1.

8. Fourthly there is added the hymn, Gloria in excelsis, which the Angels began, and the Church has completed; and the whole is full of divine praises, thanksgiving, and prayer: this consuetude originated with Pope Telesphorus, as Damasus relates in Pontif. capit. 9. and it is gathered from epist. 1. of Telesphorus, although there it is only said, that in Masses on the night of the Nativity, the Angelic hymn be sung: and below it is added, the same Angelic hymn is to be celebrated, and solemnly recited by Bishops at Mass, according to time and place, where (as I think) he especially names the Bishop: because it concerns him most of all, to celebrate Masses; not that the hymn is to be said by him only, but also by any priest. Again he only makes mention there of the Angelic hymn, which is contained only in those words, Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis, but it is not clear that the rest were added by Telesphorus, but either by Hilary, as Alcuin thinks, de divinis officiis, cap. de Celebrat. Missæ, and Hugo of St. Victor, lib. 2. de sacrament.; or by Pope Symmachus, as thinks Berno de Officio Missæ, cap. 25. But Innocent III, lib. 2. de Myst. Miss. cap. 20. thinks instead, that the whole hymn was completed by Telesphorus, saying, that Symmachus commanded that it be sung at Masses on the Lord’s day, and at the memorials of the Martyrs. Yet if credit must be given (and in fact is) to what Clement writes, lib. 7. Constit. cap. 57. & 58. it should rather be said, that it was composed by the Apostles: for nearly the whole is there recited, although in the Third Council of Toledo cap. 12. it is said in a general manner, that the Ecclesiastical Doctors composed it. But whatever the case may be, it is clear, that this custom is both most ancient, and most holy. But why this hymn is not said in Masses for the dead, and on days of sorrow, and fasting, and on common ferias, is touched upon by St. Thomas here, and in 4. distin. 23., namely, because in this hymn is commemorated the celestial glory, regarding which silence is justly observed, when one’s own misery is bewailed. This reasoning is satisfactory, as regards the first part, and is drawn from the cap. Hi duo, de Consecrat. distinctione 1. But in the following chapter, there is an exception for the feria in Coena Domini, on which the Angelic hymn is sung on account of the sacrifice’s institution done on that day; as regards the latter part, however, it can be taken from cap. Consilium, de Celebrat. Missarum; namely, so that the difference between common days and solemnities be shown. For this reason it is said in the same place, that this hymn is not to be said in Masses even of the Blessed Virgin, which yet is not the usage today according to the Roman Missal: for in votive Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Angels, it is said, but not in others, except for some grave cause.

9. Fifthly, after the Angelic hymn, the priest greets the people, saying, Dominus vobiscum. We have examples of this greeting in the old law, Ruth 1. & 2. Paralip. 15. But it can be said to be in a certain way proper to the law of grace; in which, after having taken on flesh in a particular way, God has dominion over men in a particular way: for previously, the demon in a certain way had dominion, which is noted from Dionysius by Anastasius the Sinaite, libro 7. Hexameron, adducing the words of Psalm 8: O Lord, our Lord, how admirable is thy name in the whole earth! and of Psalm 117: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; and of John 20: My Lord and my God, and of Luke 1: Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? and many other similar texts: according to this consideration, we are able to say, that this greeting was also begun by the Angel, when he said to the Virgin, The Lord is with you. Now this greeting is most ancient, as is clear from Dionysius, cap. 3. de Ecclesiast. Hierar. where he calls it most worthy, holy, mystical, and supramundane. To it Augustine elegantly alluded, 15. de Civit. c. 12. saying: Not all are with him in that way in which it was said to him: I am always with you (Psalm. 72.) nor is he with all in that way in which we said, Dominus vobiscum: which is said to be instituted by the Apostles by the Second Council of Braga c. 21. where this greeting is read thus, Dominus sit vobiscum, yet in the cap. Hoc quo, de Consecrat. distinct. 1. Pope Soter or Anacletus gives it as it is in the usage of the Church: and there the Gloss observes, that Bishops, in the first greeting at Mass, are accustomed to say in place of this, Pax vobis: because this was the first saying of Christ to the Bishops after the resurrection: and that this is also most ancient in the Church, is clear from the Liturgies of James and Basil, and from Cyril, libro 12. in Ioan. capit. 14. and from Ambrose, lib. de Dignitat. Sacerd. cap. 5. and Chrysostom, Homil. 33. in Matth. & Homil. 3. ad Coloss. of whom it has been said, that even after his death, when his body was placed on the throne by Proclus the Patriarch, he greeted the people, saying, Peace be with you, according to Nicephorus, lib. 14. hist. capit. 43. To this greeting of the priest, the minister or the people responds, Et cum spiritu tuo: which usage is also most ancient, as is clear from the same Liturgies, and Fathers, and from Chrysostom, Homil. 36. in 1. ad Corinth. & 18. in 2. ad Corint. The priest, he says, greets the people; and the people greet the Priest: for, With your spirit, is nothing else but this, and from Isidore Peleusiota, epist. 122. and Peter Damian, epist. 12. which is also called the liber Dominus vobiscum, cap. 4. & 13.

10. Sixthly there is the public prayer, which is usually called the Collect, regarding which name Durandus gathers together many things, lib. 2. de ritib. Ecclesiast. ca. 16. That etymology is probable according to which it is called the collect, because it is uttered in the name of the whole people gathered into one; or because it gathers into a compendium the petitions of all; as Hugo of St. Victor says, lib. 2. de Officiis Eccles. cap. 16. Hence we read in the cap. Convenit, de Consecrat. distinct. 5. from the Council of Arles cap. 30., The Collations, or Collects, are read, and in Cassian, lib. 2. Instit. capit. 8. we read: When he who is to collect the prayer has risen, the others arise, etc. and below, He who collects the prayer, etc. or certainly it is called the collect, because through it the minds of all the hearers are drawn together toward God: whence the priest first says Oremus, regarding which Augustine, epist. 107. ad Vitalem says, When you hear the priest of God exhorting the people to his altar to pray, you shall not respond, Amen. And Chrysostom, Homil. 18. in 2. ad Corinthios. Who does not see that in the prayers the people offer much together; for prayers are made by the priest and by them, and all pronounce the one prayer. But in some Collects, and on certain sorrowful days, and those devoted to penitence, after the Oremus, before the prayer it is the custom to say, Flectamus genua; and immediately; Levate, and that this consuetude is very ancient is clear from Basil, libro de Spiritu sancto, cap. 26. where he says: Whenever we genuflect, and again arise, by this we show, that on account of sin we have fallen to earth, and through the benignity of him, who has fashioned us for heaven, we are called back. Finally, there follows a prayer, which is usually only one, or three, or five, or at most seven. One indeed is necessary: and sometimes one only is said for the sake of solemnity; while there are three, five, or seven, for the sake of making various petitions, or commemorations: but past that number they are not usually multiplied, so that there is something fixed and sure; nor is it permitted to anyone to carry on into infinity: for as is usually said, God is gladdened by an odd number, and Jerome, lib. 1. contra Iovinianum, says that an odd number signifies cleanness: the ternary number of prayers is fitting to the Trinity; or to the threefold prayer of Christ in the garden. But sometimes five prayers are said, on account of the five-fold passion of the Lord, as Innocent says, lib. 2. de hoc myst. c. 23. And seven can be said because of the sevenfold grace of the holy Spirit, or because the Lord’s prayer is concluded in seven petitions, as Durandus says in Ration. libro 4. cap. 15. These prayers are concluded with the adjuration or obsecration, Per Dominum nostrum, so that there may be a firm hope of impetrating, according to John 16. Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you, and because Christ is the only mediator, on account of whose merit all things are given us: regarding which matter, and this consuetude of the Church, I have said many things in the first tome when discussing the merit of Christ, at q. 19 of St. Thomas. Whence for this reason in the Third Council of Carthage cap. 13. it is commanded, that when one celebrates at the altar, prayer is always directed to the Father, so that it is concluded in the Son, or through the Son: but when the prayer is directed to the Father, the other persons are not excluded, but the unity of the Deity is indicated, as noted by Fulgentius, lib. 2. ad Monym. Occasionally a prayer is concluded otherwise according to the aptness of the sense, and the sequence of the words; yet there is always some commemoration of Christ, and a confession of the whole Trinity, and commemoration of the divine glory, and eternal life, in the words: Per omnia sæcula sæculorum.

11. That these words are most ancient, is clear, aside from the ancient Liturgies, from Irenaeus, libro 1. contra hæres. capt. 1. where he relates, that the Valentinians wished to confirm their delusions of their Ennoia from the words which we use in the giving of thanks, saying: In sæcula sæculorum. Epiphanius, hæresi 31. draws the same from this, but eternity is signified in that manner of speaking; because it concludes, and exceeds, and surpasses all ages in itself, both in perfection and duration, as can be taken from Augustine, in Psalm. 71. Jerome, ad Galat. 7. Innocent, lib. 2. de hoc myster. cap. 26. And when the prayer is finished the people responds, Amen, which is a Hebrew word, and sometimes used for affirmation: thus Christ often says, Amen, Amen, I say to you, that is, truly it is so, as Isidore interprets, lib. 6. Etymolog. cap. 18. from Origen, tract. 35. in Matth. & Jerome, epist. 137. ad Marcellam, and in this sense we read in the ancient Liturgies, that when the words of consecration are finished, the faithful are accustomed to respond, Amen: which cannot then be a word of desire, but of affirming and believing, that it is so. Whence Ambrose, lib. de iis, qui initiantur, cap. 9. After the consecration, it is called the body and blood of Christ, and you say, Amen, that is, it is true. But sometimes it is used to consent to something said, and in order to desire or seek the same; and in this sense it is used at the end of prayers, such that the sense is, let it be done, as Julius I interprets it, epistola pro Athanasio, capit. 1. Justin, Apol. 2. Jerome, as above, and epist. 134. ad Sophron. & Bernard, serm. 7. in Coena Domini. And in this way in Deuter. 27. the people respond to the curses, Amen, and in 1. Paralip. 16. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, from eternity to eternity, and let all the people say, Amen. Thus also Paul 1. ad Corinthios 14. If you should bless with the spirit, how shall he that holds the place of the unlearned say, Amen, to your blessing? From this it is clear, that this manner of responding is most ancient in the Church: which is also clear from Justin above, and Augustine whom I have cited above, epist. 106. Jerome, lib. 2. in epist. ad Galatas in his preface. Tertullian, lib. de Spectacul. cap. 25.

12. Seventh in its order, there follows the reading of some epistle, drawn either from the old Testament, or from the Canonical epistles of the new Testament; a custom which began from the times of the Apostles, as is clear from the Apostolic Canon 9. and from Dionysius, and Justin, in the places often cited, Clement, lib. 2. c. 61. And indeed, even before the new Testament was written, the books of Moses were read, or those of the Prophets, as is clear from the same Fathers; but afterward there began to be read the epistles written by the Apostles, or by Clement, as is clear from the same above, and from Jerome, lib. de Scriptorib. Ecclesiasticis, in the entry for Clement; Jerome also wrote, in the entry for Polycarp, that his epist. ad Philipp. was accustomed to be read in the assembly of Asia even up into his own times, although it is not clear, that this reading was done during Mass; just as what Paul says, ad Coloss. 4. When this epistle has been read amongst you, see that it is also read in the Church of Laodiceans; and in 1. ad Thessalon. 5. I adjure you through the Lord, that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. This, I say, must not necessarily be understood of the reading which occurs in Mass. There is not drawn thence an argument to prove and confirm the rite, which the Church now observes, of which Damasus seems to speak, when in 2. ad Hieronym. epist. he writes, that on the Lord’s day the epistle of the Apostle is to be read: and the same is clear from Augustine, sermon 236 de tempore, and sermo. 10. de verbis Apostoli; and from Ambrose, epist. 33. and the same is frequently found in other ancient Fathers. It is more clear in the First Council of Braga, Can. 20. It has pleased, that at the vigils of solemnities, or at Masses, all read the same, and not different readings in the Church. Many things regarding this reading, namely, why it precedes the Gospel; and why sometimes it is drawn from the new, sometimes from the old Testament, and other similar things, can be read in Innocent, libro 2. de hoc myst. c. 29. Rupert, lib. 2. c. 24. and in the other Writers on the divine offices.

13. Eighthly, after the epistle, some verse or antiphon is accustomed to be interposed, which is sometimes mournful, when minds must be stirred up to fear, or penitence; but sometimes they are more joyful, according to the exigency of times and feasts: of these versicles, the first is called the Graduale: because it is chanted next to the steps of the pulpit, or because of other mystical reasons, which can be read in Innocent, lib. 2. cap. 31. and Rabanus, lib. 1. de institut. Cleric. c. 36. and others; the others are called Responsoria, because while one chants, the choir responds, as Isidore says, lib. 6. Etymol. c. 18. and lib. 1. de Eccles. officiis, c. 8. But it should be noted here, that in the Fourth Council of Toledo, cap. 11. it reads thus: In some Churches of Spain, praises are chanted after the Apostle, although the Canons command that the Gospel, not the praises, be said after the Apostle: for it is presumption to place first those things, which ought to follow after: for the praises follow the Gospel, on account of the glory of CHRIST, which is preached by the same Gospel; and this order is at once commanded to be observed. Whence it appears, that at that time the Gradual had not yet been instituted, at least so that it would be said after the epistle, or if it was instituted by Gregory, as some think, that consuetude had not yet been received in Spain: for Gregory came a little before Honorius, in whose reign the said Council was celebrated; yet others think it was instituted by Celestine, as is clear from Rupert, lib. 2. de divinis officiis, c. 21. Hence, perhaps in that Council it does not speak of the Gradual, but of the Alleluia, which is usually chanted after the Gradual; and perhaps it was not then chanted in Spain, except after the Gospel: for, that it is chanted at the altar, is most ancient: this is clear from Augustine, epistola 119. ad Ianuar. c. 15. & 16. & Jerome, contra Vigilant. Gregory, lib. 7. epistola 63. Isidore, lib. 1. de Ecclesiastic. officiis, capit. 13. And indeed, in the beginning it only began to be chanted on the first day of the Resurrection, as can be gathered from Nicephorus, lib. 12. capit. 34. & Sozomenus, lib. 10. history. capit. 19. and then in the whole of Paschal time, as is drawn from Augustine above; afterward also on the Lord’s day, as indicated by Augustine and Isidore, but now it is said every day, excepting those which are not for joy, but sorrow, as is said in the Fourth Council of Toledo. But although this word Alleluia is meanwhile not said, yet it should be thought every day, as Augustine says, Psalm 106. because that word contains nothing but the praise of God, which should always be held in the mouth (of the heart at least), according to Psalm 33. But when the Alleluia is not said, sometimes it is the custom for a Tract to be added as a sign of lament and sadness: while sometimes after the Alleluia there is added a Prose, or Sequence, regarding which the authors cited above maybe be consulted, and Durandus in Rationali, lib. 4. capit. 22. Durant, lib. 2. de ritib. Eccles. capit. 21. & 22. and Demochares says much about it, libro de observandis in Missarum celebr. cap. 15.

14. Ninthly, the Gospel is read. That this custom is most ancient is clear from the Council of Valencia in Spain, canon. 1. where it says thus: Reading again the ancient Canons, among other things we consider that this is to be observed, that the sacrosanct Gospels be read before the offering of the gifts, in the Mass of the Catechumens after the Apostle in the order of readings: and the reason is subjoined, so that all may hear the words of Christ, and the speaking of the priest: whence we also incidentally gather, that there was also the consuetude of giving a sermon after the Gospel was read, but even before those times, Pope Anastasius, in epist. 1. commands all to stand, while the sacred Gospel is read, and to listen most attentively: where he supposes that the consuetude of reading the Gospel is an older one. Indeed in the Council of Laodicea, which is more ancient, in Can. 16. it is laid down, that on the Sabbath the Gospel should be read with other scriptures. Jerome as well, adversus Vigilant. says, Throughout all the Churches of the East, when the Gospel is to be read, candles are lit, while the sun yet glows redly: and Gregory, lib. 4. epist. 44. says, that this office pertains to the Deacons, which is also clear from the Synod of Rheims, Canon 4. & 5. The same consuetude is gathered from Augustine, serm. 144. de tempore, Ambrose, lib. 1. Offic. ca. 8. & 11. and lib. de Helia & ieiunio, ca. 20. and other Fathers in their Sermons to the people often suppose it. Regarding the rite, and mode, with which it was usually read, one may consult the authors often cited: from whom one can gather, that the whole is both full of religion, and very ancient; especially that the people, upon hearing the name of the Gospel, responds, Gloria tibi Domine, namely, because the word of salvation has been spoken to us, as Innocent says, lib. 2. cap. 6.

15. Tenthly, after the Gospel, the Creed is recited, so that, the Gospel having been heard, and believed in the heart, we confess it with the mouth through the Creed: and thus Ambrose, de velan. virg. calls the Creed the seal of our heart, which is to be daily examined, not merely once, but frequently, as Augustine says, lib. 50. Homil. Homil. 42. & in the three books de Symbolo. But in the Mass it is not always said, but is sometimes omitted, either on account of some mystery, or on account of a lesser solemnity, as explained at greater length by Innocent, libro 2. capit. 52. Durandus in Ration. lib. 4. capit. 25. But it should be observed that before the Nicene Council, it was the Apostles’ Creed that was usually recited in the Church, as is gathered from Dionysius, c. 3: but after the Nicene Council, Marcus, successor of Sylvester, commanded that the Nicene Creed be chanted for the confutation of the Arian heresy: but afterward Damasus laid down, that the Constantinopolitan Creed be said, in which, with the added particle, Filioque, the mystery of the Trinity was made more explicit; and that it was to be done thus especially in the Churches of Spain, was laid down in the Third Council of Toledo, Can. 2. And these are the things, which pertain to the Mass of the Catechumens. From these it is evidently clear, that there is nothing in them, which can rightly be carped at by the heretics, since they are all most ancient, and are recalled to those fourth heads, which Paul enumerated. But if some more minute things seem less ancient, such as perhaps some Tracts or Proses, yet in these is the same religion and piety, which is found in those more ancient ones, and they are agreeable with Paul ad Ephes. 5. saying: Be you filled with the holy Spirit, speaking amongst yourselves in Psalms, and hymns, and spiritual canticles, as excellently noted by the Fourth Council of Toledo, cap. 12.

16. Regarding the other part, or the Mass of the faithful, in the first place, a sufficient argument can be drawn from what has been said of the prior, the Mass of the Catechumens: for the Mass of the faithful contains the proper mysteries of Christians, which are clear from tradition, as Basil said, lib. de Spiritu sancto, cap. 27. But we can distinguish these mysteries into three parts; into that, which precedes the Canon, and that which follows after it, and then the Canon itself. In the first part, therefore, after the greeting of the people, Dominus vobiscum, which has been discussed already above, the Priest invites all to pray, saying, Oremus; which seems to be said in another sense than we have explained above: because here there does not follow some public prayer, which the priest says publicly in the name of the whole people; he therefore invites the people to attend to the sacrifice, and for each to prepare himself to offer, so that his offering may be acceptable to the Lord, as Innocent, libro 2. capit. 53. and others note. Secondly the offertory is said, or chanted in the choir: for at that time the priest receives the offerings of the people, and thus the versicle which is then chanted, has been called the Offertorium, as say Innocent, libro 2. capit. 53. Rabanus, lib. 1. cap. 33. and others, and it comes to the same thing as what Isidore says, lib. 6. Etymol. cap. 19. although he draws it out more obscurely. Now this consuetude of offering something in the Mass is most ancient in the Church: for Pius I. in his Decrees makes mention of these offerings, and Pope Fabian, epistola 3. advises, that on the Lord’s day all should offer something. Likewise the Synod of Gangra, Can. 7. & 8. recalls these offerings, and the First Council of Orleans, Canon 16. and Augustine, serm. 215. de tempore, & epistola 122. Jerome, epistola 3. ad Heliodor. Cyprian, libro de opere & eleemosyna, Tertullian in Apologetico, cap. 39. & Theodoret, libro 5. historiæ, capit. 18. where he relates the famous example of Theodosius making an offering at the altar, with Ambrose sacrificing. But it is not clear that it has always been observed, that at the time of the oblation something be chanted, nor by whom this was first instituted. Some attribute it to Adrian, others to Gregory, others to Celestine, yet it is certain, that by whomever this consuetude was introduced, it was introduced to rouse the minds of the faithful, to make offering with cheerful spirit; for God loves a cheerful giver. Whence we also read in the old testament, that it was usual for the Levites to sing, while the victims were immolated, as Isidore noted, lib. 1. de offic. Eccles. capit. 14. & Ecclesiasticus 50. and the same is drawn from 2. Paralip. 29. Thirdly the Priest, when he offers the bread, and mixes water with the wine, and also offers the chalice, proffers some prayers, and deprecations; in which he directs his oblation and that of the whole people to God, and asks of him, that it be pleasing to him, and that it be offered with worthy minds. That this custom is most ancient is clear from the cited Liturgies, of James, Basil, and Chrysostom, and from Dionysius, Clement, and others: for it is always the case, that  when bread, and wine is placed on the altar for sacrifice, prayers and sacred benedictions are used, which are as it were preparations of the sacrificial offering. Hence that oblation, as it occurs then, is not the sacrifice, as has been said above, but is only a sort of dedication of the matter to be sacrificed by the consecration to come, to which consecration everything which is then said must be referred. And perhaps the proper literal reason, that those prayers are then said secretly, and that the oblation occurs in silence, is so that all might offer their oblation to God with greater reverence and interior devotion; likewise, so that at that time, at the instant of the representation of the Lord’s Passion, they might be able to recall it to the memory. Whence, that in that silence there also is a certain mystical signification of the beginning of the passion of Christ, when he was then not walking publicly amongst the Jews, is taught by Innocent, lib. 2. ca. 54. all of which will be more evident from what follows.

17. Fourthly, when the priest washes his hands, he says the words of Psalm 25. I shall wash my hands amongst the innocent, indicating that at the sacrifice to come, man is to be washed, not only of his graver faults, but also from his lesser, which Christ also signified by the ablution of the feet, when he said to Peter: He who has been washed, needs not but to wash his feet: whence also this ceremony is very good, and most ancient, as is clear from Dionysius, dicto capit. 3. Clement, libro 8. capit. 11. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 5. mystag. Nor is it important, that in the old law there occurred similar ablutions, Exod. 30. For, as St. Thomas has noted, artic. sequente ad 1. it is not now observed, as a ceremony of the law, but as something of itself decent and fitting, whence it is not done in the same mode. Fifthly, when the aforesaid Psalm has been said, the Priest secretly proffers a prayer before the altar, asking, that the oblation be received by God in memory of the passion of Christ, for the honor of the Saints and to our advantage: and then turning to the people, he exhorts them to ask for the same, and the people responds by assenting and praying. And then the priest pronounces in a law voice a second prayer or collect, which hence is called the secret prayer, all of which is very ancient and full of mysteries, as is clear from Clement, dicto lib. 8. cap. 12. and from the Council of Laodicea, can. 19. where it says, that three prayers are usually said in the Mass, the first in silence, the others in a louder voice, but now the second is said in silence, and by this silence it is thought that, among other things, Christ is signified, praying in the garden before his passion, or other similar things, which can be read in St. Thomas, here ad 6. and Innocent, libr. 2. capitul. 60. Rupert, libr. 2. cap. 4. and others.

18. Sixthly, after all the aforementioned things, the preface is adjoined, of which Cyprian speaks, lib. de expositione orationis Dominicæ, circa finem, whom St. Thomas adduces here, saying, The priest, before the prayer, first having said the Preface, prepares the minds of the brethren, saying: Sursum corda, while the people responds: Habemus ad Dominum, being admonished of nothing else, but that they think of the Lord. To this Preface Augustine alludes, libro de bono viduitatis, capitulo 27. saying, That which we are commanded to do amidst the sacred mysteries, to lift up our hearts, this we are able to do with the help of him, at whose command we are thus admonished; and thus it follows, that for this great good of a heart lifted up, we attribute glory not to ourselves, as if of our own powers, but we give thanks to the Lord our God, for by this we are ever reminded, that it is our duty to recall it: you know whence these words are, and with what sanctity they are commended. And he seems to allude to the same, 10. de Civitat. capitulo 3. saying, Our heart, when it is lifted up to him, is his altar. Chrysostom also recalls the Preface with that name, homil. 3. ad Colossens. & Ambrose, libro 3. de Spiritu sancto, capit. 17. from the words of this preface confirms the mystery of the Trinity, namely, the number of the three persons from the threefold pronunciation of Sanctus, and the unity of the Deity from the singularity of the name Deus Sabaoth, which argument Athanasius makes most elegantly, libro de Humana natura suscepta, against Apollinaris, not far from the beginning: and libr. de communi essentia Patris, et Filii, & Spiritus sancti, and orat. in illud. Omnia mihi tradita sunt a Patre meo; yet in this place he does not fully say, whether the Church uses this sort of praise, but he draws his argument from Isaias 6. and Apocalyps. 4. from which places the Church has derived this part of this preface, which is signified more clearly by Ambrose in these words, In the oblations he is invoked, and, We find that there is nothing more precious by which we may preach God, than to call him Sanctus. Finally, almost the entirety of this Ecclesiastical preface, so far as regards its sense, with few words changed, is found in the ancient liturgies of James, Basil, Chrysostom, and in Clement, libr. 8. Const. cap. 12. & 16. and Cyril of Jerusalem, catech. 5. mystag. and therefore it is most ancient. That it is also most apt for preparing the minds of the hearers for the consecration to come, is manifest of itself, since it raises the hearts of all to God, and to the society of the angels in singing the divine praises, and giving thanks to God. For a longer exposition of this, one may consult the authors often cited regarding the Ecclesiastical offices, and at greatest length and most recently, Durant, lib. 2. de Ritib. Eccles. ca. 31. for it does not seem necessary to us to add much more in this place, as much because the thing is sufficiently clear by itself, as also because nothing occurs in it which is especially pertinent to the present intention. Only note, that aside from the common preface, there are other special prefaces in the Church, in which some words are interposed upon the common preface, with a few words changed in it, only nine of which are enumerated by Pope Pelagius, Epist. 2. in ca. Invenimus, de Consecrat. dist. 1., namely, those of the Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost, the Nativity, Epiphany, of the Apostles, of the Trinity, of the Cross, of Quadragesima, while Urban II. is said to have added a tenth of the Blessed Virgin in the Council celebrated at Piacenza, as Gratian relates, disti. 70. in his last words there. Regarding the authors of these Prefaces, it is unclear, for as regards the common preface, although some attribute it to Gelasius, and others to Sixtus the First, yet from what has been said, it is clear that it is older, and is to be referred to the times of the Apostles; as noted by Nicephorus, libr. 18. hist. cap. 5. and it can also be drawn from Justin, Apolog. 2. Cyprian, de Coena Domini, Chrysostom, homil. 18. in 2. ad Corinthios, & 26. in Matth. Augustine, lib. 2. de Bono persev. ca. 13. de Spiritu et litte. cap. 11. episto. 57. & 120. cap. 29. and from the Council of Vaison under Leo I. can. 4. where it is commanded, that in all Masses the Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus be recited in that order which must be said at public Masses. Regarding other particular prefaces we can only say, that those are not to be said in Mass, except which have been received and approved by the Church, as was also warned in the Council of Milevis, c. 12. and in the Council of Africa, c. 70. And these things suffice regarding this first part of the Mass of the faithful.

19. Regarding the second part, which is contained in the canon, we shall soon set down a special section, but for now let us suppose that all those things which are contained in the canon are also most ancient, and full of truth and religion. The third part, which follows after the canon, is very brief: for with a greeting of the Priest to the people, and the response, and another prayer or collect, and the dismissal of the people, it is generally concluded, all of which things have been indicated in what has been said. And so, with the sacrifice and the canon of the Mass finished, first there is said the versicle which is called the Communio or Communicanda: for the faithful were accustomed, when the sacrifice was finished, to take communion, and in the meanwhile there was sung the antiphon with Psal. 33. I shall bless the Lord at all times, as is clear from Clement, lib. 8. cap. 13. where Turrianus notes, from the Mass of James, and from Dionysius, Hesychius, and others, that this Psalm pertains to the sacrifice of the Mass, and indicates communion in that versicle, Taste and see, how sweet the Lord is: thenceforth, therefore, it has only been retained in consuetude, that some versicle be recited at that time in the Mass, which versicle takes its name from the communion. Secondly there follows the greeting of the Priest, Dominus vobiscum, explained above. Thirdly, there follows the prayer or collect, which commonly contains thanksgiving, and completes the ternary number, which is accustomed to signify perfection. As we have said above about the number of these collects or prayers, it should be understood that this whole number is recited thrice in the Mass, at the beginning, middle, and end: and in the same sense is it said in the Council of Laodicea cited above, that three prayers are to be said in Mass. Regarding this prayer, there are many things in Innocent, libro 6. capit. 8. & sequent. Durandus, lib. 4. Rational. capit. 55. & sequentibus. Fourthly, with the aforesaid greeting Dominus vobiscum being again repeated, the dismissal of the people occurs, with the words, Ite Missa est, which is most ancient, as is clear from Alcuin, capitul. de celebrat. Missæ, and Amalarius, lib. 3. de Eccl. officiis. cap. 36. We have spoken of this matter, and of the meaning of these words, above when treating of the name of the Mass. But anciently the dismissal was accustomed to be made with these words, Ite in pace, as is clear from the cited liturgies and from Clement, lib. 8. cap. 15. But sometimes it occurs in other ways, namely, with Benedicamus Domino, on days which are not feasts, or Requiescant in pace, in Masses for the dead, of which one can read Rupert, lib. 2. capit. 20. and Micrologus, de Ecclesiast. observant. capit. 46. & 47. And the people is accustomed to respond, Deo gratias, so that everything concludes with thanksgiving, as Augustine said, Epistola 59. q. 5. and Dionysius, cap. 3. Participating (says he) and handing on the Thearchic communion, he brings it to a close with a thanksgiving, with the whole Church in holy fullness: or elsewise, With the divine communion having been received and given, he closes out with a holy thanksgiving. Whence Chrysostom, homil. 32. in Matth. He gives thanks and says a hymn after he has given to us to do the same. Fifthly the Priest subjoins the prayer, Placeat tibi sancta Trinitas, as it is found in the Missal. One can read of this prayer in Durandus, in Ration. libr. 4. capitul. ultim. & Demochares, libr. de Missar. celebr. capitul. 15. in fine, where he indicates, from Berno, capitul. 25. de Officio Missæ, that this prayer is said after everything has been finished, when the benediction has been given, and the altar first kissed; but now it is not so, but this prayer is first given before the benediction, and perhaps the aforesaid authors are to be understood thus, when they say when all has been finished, namely, up till the dismissal of the people. Sixthly there follows the benediction of the people, in imitation of what is read in Levit. 9. & Numer. 6. Bless the children of Israel, &c. and in imitation of Christ, who, when about to depart from the Apostles, first imparted to them a blessing, Lucæ 24. Whence this Consuetude and benediction is commended by the Council of Agde capitul. 30. in capitul. Convenit. de Consecratione, distinctione 5. & capitul. 47. forbids the people to exit before the blessing of the priest. The same is found in the Second Council of Orleans, can. 28. and the Third Council of Arles in Burchard, lib. 3. capitul. 29. Ivo, part. 3. capitul. 17. when he says, The ancient benediction made by Moses relates and sanctions, that a blessing be given to the people by the priests, and more clearly Caesareus, homil. 5. I ask of you, most beloved brethren, that whenever Masses occur on the Lord’s day or other festivities, no one depart from the Church, until the divine mysteries are completed: and below. Admonish those, who neither say the Lord’s prayer, nor receive the benediction. Now it should be observed, that Augustine in the aforementioned epist. 59. means that this benediction of the priest precedes the thanksgiving; but perhaps he speaks of the benediction, which is usually given immediately after the communion. Seventhly, after the benediction has been given, the priest recites the Gospel, In principio erat Verbum, unless another is to be said, according to the prescribed order of the Missal, of which recitation I find nothing written by the ancient Doctors, which is a sign, that this consuetude is not very old: yet it is clear that it is very good, and most useful for the continual recollection of so great a benefice, namely, that the Word was made flesh for us; and that he descended to us from the bosom of the Father: it also has another usefulness, that the Gospel is twice recited in the Mass, so that if it happens, that the proper Gospel of the Sunday or the feria is omitted for a feast, it can be recited at the end of Mass; and thus it happens, omitting on that day the beginning of the Gospel of saint John. Finally, it is also commodious, that, if perhaps some had not been able to hear the first Gospel, at least they may hear it at the end of Mass. Lastly, the priest withdrawing from the altar, and laying aside the sacred vestments, recites the hymn of the Three children, according to the decree of the Fourth Council of Toledo, capitul. 13. where it is commanded that that canticle be chanted at all solemn Masses. Yet this is hardly now observed, but it is only said in secret at the aforementioned time.

20. Thirdly and principally, this truth can be shown by satisfying the objections, which are brought forth to the contrary by the heretics: for if in this whole action, it is shown that there is nothing inordinate, or contrary to reason, since otherwise it is good from its object, and pertains to the worship of God, as has been proved by us, it will be evident, that it is fittingly and holily instituted. The first and chief objection of the heretics, therefore, is that, although in the substance of this action there seems to be nothing superstitious, yet in the mode, it is contrary to reason, that sacred readings and prayers, and the other things which are said in the Mass, be said in Latin, a foreign tongue, and not a vulgar. For, if these things are said in order to instruct the people, or stir them up, it must needs be said in that idiom, in which it can be understood by all; for, If I know not the meaning of the word, I shall be to him to whom I speak a barbarian, and he who speaks shall be a barbarian to me, as Paul argues, 1. ad Corinthios 14. and from this locus the objection is rendered difficult: for, as is said in the same place, Unless you utter plain speech by the tongue, how will it be known what is said? for you shall be speaking into the air; and below. If you bless with the spirit, how shall he who stands in place of the unlearned say Amen to your blessing? since he does not understand what you say: for you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. And it is confirmed, because not only in Mass are nearly all things given in the Latin tongue, but some things are also recited in the Greek or Hebrew language, and it is not known not only by the people, but frequently also by the priests themselves, what they mean, or what mysteries they contain. This objection is very general, because it can be made not only of the sacrifice of the Mass, but also of all the other sacred ministries, or public prayers: nor of these only, but moreover, a great controversy with the heretics of this time regards all the books of sacred Scripture, whether it is expedient, that they be commonly passed about translated into the vulgar tongue, so that they may be read by all. Of this argument Bellarmine writes learnedly, libro 2. de Verbo Dei, capitul. 15. & 16. And thus we shall here touch upon a few things, which suffice for the defense of the Ecclesiastical consuetude, and the definition of the Tridentine Council, sess. 22. cap. 8. where it says thus, And although the Mass contains much learning for the faithful people, yet it has not seemed expedient to the Fathers, that it be celebrated everywhere in the vulgar tongue, and in can. 9. it declares anathema upon those, who condemn this rite. Sufficient for urging this is the consuetude of the universal Church; which it is most insolent insanity to condemn, as Augustine said, Epist. 118. most of all since no beginning of this consuetude can be designated, which is a sign of Apostolic tradition, according to the rule given by Augustine, libr. 4. de Baptis. capite 24. which is also found in Leo, sermone 2. Pentecostes, and more clearly in serm. 2. de ieiunio Pente. The thing assumed here is clear by the experience in the whole Latin Church, although we do not read, that a Pontiff, or some Council instituted or commanded this, and Augustine, libr. 2. de Doctrina Christiana, capitul. 13. relates that in his time in Africa the Psalms were accustomed to be chanted in Latin in the Church. And that the same was observed in Spain in the divine offices can be drawn from Isidore, libro de divinis officiis, and from the various Spanish Councils, which we have cited above, especially from the Fourth Council of Toledo, and the First Council of Valencia. Regarding France, the same is clear from Alcuin and Amalarius; regarding Germany, from Rupert and Rabanus; regarding England, from Bede in the beginning of the Historia de rebus Anglicis: regarding Italy, the thing is manifest of itself, as is clear from the very ancient Ordo Romanus, and from Gregory, in his Sacramentale, and from many other things, which are related by Gratian, de Consecratione, distinctione quinta. And in the Greek Church the same thing is proportionally observed: for, although the divine offices are celebrated in the Greek tongue (for in that region it is the doctrinal tongue, so to speak, which pastors and Doctors of that Church must use); yet it is distinct from the vulgar, or corrupted tongue, which the people commonly uses, and the same is said of the Syriac, and Arabic tongues. For the vulgar is distinct from the doctrinal tongue even in its idiom: and the divine offices are always carried out in the doctrinal tongue. But if somewhere, or at some time the doctrinal tongue was not distinct from the vulgar, at least in some region, that is incidental: for we speak of the present, supposing this distinction, which is current, and which we read has almost always obtained. Now the reason is, that in the first place this is not evil of itself and from the object, but is indifferent, nor it is prohibited by divine law, as is clear of itself; next, it is not simply speaking necessary for the edification of the faithful: for whatever it is expedient for them to know, or understand of these mysteries, can easily be supplied through the teaching of the pastors and Doctors; and thus the Tridentine Council above commands, that, retaining the ancient rite, and in order that the sheep of Christ be not wanting for food, pastors should in the course of celebration of Mass, whether by themselves, or through another, explain something of the things which are read in the Mass, especially regarding the very sacrifice of the Mass, which Paul also indicated in the place cited: for when he said, He is greater who prophesizes, than he who speaks in tongues, he adds an exception. Unless perhaps he interprets, so that the Church may receive edification. But from other quarters there are many and grave reasons, on account of which it is more expedient for it to be done thus. Firstly because, even if all things in the Mass were said in the vulgar tongue, the common people in great part would not understand them, as, for example, the Psalms, the Prophets, Paul, the Apocalypse, the Canticles, and similar things: which the learned can hardly understand, whence it would consequently happen, that a manifold occasion for error would be given to them, either by understanding some words according to their proper sense which were said metaphorically, or in other similar ways. Secondly, because not all the mysteries should be placed readily before the common people, but some things must needs be hidden, lest they either become worthless to the unlearned, or be conceived with error, when it is not necessary for them to know them, as the ancient Fathers have taught in this matter, Dionysius, capit. 1. and ultim. de Ecclesiast. Hierar. Basil, lib. de Spiritu sancto, capit. 27. Gregory, 4. Dialog. capit. 56. Indeed for this reason amongst others, God willed the Scriptures to be obscure, and the mysteries to be contained under tropes and figures, as Augustine noted, lib. 2. de doctrina Christiana, capitul. 6. & Chrysostom, homil. 44. Imperfecti, & Gregory, homil. 6. in Ezech. Thirdly, because it pertains to the decency and veneration of the divine offices, that they be recited, not in a vulgar tongue, but in another which is more secret, and serious. For just as for this reason it is fitting, that they not occur in a common place, or with common clothing, so also neither in a common tongue. Fourthly, this also confers to the greater unity of the Church, that the divine offices be done everywhere in the same mode, and at all times; for the vulgar tongue is easily changed; while a doctrinal tongue is more durable. Fifthly, hence it also avoids the peril that, with the change of language, there also occur some very momentous, or even substantial change in the divine offices. Sixthly and finally, by this the ministers of the Church are admonished, or in a certain way compelled, not to be content with the vulgar tongue, and neglect the doctrinal tongue, and consequently doctrine itself.

21. To the difficulty proposed as regards reason, therefore, a sufficient response has been made from what has been said. For the advantage which is there asserted, is both uncertain, and exposed to many perils; and it can be supplied by something else which is more secure, and sufficient. And there are the excellent words of Chrysostom, homil. 3. de Lazaro. Even if you do not understand the things hidden there, yet much that is holy is born from the reading itself; and Origen has something similar, homilia 13. in Iosue. But as regards the testimony of the Apostle, since by itself it is obscure, it requires greater explanation, and especially is it necessary, in the first place, to expound what it is to speak in tongues, and what it is to interpret or prophesy. For this it should be noted, that it was customary for the faithful in the primitive Church, when they made religious gatherings, or gathered for the sacred offices, to be occupied partly in the divine praises, partly in explaining doctrine or preaching to the people, which consuetude is clear as much from the cited locus of Paul, as from others in Ephes. 5. ad Coloss. 3. and from Clement, lib. 8. capitul. 4. & seq. and from Dionysius, capitul. 3. de Ecclesiastic. Hierarch. Justin, Apologia 2. pro Christianis. To prophesy, therefore, in the cited locus, is the same as to preach, or to speak to the people of divine things, which must needs be in the tongue which is vulgar, and known to all, if it is to be for the advantage of all, which is quite the same as what the Apostle expounded, saying, He who prophesies, speaks to men unto edification, and exhortation, and consolation. This does not prevent such prophecy from also containing the prediction of things to come, so long as he who prophesies is able to lay out, and interpret his meaning for the edification of the people. Although such prediction of things to come is also not necessary for prophesying, as it is meant there, but the interpretation of the Scriptures or of the mysteries of the faith suffices. Whence Paul says below, What shall I profit you, unless I speak to you in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecy, or in doctrine? where he seems to mean prophecy more strictly than in the sense of prophesying above. For, as is clear from the context, for prophesying it is enough to speak in the Church for the edification of the faithful in one of the mentioned modes, namely, either in revelation, that is, by declaring the mysteries of God’s revelation, or in knowledge, that is, from the gift of knowledge, or surely by explaining the mysteries from diligent study and learning, or in doctrine, that is, by accommodating one’s speech to the hearers, as to students; or in prophecy, taken in rigor, that is, by announcing things to come, yet such that it can be understood by all. But now, to speak in tongues, as the phrase itself implies, is nothing other than to have the gift of tongues; but in that locus it is taken especially for the use of that gift for singing the praises of God; or for reciting spiritual hymns in a foreign language, which others do not understand. The faithful were accustomed in these religious gatherings so to be occupied in the divine praises, that each one, according to the instinct of the holy Spirit, would sing or recite something from his own genius unto the praise of God and thanksgiving, as can be gathered from Dionysius, cap. 3. de divinis nominibus, and from Tertullian, in Apologet. cap. 39. We gather as an assembly and congregation, so that, praying to God, we might solicit him with supplications as one band. We gather for the commemoration of the divine letters, if the character of the present times demands any forewarning or recollection. And below: After the washing of hands, and the lights, each one is called forward to sing to God, as he is able, either from the holy Scriptures, or from his own composing. Commenting on this locus, and upon Cyprian’s lib. de oratione Dominica, num. 2., Pamelius gathers many things pertinent to this matter from the most ancient Fathers and histories. So far as can be gathered from this locus which we are discussing, therefore, at that time, when the gift of tongues was frequently conferred upon the faithful, it sometimes happened, that in the Church some would sing, or recite the divine praises in that tongue, which others did not understand: no indeed even in that idiom which the reciter himself would not perceive, as indicated by the words, If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is without fruit, which words Chrysostom, Theophylact, Ambrose, and Anselm explain in respect of those who, speaking in tongues, do not understand themselves; who are said to pray in spirit, because they are moved by an internal affect to speak, and pray thus, but their mind is without fruit; because they do not perceive the force of the words, for, they either do not know what they mean, or (which is more likely) although they understand the meaning of the words, yet they do not perceive the mysteries which are contained in those words, as Augustine thinks, 12. Genesis ad litteram, capitul. 8. & 9. But others refer this to the fruit of others, namely, that he who prays in this manner, edifies himself, and arouses his own spirit, yet without fruit for others: thus Theodoret and others, which is of no consequence to our intent, for to speak in tongues in either sense is the same as to speak the divine praises in such a way, that some, not understanding, are moved to wonder; yet they do not perceive the fruit, and the interior edification. This sort of usage of tongues, therefore, seems to have been most of all familiar to the Corinthians, and held in such esteem and value, that they gloried in it most of all, and preferred that gift to the gift of prophecy: and Paul in the aforesaid locus does not reprehend a gift of this sort, or its use, nor does he think it is to be scorned, but he reprehends its inordinate use and teaches, that the gift of prophecy is to be preferred to it. Whence he concludes at the end of the chapter, And so, brethren, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues: but let all things be done amongst you decently, and according to order. It is clear, therefore, that from a true understanding of this locus, no argument can be drawn against the aforesaid usage of the Church; as much because it is not concerned with the divine offices, which are recited or chanted in the Church, but it concerns an exhortatory sermon to the people, or the prayers, or praises, which each and every man, lead by his own gift or spirit, proffers in the presence of others; as also, because the Apostle does not condemn that use of tongues, but moderates its usage and esteem: and he most of all approves it, when interpretation is conjoined with it. Now to the words cited above, since from them can be drawn at least an argument from similarity, a particular response shall have to be made. In those first words, therefore, If I know not the meaning of the word, I will be to him to whom I speak a barbarian, &c. nothing else is meant, except, that I shall neither understand, nor be understood: as Ovid says, Here I am a barbarian, because I do not understand anyone. This is fitting in exhortatory speech, yet not in deprecatory speech, for as is said in the same place: He who prophesies or exhorts, speaks to men, and thus he speaks vainly and to the air, if what he says is not understood, as Paul had said only a little before. But he who speaks in a tongue, namely in supplication, and prayer, does not speak to men, but to God, who knows very well not only the tongue, but the mind also, and thus it is not necessary, that it be understood by men: no indeed neither is it necessary, that he himself who prays should understand, for it is enough that he knows, or believes that they are words with which God is praised or entreated: then indeed the spirit prays, and moves the tongue, although the mind does not quite grasp the meaning of the words, as Paul signified in the words related above: If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is without fruit, and in this way they who pray in Latin do not act badly, although they do not understand the Latin tongue, as is drawn from Chrysostom and Origen cited above, and Augustine, libr. de Baptismo. cap. 25. & 3. de doctrina Christiana cap. 9. where he says, that the Jews duly worshiped God in figures and signs, the force and meaning of which they did not sufficiently understand; and many even now religiously recite the Psalms, which they do not understand, although they know the Latin tongue. Finally, the last words are explained by St. Thomas, Primasius, Haymo, and others, so that by him, who stands in place of the unlearned, they mean the minister, who responds in place of the people: whence they mean, that it is at least necessary that the minister understand, so that he is able to respond in the place of the people. This interpretation is an obvious one, according to the vulgate version: yet, according to the Greek edition, there is a difficulty, because it does not say, who stands in place of the unlearned, but who fulfils the place of the unlearned, that is, the very one who is unlearned and uninstructed. And thus is it interpreted by Theophylact and Chrysostom, homilia 53. By the unlearned (says Chrysostom) he means the whole people: no indeed, at that time the entire people was accustomed to respond to the priest, as can be drawn from the things which we have adduced above regarding certain responses of the people, and from Jerome in præfatione libri 2. ad Galatas. And the difficulty is further enlarged, because even now it is not necessary, that the minister understand the tongue in which the Mass is said. Hence it can be said, according to what has been said above, that the Apostle does not speak of the Ecclesiastical offices, but of those Canticles or praises, which individuals recited from their own spirit or ability, in order to rouse and stir up one another; and thus it was necessary that these be done in a tongue, which the others would understand; or at least, that there would follow an interpretation of them. But in the divine offices, which are ordered most of all to the worship of God, it was more expedient, on account of other reasons adduced above, that they not be done in the vulgar tongue; but that at their own opportune places and times, the interpretation of the pastors be adjoined. I add, finally, that although it is not necessary, that he who is to give a response to the other who is praying (whether this is the minister, or the people) understand the proper idiom, or meaning of the words, it is at least necessary, that he understand from instruction or consuetude, at least in a confused manner, what the priest does, that is, whether he proffers a prayer, and when he finishes it, otherwise he will not be able to respond in a suitable fashion. But this could not have occurred in that usage of tongues, of which Paul speaks; as much because he who speaks in a tongue, does not speak according to any rite or instruction, but as the holy Spirit gives to speak to him; as also, because such a tongue is sometimes entirely foreign, so that the hearers are entirely ignorant of what is said, whether he is praying, or saying something else, or when he finishes the prayer, and suchlike: and thus we readily concede, regarding this sort of usage of tongues, that it is unfit for the public offices, not that it will be contrary to the fitting rite of the Church, as has been sufficiently stated.

22. Whence there is an easy response to the final confirmation: for it is no disadvantage, that the Latin Church has retained in the Mass, or in the Ecclesiastical offices, certain Hebrew, or Greek words, either because they have a particular emphasis, as St. Thomas says, on Apocal. 19. regarding the word Alleluia, which does not convey the divine praise in an indiscriminate manner, but with a peculiar sign of joy, as Augustine also noted, Psalm. 106.; or for the unity of the Church, and for proclaiming the confession of the faith of the same, as Augustine in epist. 178. circa finem indicates regarding the phrase Kyrie eleison; from which locus this consuetude can be confirmed with various examples. Or also, for the sake of commending antiquity, as is found in Gregory, libro 7. epistola 63. where he discusses the phrase Kyrie eleison, in Augustine, 2. de doctrina Christiana, cap. 10 & 11. in which he says that antiquity was preserved on account of the authority of the Saints; or finally, because sometimes the words are such, that they cannot be transferred commodiously into another language, as Augustine says in the same place regarding the words Hosanna and Racha, and Isidore also touches upon these last two reasons, lib. 6. Etymolog. capit. ultim. Nor is it a disadvantage of any importance, that the proper meaning of these words is not known even by many priests: because, either it is enough that they be proffered in the faith of the whole Church: for knowledge of them is not wholly necessary to individuals; or certainly, from their usage and adaptation, they are already as it were made Latin, just as we have said above regarding the word for baptizing; and thus their meaning is also sufficiently known. For who does not know, that Alleluia is a word of gladness, and joy, by which a man is called to the praise of God? and thus for the others.

23. The second objection is, that in the things which are said in the Mass, some are said in silence and secretly; while others are said publicly, which seems inordinate, and contrary to reason: for the prayer which is in the Mass is not private, but public: therefore it ought not to be done secretly, between God and man, but publicly. Likewise, what advantage can there be in secrecy of this sort? for if the words are holy, why may they not be heard by all? and if the prayer is made in the name of all, why may it not be done with all hearing and assenting? Perhaps you will say, that it is done to conceal some mystery. But on the contrary, what greater mystery can there be, than the very prayer of consecration? and yet the words by which that mystery is confected, are said alta voce. And immediately he adds: Hoc facite in meam commemorationem: and thus was it done in the ancient Church from the example of Christ; as may be gathered from the ancient liturgies, in which the people responds Amen to the words of consecration; which consuetude Eusebius also recalls, lib. 7. histor. cap. 9. and Augustine lib. 65. quæstionum, quæst. 49. although he does not speak there of the consecration, but of the dispensation of the sacrament, of which Cyril also speaks, Cateches. 5. mystag. Finally, Chrysostom, Homil. 18. in 2. ad Corinthios says, that all things which are done in the Mass of the faithful, are common to the people and the priest. And it is confirmed, and the difficulty increased, because it also seems incongruous, that in the Mass prayers and other things should sometimes be uttered with singing; because this does not seem to befit the gravity, and reverence of such an office.

24. To confute this error, the Tridentine Council taught, in the aforesaid sess. 22. cap. 5. that the rite of the Catholic Church is to be approved, in which rite it is observed, that some things in the sacrifice of the Mass are pronounced in a lower voice, others in a clearer, which it specially defined in Can. 9 regarding the words of consecration, and another part of the Canon: which has customarily been said secretly and in a low voice. That this rite is most ancient, is clear from the Liturgies often cited, especially that of Basil, and Chrysostom, and the same is gathered from Cyril, Cateches. 5. Next, it is obviously known that this rite, of itself, is not intrinsically evil or contrary to reason, just as neither, on the contrary, would it be evil to say the entire Mass alta voce: for neither is contrary to any virtue, nor does it imply any unseemliness: indeed Christ established nothing regarding this, nor did he prohibit: nor is such a precept clear from Scripture, or tradition: therefore he committed this to the ordinance of the Church, just as he did the other accidental rites; why therefore can the Church be reprehended, for judging that in a matter of itself indifferent, one side of it is to be observed, and retained in use? indeed it was not expedient, to leave this to the judgment of every priest; as much because an infinite variety would have arisen from thence; as most of all, because many things would be done indiscreetly, and inordinately. And the Church has most sufficient moral reasons for choosing and establishing this rite, rather than another. Firstly, because that variety, from praying now publicly, now secretly and in silence, refreshes and delights the minds of the hearers, and brings with it a certain gravity, and charm. Secondly, from the Tridentine Council, above, because men have need of these exterior helps, in order that they might be elevated to the meditation of divine things. And thus, in order that the individual faithful. who hear Mass, might be able better to collect themselves, and, according to their own devotion, entreat God, or meditate on the sacred mysteries, it is expedient now and then to pray secretly at Mass, and thus the Council of Cologne admirably said, part. 7. capit. 26. The chief part of the people in the Mass is then, when, the priest reading more quietly, or falling silent, each one speaks with God. And Cyprian in exposit. orat. Domin., as it is referred in the cap. Quando autem, de Consecr. dist. 1. Thus (he says) the Priest, before the prayer, having given the preface, prepares the minds of the brethren, saying: Sursum corda: so that, when the people responds: Habemus ad Dominum, they are admonished that they ought to think on nothing other than the Lord. And it is in this way that Chrysostom thinks, that in the sacrifice all things are common to the priest and people; because the one prays in the name of all, while the others consent to his prayer, or attend to him, if he prays publicly, or if he prays secretly, they pray simultaneously with him. The third reason is, to signify that not all the mysteries are to be divulged to all, as I have related from the Fathers above, to whom can be added Origen, Homil. 5. in Numer. and Chrysostom, Homil. 24. in Matth. and Innocent I, epist. 1. cap. 1. in the words: After all those things, which I ought not to disclose, the pax must needs be declared.

25. Fourthly, there accedes a mystical reason, take from the significance of Christ, or imitation of him: for he, when he offered himself as a sacrifice on the cross, now prayed in a loud voice: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do; and, Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit; and, God, my god, why have you abandoned me; now spoke to those standing about, as to his Mother, to the Disciple, to the Thief, but now fell silent, and prayed within himself. So also the priest in the Mass, now speaks to the people, now to God in a clear voice; and now prays in silence. The secret prayer of the priest, therefore, is a kind of commemoration of the secret prayer of Christ, either in the garden, or on the Cross.

26. To the argument, therefore, it is responded, that the priest, even as a public minister, is able to pray secretly: for, since he is constituted between men and God, so that he intercedes for men, whether he does that in a public or a secret voice, so long as he does it for the universal Church, and in its name, he prays as a public minister: to whose prayer all the hearers consent, either by assisting, or praying simultaneously with him. Indeed, Innocent above says, that the kiss of peace is to be given at the end, so that by it, it is clear, that the people have given their consent to all things which are done in the mysteries, and celebrated in the Church. Now, enough has already been said regarding the usefulness which can be found in this rite. But that Christ the Lord proffered the words of consecration aloud, is no argument for what we discuss: for he consecrated in the presence of those, to whom he passed on the mode of consecrating: whom the Bishops now imitate, when they ordain Priests. Finally, that there was at one time in the Church the usage of saying the words of consecration aloud, rightly indicates, that it also was not evil; yet it was not therefore necessary for this consuetude to be always retained. The final confirmation sought a lengthy explanation of the Ecclesiastical Canticles, but that matter has proper place in 2.2. q. 83. & 91. For now it is enough, that this manner of singing in the Church also is most ancient, as is clear from the Liturgies cited, even that of James, and from Clement, lib. 8. & from Dionysius, cap. 3. and Justin, Apolog. 2. pro Christianis, and from Tertullian, in Apolo. c. 39. and from the ancient histories, which refer this custom to the Apostles, and their disciples, as can be seen in Nicephorus, lib. 9. cap. 19. lib. 13. c. 8. lib. 18. c. 51. Theodoret, lib. 4. ca. 29. Socrates, lib. 6. cap. 8. Finally, this is in agreement with Paul, ad Ephes. 5. saying: Speaking to yourselves in Psalms, and hymns, and spiritual canticles, and ad Coloss. 3., no indeed the Fourth Council of Toledo says, cap. 12. that for singing hymns, we have the example of Christ and the Apostles, signifying that the words of Matth. 26. And a hymn being said, are to be understood of a chant: for this a hymn properly signifies, as Augustine says in the beginning of Psal. 72. Nor is this contrary to the gravity of such a function; since the whole of this is referred to the praise, and honor of God, and is ordered to rousing men to devotion, and thus holily has it been established by Councils, that in these canticles nothing be mixed in, which is not holy, and pure, and that it be able to provoke minds to reverence and devotion. See the Tridentine Council, sess. 22. de Observand. in Missa.

27. Thirdly, there can be presented other objections, which are founded in other errors, such as, that in the things which are said in the Mass, prayer is often directed to the Saints, and many things are ordered to the end of worshiping and honoring them. Likewise, that we pray for the dead. Likewise, that we use words signifying oblation and sacrifice, and suchlike: which I pass over, because the errors on which they are founded, have been assaulted in previous disputations. They furthermore add, that there are certain things mixed into these prayers, or antiphons of the Mass, which either contain some error, or are redolent of superstition. Although they cannot show this universally, they confirm it with one or another example; and most of all regarding the Mass, which is said for the dead, in which the Church prays, that God might free the souls of the dead from the punishments of hell [infernus], and from the deep pit, and suchlike, which seem to contain error: for, either the Church prays for the souls which are already in hell; and this would be most absurd, and would involve an error denying the eternity of the punishments of hell; or she prays for the souls of purgatory, and thus she prays superfluously, that they be freed from the punishments of hell, and from the deep pit; because they have already been freed, since they are supposed to be in purgatory. You might say, that there purgatory is meant by infernum, and the deep pit. But on the contrary, it is immediately added: Free them from the mouth of the lion, lest Tartarus swallow them up, &c. and also: Lord, cause them to come over from death to life, and again: Succoring them by your grace, may they merit to evade the judgment of vengeance: and in a Collect it is said: That because he has hoped and believed in you, let him not suffer the eternal punishments, but possess eternal joys; and many suchlike are read in the prayers for the dead, in which another error seems to be inculcated, namely, that the souls in purgatory can yet be damned; and that they are uncertain of their eternal salvation. You might say, that sometimes something is petitioned from God, although it is certain to come, because it is to come through prayers, just as the ancient Fathers petitioned the coming of Christ. But on the contrary: firstly, because nothing which is certainly to come is petitioned, except insofar as it depends upon us in some way; but now, that a soul in purgatory be not damned, does not now depend upon us, but is inevitable in itself. Secondly, because although it happens that petition is made for a thing which is certain to come, so long as it is still to come, this is not done for something which is already accomplished. For who petitions from God, that Christ’s soul be perpetually blessed? but, that a soul in purgatory be freed from eternal death, is not any longer something that is to come, but it is already done; therefore it is not fittingly petitioned. Nor is what some say satisfactory, that although in these souls the particular judgment has been accomplished, yet not the universal; and thus one can still pray for them, that they escape the judgment of vengeance: for, if this were true, we would also be able to pray for the blessed, for them to escape the judgment of vengeance, because they also have not yet been judged by the universal judgment. Moreover, there are many things in these Ecclesiastical Collects, which contain difficulty; of which sort is that which Innocent refers, in cap. Cum Marthæ, de Celebrat. Miss. Grant, O Lord, we pray, that this oblation be profitable to the soul of Blessed Leo, which words, although they were afterward emended, as Innocent says in the same place, yet from this we draw the argument, that error was at one point involved in these Collects: and moreover it has not been wholly removed from the same place: for in the secret prayer of the same saint Leo, it is now petitioned, that through these offices of pious appeasement, may blessed recompense attend him, and procure for us the gifts of your grace, and in other Collects of the Saints it is often prayed, That, just as the holy mysteries are for the Saints profitable unto glory, so may they profit us unto healing, which comparation seems to suppose something false; because these mysteries are not, for the Saints, profitable unto glory. Likewise in a Collect of the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, we say to God, And propitiously compel our souls, albeit rebellious, to you: which also seems absurd, because this is to petition from God, that he force and necessitate our wills.

28. Regarding this difficulty, Medina, Codice de oratione, quæst. 6. on those for whom we are to pray, while discussing the things which pertain to the Masses for the dead, says in the first place, that it is not necessary that everything which is said in them be excused from all absurdity; for many things (says he) are permitted to be read in the Church, although they are not entirely true, or wholly apposite; because they confer to rousing or increasing the devotion of the faithful, as in the Legends of the Saints, and in the opinions of the Doctors, therefore (says he) it can be said thus of those prayers, which have been made by private persons, and not by some Council, nor have they been approved in one. But this response is becoming neither to piety, nor to truth: for in the first place, whatever may be the case regarding the authors of those prayers, or antiphons, yet it is certain, that they are received by the common use and consensus of the whole Roman Church: therefore no one is able to think, without great temerity, that in them there is some error, foreign to sound doctrine.

29. Hence in the Ecclesiastical offices it is necessary to distinguish those things, which are proposed by the Church as certain, or more probable only according to human faith, as are the histories of the Saints, and other suchlike, which the Church only proposes as being believed piously and with probability, of which sort is, for example, the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin, or what is said on the Epiphany, that that day is marked by three apparitions, or miracles of Christ, and whatever else is similar. And in these there is no error, because they are not things which of themselves pertain to Catholic doctrine, nor are they proposed as such. Whence, although it were to happen, that what the Church proposes as pious and probable is in reality false, it would not be proper deception, because the Church herself does not propose these to us as certain, but only as pious and probable, as in fact they are. But it is another thing, to speak of things which pertain to the certain and undoubted doctrine of the faith: for in these it cannot happen that the universal Church be deceived: and thus, neither in these offices, and prayers, which are received by the universal Church, can there be mixed anything contrary to this doctrine, although something perhaps could sometimes be obscure, and requiring some interpretation. But I speak of those which are received by the universal Church: because, if some things are adjoined by private persons, or even Churches, it will be no wonder, that sometimes error is mixed in, and thus the Councils gravely forbid, lest prayers be said in the Mass, except those which have been approved in Council, or received by frequent and laudable usage, as the Tridentine Council says in the placed cited, and before that, it was signified in the Third Council of Carthage, Can. 23. and the Council of Milevis, Can. 12. and the Council of Africa, cap. 70. To the first part of the difficulty, therefore, it is briefly responded, that in those words the Church does not pray for the damned souls; as much because she prays only for the faithful; as also, because she expressly says, Lest they fall into obscurity, therefore she supposes that they have not yet fallen: she prays, therefore, for the souls in Purgatory. But this prayer made for them can be understood in two ways: firstly, by considering them only as they exist then, when prayer is made for them: and in this way we make petition, that punishment be remitted them, and that they be granted eternal rest, and that light perpetual shine upon them, and many, indeed nearly all the things, which are contained in these offices, can be adapted to this sense: in another way prayer is made for those souls, according to a certain anticipation or representation: the Church re-presents the state of their souls at that point, at which they exited from the body, and are brought to judgment: and in this way she intercedes for them, and prays, Lest Tartarus swallow them up, and suchlike; just as even now, when she re-presents the coming of Christ, she prays, Drop down, you heavens: and on the day of the Resurrection: This is the day, which the Lord has made, &c. Nor is this sort of prayer or representation lacking usefulness: as much because it can be useful for the living, so that they reflect upon the peril of that moment, in which they are to be judged: as also, because it accrues to the true worship of God, whom the Church confesses, and recognizes as the supreme judge of souls: and as the father of mercy, who can be placated with prayers: as also and finally, because it can be advantageous to the dead souls: either, so that through these prayers of the Church, some punishment be remitted them, or also perhaps, so that on account of such foreseen prayers of the Church, when they depart from this life, they might receive from God help and direction, according to which they may be able to be judged benignly and mercifully. That this is the sense of the Church in the cited words, is clear from these, Cause them to come over from death to life: for those cannot be understood to speak of the second death, which is that of hell: because from that no man can pass to life: they mean, therefore, either corporeal death, or the death of sin. To the other part regarding the prayers for the Saints, the response is easy, from what has been said above: for in the first place, the character of prayers of this sort is rather that of thanksgiving, which is made to God on account of the glory granted to the Saints, than a request for new glory, or beatitude. Then, if anything is petitioned for them, it is only some accidental glory or joy from our good fortunes, or from honor, or worship, which is shown to God on earth through this sacrifice of the Mass: or also, glory is sought for them amongst men, that is in the Church militant; namely, that we hold them in esteem, and show them that honor which is due to them. And those words which are found in the Collect of saint Leo could be very well retained, without any change, in any of these senses: as Innocent III declared in the aforementioned capit., but on account of their ambiguity, and lest the unlearned conceive some false sense, that change was made. Finally, to the last objection regarding that Collect, in which we petition, that God compel our wills, it is responded, that neither there, nor strictly does the word compellere mean properly to force, or to confer necessity; but, to induce or move the will with some great power of grace; and this manner of speaking was taken from the similar words of Christ himself, Lucæ 14. Go out into the streets and lanes, and compel them to enter, that my house may be filled; and the same meaning is found in those words, Ioan. 6. No one can come to me, unless my Father draws him; and from the common manner of speaking it is clear, that someone is said to be compelled, when he does something when importuned with requests: although he does it voluntarily and freely, thus Genes. 19. He compelled them, to turn in unto him. And it will be easy to explain in this manner, if there occurs anything obscure, or ambiguous in the other offices of the Mass, especially if it be read with due reverence and piety.


Suarez on ius liturgicum II: De sacramentis, disp. XVI, sect. v

Today’s (comparatively brief) selection from the Doctor Eximius is taken from his De sacramentis, disp. XVI, where in sect. v he inquires after the obligation of the sacramental ministers to observe the Church’s rite in the administration of those sacraments. The attentive reader will note the appeal that Suárez makes to Trent sess. VII, can. 13 (a canon whose liturgical significance is somewhat misunderstood in some circles of the Church today) and its connection to the Church’s power over the sacramental ceremonies, discussed more fully in disp. XV, sect. iii.

As before, in making this translation, we primarily have employed the 1599 Moguntiæ edition, with some reference to the 1860 Vives. A .pdf version of this translation can be found here.

francisco suarez 2


Whether the ministers of the sacraments, in administering the same, are bound to observe the Ecclesiastical rite, and how they might sin in this.

This doubt alone remains, regarding the obligations of the ministers, and these obligations are considered in themselves absolutely, without respect to the recipients of the sacraments. In this the discussion does not concern the substantial rite instituted by Christ, concerning which we have spoken in the second section; rather, it concerns the accidental rite, superadded by the Church. Regarding this rite, the heretics of this time who do not wholly reject these ceremonies as superstitious, at most admit them as voluntary, and not necessary. For it is intolerable (they say), to give human precepts regarding these, and make the law of liberty a law of servitude. But this is manifest heresy, against the Ecclesiastical power handed over by Christ, and contrary to its use and tradition. It is also an error against natural reason, because in any commonwealth it is necessary, that in handing over or executing sacred things, there be some prescribed form, in order that they be done with due honor and reverence.

Hence it should be said firstly, that there is in the Church a precept imposed upon the ministers of the sacraments, that they not minister them unless they observe the solemnity and the ceremonies instituted by the Church. The conclusion is de fide, defined in the Council of Trent, seventh session, in the final canon [XIII] on the sacraments in general. Concerning which we have said many things above, in disp. XV: where we have shown, that this power is in the Church. And that the Church has used this power in giving this precept, is clear from consuetude, and from the sense of all the faithful, and from many decrees, which we shall present in their own places. For this precept is not one given in general regarding all the sacraments, or their ceremonies, but it is an obligation arising from the various precepts made in the individual sacraments, according to the mode, and the rite proper to each one. Read the rest of this entry »

Suarez on ius liturgicum I: De sacramentis, disp. XV

As we intimated a little over a year ago in the prefatory remarks to our translation of Petavius on tradition, we have for a long time now intended to post a translation of the entirety of Francisco Suárez’s De sacramentis, disp. XV, in which the Doctor Eximius discusses in general terms the Church’s sacramental ritual. As becomes immediately clear to one reading this disputation of his, his thought runs according to much the same scheme and method as that of his Counter-Reformation contemporary, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, in the latter’s own De sacramentis, lib. II, cap. 29-32, whom Suárez himself cites. Our aim in translating this disputation from Suárez is the same as that which moved us to translate Bellarmine, and which we have described in our comments on that post. Both Bellarmine and Suárez—and especially the latter—proved to be lucid and highly influential in their discussion of this topic in the centuries to come, and were often cited by contemporary and later theologians when treating of ius liturgicum; hence, we judged it useful to bring out into English their treatments of the matter, for the benefit of the interested but non-Latinate reader.

Though it is of course true that Bellarmine and Suárez were influential upon those who came after them, this is not to say that their positions and arguments were wholly original. Their own treatments followed in the wake of a number of earlier influential theologians, including St. Thomas Aquinas and Thomas Netter sive Waldensis, the latter of whom dedicated an entire volume to the matter, and was himself often cited—the former touching upon the ceremonies but lightly and more or less in passing, although a pretty clear picture of his views can be gathered from the various texts. What makes Bellarmine and Suárez notable in this topic is that they lived posterior to the Council of Trent, which they defended and explained at great length throughout their many works, and which contained a number of chapters and canons that furnished no small degree of magisterial authority in founding and supporting later explanations and defenses of, and arguments about, the nature and characteristics of the ecclesiastical ceremonies.

As we have mentioned in previous posts, we have been exercised these past few years in reading and translating a great many post-Tridentine authors on the topic of ius liturgicum, and we intend to bring out the fruits of our labors in long format of some sort (as yet to be determined, though it is our earnest desire that the entire collection be freely available for all to access and read) when we judge the collection has reached an acceptable level of quality and quantity. Sooner than that, however, we will be posting all or most of it in parts here, in numbered posts according to author; hence the title of today’s post.

In executing this translation, we have primarily used the 1599 Moguntiæ edition, with occasional reference to the edition of his opera omnia published at Venice in tom. 18 (1747) 149-155, and to the edition published at Paris by Vives in R.P. Francisci Suarez e Societate Iesu opera omnia, tom. 20 (1860), 283-295. A .pdf version of this translation may be found here.

francisco suarez


On the sacramentals, or the ceremonies of the sacraments in general

St. Thomas passed over this disputation in this matter, yet since, in each of the sacraments, we shall have to treat of the ceremonies of each with St. Thomas himself, it seemed necessary to premise in this place the things which can be common and general. For indeed, nearly all those headings which have been discussed generally by us about the sacraments can be disputed regarding these sacramentals: still, presupposing the things which we have said regarding the sacraments, everything will be able to be set out with greater dispatch.


What is a ceremony or sacramental.

We ask first, what is a ceremony, rather than whether ceremony exists, as much because it is per se notum that ceremonies exist; as also because, as we have said regarding the sacraments, the meaning of a word cannot be sufficiently explained in these matters, unless it is known at the same time what the thing itself is. One must therefore note, in the first place, that the name ‘ceremony’, if we attend to this word’s first imposition, or etymology, can mean any external worship of God which is done with a fixed and definite rite for the greater reverence of God. All Latins use the word in this meaning, which word they all draw from Cære, a city of Italy, or from the verb carendo, as one may see in St. Thomas 1.2. quæstio. 99. artic. 3. & St. Augustine 2. retract. cap. 37., and in this meaning is ‘ceremony’ used in the ancient scripture, wherever it speaks of the legal ceremonies. And so under this word are comprehended the sacraments, sacrifices, sacred things [sacra], and observances, to which four headings St. Thomas, 1.2. quæst. 101. artic. 4. reduces all the ceremonies of the old law. Of these, what the first two are has been sufficiently explained in what we have said above: and we shall speak of sacrifice in particular afterward, when treating of the Mass: and sacra are called by St. Thomas those things which are as it were instruments, or things deputed to carrying out sacrifices, or ministering sacraments, such as sacred vessels, vestments, churches, and whatever other things are similar: while he calls ‘observances’ all the actions which worshipers of God employ in order to dispose themselves to the worship of God, such as fasts, genuflexion, the use of the sign of the cross, and suchlike. Now in the present matter, we do not use the word ‘ceremony’ in this broadest meaning, but we adapt it to the sacramental ceremony, and by Theologians it is usually simply called a ‘sacramental’. By this word we mean certain religious actions or circumstances, which the Church observes in the administration of the sacraments, or the oblation of the sacrifice, and which are apart from those which are of the essence, or substance of the sacrifice, such as, in Baptism for example, the Unction, the Exorcism, and other things of this sort. Read the rest of this entry »

Manualist Monday: A collection of pre-conciliar theologians on the dogmatic weight of Quanta cura and the Syllabus errorum

Ever since Dr. John Joy published his fine piece on the theological note of Quanta cura (as well as a follow-up piece nearly a year later), we had entertained in our mind the notion of investigating the writings of the theologians more nearly contemporaneous with that document and its accompanying Syllabus, in order to ascertain whether the Church’s authors also considered either to be infallible definitions. After having searched out several authors, we began translating the relevant excerpts, but (ut mos est) although we had completed a substantial number of the texts planned for presentation, we delayed completion of the project in favor of other more pressing and interesting pursuits. At length, however, being recently reminded once again of this unfinished project, we decided to prepare what had already been completed for posting, rather than procrastinate any longer. Several other authors from our list still remain to be translated, and they shall (hopefully!) be added in due course; undoubtedly we shall encounter others as well, and we intend to add them as well when time permits. Consider this post a work in progress.

The collection of translations presented here comprises a handful of well-known and weighty voices from the Catholic theological tradition prior to the Second Vatican Council. Although they speak of the valor dogmaticus of the encyclical Quanta cura and unanimously affirm it to be ex cathedra, the specific focus of many of the authors is rather the Syllabus—this being occasioned by the disproportionate controversy stirred up (especially amongst non-Catholics at the time) regarding the latter. While not every single one of the authors comes to the same conclusions regarding the force of the Syllabus considered by itself, yet it can be said that there is a common opinion of sorts.

We have omitted to include here the text of the various English treatments we have gathered on this subject, and have opted rather to include links to scans of the relevant volumes online. They are: Cardinal Hergenröther, in the 1876 English edition of his Catholic Church and Christian State, vol. 1, essay V, p. 205ff; St. John Henry Newman, in his famous A letter addressed to his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, §7 (ed. 1875, p. 78ff); and William George Ward, in the first Appendix to his Essays on the Church’s doctrinal authority (1880), p. 479ff.

Finally, it must be noted that all bolding, italicization, etc. is that of the original authors.
quanta cura

1. Johann Cardinal Franzelin, from an unpublished letter of 19 Mar 1868, to a theology professor who had consulted him about the dogmatic value of the Syllabus; reproduced in part by Fr. Francois Desjacques in the July 1889 fascicule of the journal Études religieuses, p. 354ff.

After this digression one must come 2° to the concrete question of the Syllabus. By the will and command of the Pontiff, errors, which have been proscribed by him on other occasions, noted as errors against sound doctrine and as to be avoided by the faithful, and gathered up into a kind of summary, are noticed to all the Pastors of the universal Church; in which mandate and act there seems altogether to be contained and manifested the will of giving a universal norm of thinking and teaching in those heads indicated therein. If a doubt arises regarding the sense in which the errors are proscribed, certainly one must recur to the documents from which the propositions of the Syllabus are drawn; but it is not merely that authority, which they have perhaps in an inferior degree in some of those documents, that belongs to the same proscriptions as they are in the Syllabus; but from the communication and proposition made to all the Pastors and through them to the faithful, a new degree of authority accedes to all those condemnations (certainly not as if all the errors would be understood to be proscribed with the same species of censure, but insofar as, without determination of notes, all are declared to the universal Church as errors to be avoided). But what demonstrates to us most of all the authority which is to be attributed, the submission of mind which is to be given to the doctrine declared in the Syllabus, without doubt is the sense and consensus, at least morally unanimous, of the whole catholic episcopate; for from this it plainly seems, that the whole complex of doctrine in the document has been received as doctrine authentically proposed by the supreme teacher. Therefore—although, considering only the mode in which the Encyclical “Quanta cura” and the Syllabus first came forth, a difference can be found between that [Encyclical] which has emanated immediately from the Pontiff himself, and this [Syllabus] which, indeed encompassing pronouncements of the Pontiff from other documents, yet in this form seems to be communicated to the Bishops only at the command of the Pontiff—nevertheless, considering all the circumstances, and most of all the mode in which each document has been regarded, with moral consensus in the Church, as being of the same character, practically speaking the same generally can be said of the Syllabus which is said of the Encyclical.

2. Jean Bainvel,[1] in De magisterio vivo et traditione (1905), §104, p. 107-108.

On the authority of the Syllabus. — At this point a question is referred regarding the authority of the Syllabus. Regarding this, in order that you may judge rightly, recall how the matter was elaborated, promulgated, and accepted. Cf. Hourat, Le Syllabus, 1904 (in the collection Science et religion), a compendium of which you will find in Études, 20 May 1904, Bulletin théologique, n. 3, p. 585-589. Two things here must be distinguished, lest you obscure everything — as some indeed do these days, such as P. Viollet: the value of the proscription, and the title and degree of the proscription. Read the rest of this entry »

Manualist Monday: Petavius on the divisions of Tradition

As mentioned in our previous post of Franzelin, we had been working on a translation on the same subject of Tradition, by one of the great models of Franzelin, Perrone, and the Roman School in general: Denis Petau, better known in the older theological literature as Petavius. The magnum opus of Petavius, his Opus de theologicis dogmatibus, unfortunately was never completed, but it nevertheless stands as a lasting monument to the erudition and ability of its Jesuit author.

The present selection is from his De ecclesiastica hierarchia, lib. I, cap. i, in which our author expounds upon the various kinds of tradition, devoting especial attention to a famous text from St. Basil the Great. It covers similar ground as the previous locus from Franzelin, who in fact recommended it to the reader in his own discussion of this topic, but we judged it useful to present to the reader a great 17th-cent. theologian’s discussion of the matter. We may return to this topic with other authors at some point, as we have collected not a few, but for the near future our efforts will be focused on bringing forward texts more straightforwardly concerned with ius liturgicum—the first, Deo dante, being the entirety of disp. XV of the De sacramentis of Suárez.

In making this translation, we employed both the 1867 Vives edition (tom. VII, pp. 479-484) and the 1644 Cramoisy (tom. III, p. 656-662). A .pdf version of this translation may be found here.



On Apostolic tradition, and its various distinction. The memorable locus of Basil regarding these is explained. Traditions of this sort are partly unchangeable, partly changeable. Various examples of both kinds. What is the note, and property of Apostolic tradition.

Most ancient indeed, and springing from the first times of Christianity, is that distinction of orders, from which the ecclesiastical hierarchy, as they say, is composed. Amongst which are three which are chief, the episcopate, the presbyterate, and the diaconate. Of these, laying aside the diaconate, the whole controversy has arisen regarding the first two between me and Salmasius, that is, between the Christian and catholic party and the sects of the heretics. And indeed, the enemies of the Roman church assert that the episcopate is plainly the same order as the presbyterate from the institution of Christ, and the usage of the Apostles, and of Apostolic times; and that in no place in the Scriptures can they be differentiated from one another, but they are always used promiscuously, so that either bishops are only named conjointly with deacons, or presbyters only with deacons, but never these three separately, bishops, presbyters, and deacons. We have recalled some examples of this matter from the Acts of the Apostles, and the epistles of the same, in the first book of our Dissertationes ecclesiasticæ, in the first chapter; which, since they may be found there, I will not relate here, lest I run on longer.

Now, in that locus I have composed the whole matter in such a way, that we concluded that both those orders and grades are diverse, of themselves, and by their nature, and from the institution and will of Christ; that is, of such kind, that they would be able to be disjoined from one another, and be in separate persons, insofar as someone would be only a presbyter, yet with all the inferior orders adjoined, through which he ascended by degrees to the presbyterate; likewise another, besides the presbyterate, and the rest subjoined to that, in addition would receive the episcopate. Although in the first times of the Church both of these orders and degrees, distinct amongst themselves, were conferred on the same person, which usage thus required, as has been explained with many things in its own place.

II. The following reason demonstrates that this is not a conjecture of ours, and a divination, but a firm and certain judgment. For if bishop and presbyter were one and the same order, and one and the same form, and οùσία from the institution of Christ: it would be impermissible to take these otherwise, than as he had established them. For it is not in the power of men to change those things, which have once been ordained by Christ; or to treat them in a way other than from his prescript and will. The theologians generally express this thus, that certain of the ecclesiastical institutions are of divine law, others of positive and human law. Of the first sort are those, which, whether explicated by name in the Scriptures, or received by the Church from the tradition of the ancestors, it is clear that they have been ordained such as they are by Christ the Lord himself, and not entrusted to the decree and judgment of men; such as are those things which pertain to the Christian faith, and the substance, as I may say, of the sacraments. Of the second sort are those, which concern the rites, with which the former are treated, or which have come by any way at all into the consuetude of Christians.

To both of these two kinds pertain those things, which are referred without writing to the Apostles as their authors, by tradition alone. For these are thought to be partly of divine, and immutable law, and partly human, that is positive, law.

Regarding both kinds, there is the luculent testimony, thus oft-used by theologians, of Basil in the book De Spiritu sancto, which testimony is to be accurately expounded by us here; for upon it turns the summit of our question and controversy. Read the rest of this entry »

Manualist Monday: Franzelin on the divisions of Tradition

Recently, our inquiries into ius liturgicum and its many pertinent corollaries and parallels in other theological disciplines impelled us to focus on the various senses of traditio in the Church’s theological tradition. The present brief piece, a translation of the first thesis of Cardinal Franzelin’s classic work De divina traditione et Scriptura, is made from the second edition of that treatise, published in 1875. The chapter referenced from Petavius and recommended for its treatment of this topic is in process of translation, and, we hope, will follow soon after this. It is our hope that having such texts readily available for reference will be of use.

Franzelin, Tractatus de divina traditione et Scriptura, sect. I, cap. 1, thes. i (ed. IIa 1875, p. 12-15).
A downloadable .pdf version of this translation can be found here.


The manifold notion of Tradition is explicated.

“Tradition can be considered either in the objective sense, or the active sense, or the complex sense of both at once. Since sacred Tradition, taken more broadly in the objective sense, may be called a doctrine or institution pertaining to religion, which has been transmitted by the forefathers to the Church to be preserved, it is necessary that, by reason of origin, divine Tradition be distinguished from Tradition which is simply apostolic and ecclesiastical, each of which has its own, though different, authority and strength. Nor is there lacking a sure norm, according to which divine Tradition can be distinguished from another sort of a lower order.”

I. This thesis requires little except a declaration of concepts. In the objective sense, Tradition is that very thing which is passed on, a doctrine or institution transmitted from one’s forefathers: “the deposit which you have received, not what you have thought up, the thing given to you and not produced from you,” as St. Vincent of Lerins says, Commonit. n. 27. Now, since the mode in which doctrine is conserved and propagated to us can be varied, that mode is not defined per se by the name of Tradition in the objective sense; whence the Fathers sometimes, in declaring the mode, use epithets, and call it Tradition written (preserved for us in the sacred Scriptures) and unwritten. Thus Clement of Alexandria calls the interpretation or deeper understanding received from the forefathers, of the doctrine of the Scriptures, the unwritten Tradition of written Tradition (ή της ἐγγραφου ἀγραφος παραδοσις) Strom. VI. p. 679. ed. Paris 1641.

The act itself, or rather, the whole series and complex of acts and means, by which doctrine, whether theoretical or practical, is propagated and passed down to us, is called Tradition in the active sense. In this sense it is said by Tertullian (de coron. c. 4.) “Tradition originates, consuetude establishes, faith observes.”

It is readily clear, that active Tradition includes the object passed on, and in turn this object cannot be preserved unto us except with and through active Tradition. Thus, if Tradition be viewed more fully, it must always be considered in a complex way, namely, the object along with the mode of Tradition, just as matter with its form, because otherwise its conservation, integrity, force, and authority cannot duly be explained and understood, since all these things depend upon the mode of Tradition, or active Tradition, as shall become apparent as the disputation progresses. Thus the Fathers of Trent (sess. IV.) considered the Traditions, that is the object passed on, along with the origin and mode of the Traditions, that is, along with active Tradition; and their authority is very briefly but very effectively vindicated from the mode of Tradition, when the synod professes, that revealed doctrine and discipline is contained (and constituted) even in “in the unwritten Traditions, which have come down to us, received from the Apostles by the mouth of Christ himself, or given as it were by hand from the Apostles themselves, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit;” and “it receives and venerates, with equal pious affection and reverence (just as the sacred books), the Traditions pertaining as much to faith as to morals, as dictated either by word from Christ, or from the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the catholic Church by continuous succession.”

II. The distinctions indicated in the second part of the thesis thus must also be recalled, because, although there corresponds to the diverse origin of divine, simply apostolic, and ecclesiastical Tradition, a diverse grade of authority, yet Protestants are accustomed to ignore this quite self-evident doctrine of the catholic Church, and accuse Catholics of attributing to the word of men an authority equal with the word of God, not only because the Protestants hold truly divine Traditions as human, but also because they confound merely ecclesiastical Traditions with those that are divine, and thereon falsely accuse, that all are proposed to be believed promiscuously with equal faith. Read the rest of this entry »

Bellarmine on Trent sess. VII can. 13: the sacramental rites and ceremonies

It has been a long while since our last post here; as usual, however, this is not at all to say that we have not been busy. Indeed, we have continued our readings, researches, and translations as earnestly as ever over the past (almost) two years, although the coronavirus pandemic has nonetheless obtruded various obstacles upon our work. Our attention has for a long while now been fixed on matters pertaining to the Church’s authority over the liturgy, and the writings of the theologians on this topic, with particular reference to the Council of Trent and St. Pius V’s reform of the Missal and Breviary. It came to our attention a long while back, that in some of the more radical fringes of the Catholic traditionalist movement, appeals and arguments are made to Trent and to St. Pius V’s Quo primum tempore, as proofs indicting in some substantial way the Novus Ordo Missæ of St. Paul VI. While we have long been dissatisfied with much in and about the liturgical reform, and find little in the new Mass to recommend it over the Tridentine liturgy; nevertheless the aforementioned appeals struck us as both very weak, and injurious to the Church’s authority so far as we were familiar with it. But the documents involved also seemed to us very intriguing, and after happening upon some other interesting and pertinent texts, we resolved to dive more deeply into what the theologians, canonists, liturgists, and rubricists had to say about ecclesial and pontifical power in the liturgy, and about the documents in question. While we are still in the process of finding, reading, translating, and organizing an ever-growing body of texts on this subject for a modest opusculum on the matter, we thought it good to post some lengthier texts which we have translated in the course of our inquiries, which are probably too large to include in full in the main body of that treatise but which we should like to have around for reference nonetheless.

The first entry in this series of sorts will be from the De controversiis of St. Robert Bellarmine, De sacramentis in genere, lib. II, cap. 29-32. In these chapters, our Cardinal and Doctor dissertates on the rites and ceremonies spoken of in the seventh session of Trent, can. 13, expounding and establishing the catholic doctrine on the matter and repelling the errors of the Protestant heretics of his day.

For this translation, we employed the 1613 Tri-Adelphorum edition of the Cardinal’s De controversiis, tom. III, col. 191ff. Since this translation was completed as something ancillary to our projects and hence of lesser importance, we have omitted to include internal hyperlinks to the works referenced within the text as has been our wont in other more recent posts of ours here and at The Josias.

A .pdf version of this translation may be found here.


On the ceremonies of the Sacraments in general.

We shall treat of the rites of the individual Sacraments in their own places; here we dispute only of the rites in general. We have decided to dispute this final controversy, as much because it is a most worthy thing to know, as also so that there be no canon of the Council of Trent regarding the Sacraments in general, which we shall not have defended; for up to this point we have defended all but the last, which declares anathema to those, who either contemn the ceremonies of the Church, or think that they can be omitted without sin.

There shall be four parts of this question. The FIRST, on the name, definition, and partition of ceremonies. The SECOND, on the state of the case, and the errors and lies of the heretics. The THIRD, on the explanation and proof of the truth. The FOURTH, on the objections of the adversaries.


On the name, definition, and partition of ceremonies.

As regards the FIRST, some things shall have to be noted in order to understand the state of the case. The FIRST is, what is a ceremony. And a ceremony is an external act of religion, which act is praiseworthy for no other reason, than that it is for the honor of God. For religion, which is the most noble of the moral virtues, has three acts, as with any other virtue. FIRSTLY, the internal elicited act, which is to will to God due honor, and to give him worship. SECONDLY, the external act corresponding to the internal act, which is any external action, which is not elsewise good, and praiseworthy, than because it is done to worship God, such as sacrifice, genuflexion, and similar things. THIRDLY, the commanded act, that is, the act of any virtue, which is ordained by religion to the honor of God. In this way, fasting, almsgiving, and other things of that sort can be called acts of religion, when they are done to worship God, although they otherwise be the acts of other virtues. Of this third act St. James spoke, cap. 1, that religion is to visit the orphaned, and to guard oneself immaculate from this age; and St. Augustine in the Enchiridion, cap. 3, said, that God is worshiped in faith, and hope, and charity. Of these three acts, the first is in no way a ceremony; the third is also not a ceremony, except insofar as commanded by religion; the second is properly and simply a ceremony, and of it we treat in this place.

As regards the name: Ceremonies, amongst the Hebrews, are called תקים, which word properly signifies not so much the external action itself, as the law, or statute, by which that action is commanded. Wherefore also in the new Testament the Judaic ceremonies are usually called by the name of law, as in Matth. 11. The laws and the prophets until John. Gal. 5. I testify to every man circumcising himself, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. The Greeks render that word everywhere with δικαιώματα, that is, justifications, because they were rites instituted for justifying and purging man. The Latin interpreter almost always translates cæremonia in the old Testament for the Hebrew word תקים. Now this Latin word either is taken from the city of Cære, as is the opinion of Livy, lib. I, and Valerius Maximus lib. 1. c. 1., because in that city the Sacra Romana were preserved at the time when the Gauls plundered Rome; or perhaps more correctly it is drawn from the word carendo, so that a cæremonia is as it were a carimonia, as St. Augustine thinks, lib. 2. retract. cap. 37. and Gellius lib. 4. capit. 9. and Macrobius lib. 2. Saturnal. cap. 3. on account of the fact that certain ceremonies are set in abstaining, and lacking, as it was with the Jews, who abstained from the use of the flesh of swine, and nearly all the vows of the Nazarenes, and of others, who abstained even by vow from the use of wine, and of many other things.

But let us come to the partition. There are five partitions of ceremonies. The FIRST partition is taken from the end, or effect. For some are instituted in order to justify, such as the Sacraments, and of these we do not now treat: some for certain spiritual effects, such as the coercion of demons, as exorcisms, blessed water, etc., some only for adornment and signification, as the white garment of neophytes, the lights of candles, etc., and of these do we treat.

The SECOND partition is drawn from the efficient cause, that is, from the institutor. For some are in a certain way instituted by nature itself, which are able to be called natural: of which sort is, to look to heaven, to lift up the hands, to bend the knee, to beat the breast, when we pray to God: these nature itself teaches, whence they are also common to the Gentiles, and to any sects whatsoever. Some are instituted by God, as were many in the old testament, and some Sacraments in the new; and these are called divine ceremonies. Finally, some were instituted by the Apostles, or their successors, which are called Ecclesiastical ceremonies. And the partition of words is similar; for ceremonies are a certain kind of visible words. For we see some words to be natural, such as those by which we express various effects; for in the same way do all lament, sigh, laugh, etc. Others we see instituted by God, such as in Gen. 1. the name of heaven, earth, sea, and elsewhere the names of certain great men. Finally, we see others instituted by men, as when in Gen. 2. Adam gave names to the living things.

The THIRD partition is drawn from the formal cause. For some ceremonies are immediately the worship of God, such as sacrifice, prayer, adoration, etc.; some dispose to the worship of God, such as fasting, celibacy, harshness of life, etc.; some are instruments of divine worship, such as temples, altars, chalices, etc.

The FOURTH partition is from the material cause, or from the material object. For some ceremonies are concerned with persons; such as exorcisms, insufflations, the scattering of ashes, etc.; some regard times, such as feast days, vigils, Quadragesima, and thus also there are determinate times for the celebration of the Sacraments: some regard the mode, such as that the Sacraments be administered in the Latin tongue; finally, some regard things themselves, such as blessings of water, oil, vestments, palms, etc.

The FIFTH partition is taken from the accidents, so that some are universal, others particular, as the fast of the Sabbath in the times of Augustine was observed at Rome but not at Milan; and contrariwise the washing of feet after Baptism was observed at Milan, and not Rome. See Augustine epist. 118. and Ambrose lib. de Sacramentis 3. cap. 1. Likewise, some are temporary, such as abstinence from blood and things strangled, Act. 25. while others are perpetual, such as the rites of the Sacraments. Finally, some are of precept, others free, regarding which see Augustine epist. 118. Read the rest of this entry »

Bouix on the consensus of Cardinals and whether popes may bind their successors

Since we first discovered the writings of Marie-Dominique Bouix, the French canonist who made a name for himself in the 19th century combating Gallicanism and defending strenuously the rights of the Apostolic See of Peter, we have been reading him continuously—especially once we had managed to procure printed copies of his works. Again and again we are delighted to discover remarkably topical chapters and articles in his canonical treatises which, in our humble opinion, are able to shed much light on questions agitated in the controversies of our day. In the present case, it is his discussion of the relationship between the Sacred College and the Roman Pontiff, in which he treats the question of whether popes may bind their successors, that engaged our attention. Anyone familiar with the traditionalist liturgical and canonical debates about Pius V’s Quo primum and Sixtus V’s Postquam verus will be aware of the relevance of such a discussion.

The present excerpt is from Bouix’s De Curia Romana (1859), Ia pars, cap. VI, §1, prop. IV-V. A .pdf of this translation may be found here.

N.B. In the places where Bouix has not supplied a source for an assertion or an authority adduced, we have done our best to provide them ourself from likely works.

Proposition IV. — The Pope does not need the consensus of the Cardinals in order to alienate [that is, transfer] goods of the Church. — This proposition would already be proved sufficiently from the general thesis, which has now been established, that the Pope does not need the consensus of the cardinals in dispatching business concerning the rule of the Church. Yet, since there occur some special difficulties regarding the present matter and some others, it seems good to discuss them individually at present, so that the doctrine given may be confirmed all the more, and all occasion of doubt removed.

As regards ecclesiastical goods, that the Pope does not need the consensus of the Cardinals in order to alienate them can be proved thus:

He would be bound to obtain consensus of this sort, either from the sacred canons and the decrees of his predecessors which proscribe this under penalty even of nullity: or from some right proper to the cardinalitial dignity: or from some divine law: or by force of consuetude: but none of these can be said, as is proved under the following numbers:

I. In order to alienate goods of the Church, the Pope is not bound to obtain the consensus of the Cardinals from any canons or Pontifical decrees, even those requiring such consensus under penalty of nullity. — Certain it is that there are decrees which prohibit the Roman Pontiff from alienating goods of the Church without the consensus of the Cardinals. Already under Pope Symmachus we find his power constrained regarding the Pontifical alienation of goods of this sort: « Let it be forbidden for the Pope to alienate an estate of the Church for some necessity, or to give lands for usufruct; except only houses which in any cities whatsoever are sustained at no small cost. Let all custodians be bound by this law; so that the donor, the surveyor, the seller be disgraced. And he who should subscribe, let him be anathema with him who hath given it, or who hath received it, except it be restored. Let it be permitted also to any and all ecclesiastical persons to refuse, and to demand back the things alienated with the profits of the same. Which is to be observed not only in the Apostolic Church, but is also declared to pertain to all the churches throughout the provinces. » (c. Non liceat, C. XII, q. 2, ex synodo III sub Symmacho Papa, anno 499). But Gregory IX in his Constitution Rex excelsus of 16 Jan 1234, making the aforesaid ordinance of Symmachus more determinate, judged to be void any alienations of the patrimonials of the Apostolic See, unless they be done with the prior counsel and assent of the Brethren, namely, the Cardinals. Since there nevertheless afterwards followed some alienations and infeudations, those which had been done without usefulness Pius IV annulled, in his Constitution Apostolicæ servitutis; in which, after he recalled, that hitherto there have been many alienations of the things of the Roman Church done and approved by the Roman Pontiffs our predecessors, and perchance (which we relate with sorrow) by us, with no reasonable cause urging it, unto the gravest harm of the Church herself, unto the offense of God, the scandal of the people, and the evident peril of souls, those he annulled and made void. There followed the Constitution Admonet nos of Pius V, in which there is prohibited only the alienation and infeudation of fortresses, fiefs, and jurisdictional places; but in the same place it is prescribed, that the Cardinals swear to the observance of this Constitution, both in their promotion or assumption of the hat, and in conclave when the See is vacant. Likewise, that the Supreme Pontiff newly ascended should make the same oath, which he ought to repeat afterwards in his confirmatory letters. For other Pontifical ordinances regarding this matter, see Cardinal Petra, Commentaria in constitutiones apostolicas, tom. II, in Const. VI Greg. IX. Therefore there are many decrees which make the consensus of the Cardinals necessary for alienating goods of the Church. Read the rest of this entry »

Bouix on the pope heretic

Dominique Bouix, Tractatus de papa, ubi et de concilio oecumenico, vol. II , pars IIIa, cap. iii, p. 653ff.

N.B. With the exception of one instance, marked [Auth.], all footnotes have been inserted by the translator.

A .pdf version of this may be found here.



Preliminary notes. — 1° The case of heresy regarding the supreme Pontiffs is not understood to be that in which one of them, defining ex officio some dogma of faith, would define error. In this manner, no Roman Pontiff can ever be a heretic, on account of the infallibility conceded to him teaching ex cathedra, which we have proved as certain and absolutely to be held, in the second part of the present treatise. But we speak only of the case in which a Pope, as a private doctor, were to believe and pertinaciously to propound something contrary to any evident or defined article of faith, which is proper to heresy. — 2° This case is confidently invoked by the adversaries, that is, the followers of the Gallican system, in order that they might conclude that the council is superior to the Pope. Thus, for example, they argue: the Pope, even if he cannot teach heresy ex cathedra, at least as a private doctor can become a heretic: but it is necessary that a Pope heretic be able to be deposed by a general council, and hence that the council have right over the Pope: therefore in this case, at least, the Pope is subjected to the council. The major of this syllogism, that is, that there can be a case of a Pope heretic, is denied by many catholic authors, amongst whom is Albert Pighius (Hierarchiæ ecclesiasticæ assertio, lib. IV, c. viii); whose opinion is not at all dependent upon trifling reasons, such that it prevents by itself the argumentation of the adversaries from being destructive. Now, the minor, that is, that in the case of a Pope heretic there belongs to the council a right over the Pope who here and now is Pope, is rejected as certainly erroneous in the common opinion of catholic doctors. Certainly, in the times of the council of Constance, when this question began to be agitated, and even for some time after, one can find in some authors, otherwise catholic, not a few things less considerately said; as customarily happens whenever a question recently sprung up is subjected to disputations. But afterward, all approved authors have with common opinion taught that it is certain and absolutely to be held, that in the aforesaid case (supposing that it is possible), the Pope, unless he should already have fallen from the papacy through heresy, is not subjected to the council. They differ in this, whether the Pope is ipso facto through heresy deposed [depositus], or whether he is to be deposed [deponendus], or finally whether he is neither deposed nor to be deposed [nec depositus nec deponendus]. But in this threefold opinion it is equally denied that any act of jurisdiction can be exercised by the council over the Pope. Regarding the first and third, it is clear of itself; if according to the first, the Pope is no longer Pope, and hence the council, in judging him, judges not the Pope, but an ex-Pope; and according to the third, he cannot be judged by the council, nor deposed. And according to the second opinion, he indeed can and ought to be deposed, but through a mere declaration of his heresy; which declaration is not an act of jurisdiction over the Pope; but, when it has been laid down, the Pontiff is deposed by Christ himself; just as, when he has been legitimately elected, he is created by Christ himself. These things having first been noted down, we shall first explain the various opinions of the catholic doctors, who concord in denying to the council any authority over the Pope. Then we shall confute the erroneous opinion, which subjects the Pope to the council on account of the aforesaid case of heresy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Denis the Carthusian: Prooemium to the Saracens

Many things indeed have engaged our attentions over the past two months, not the least being a very debilitating fever which we contracted several weeks ago. Excepting that period of illness, we have been often engaged in the work of translating various projects, Suárez’s De bello and an early Thomist work on the common good being chief among them, though there is still much work to be done with either. (In addition to that, we have also been making our way through a very lengthy fiction series with great avidity—something we have given far too little time to in recent years.) But these of course are excuses for our inactivity here more than anything else. Recently, we were reminded of a much-neglected work by Denis the Carthusian against the Saracens, entitled Contra perfidiam Mahometi libri quatuor—that is, Against the Perfidy of Mohammed, comprising four books. We read his page-long opening address to the Muslims, to whom he primarily directed the work, and, finding it to contain noble and worthy sentiments, resolved on a whim to translate it for the pleasure of our friends on social media. We now present it for your reading, in the hope that it may be the harbinger of more material from us in the near future.

(Taken from vol. 36 of the Doctoris ecstatici D. Dionysii Cartusiani opera omnia, published in 1908.)

To the great king and powerful Ruler of the Saracens, and to all doctors and followers of the law of Mahomet, a Christian religious: to know the truth of things necessary for salvation, to read and hear with equanimity writings which are reasonable, and to arrive at true beatitude.

Because we Christians, according to the doctrine and command of our Savior Jesus Christ, ought not only to love friends, but enemies also, to do good to those who hate us, and likewise to pray for persecutors and calumniators, in order that we might be adoptive sons of the almighty Father, who makes his sun to rise over the good and the bad, and makes it to rain upon the just and the unjust; hence, in truth, Christians do in spirit love the Saracens—although the latter violently oppose themselves—and daily intercede for their illumination, conversion, and salvation. Nevertheless, this love and piety of the Christians is looked upon with scorn by the Saracens, who think themselves to be wiser and happier than the Christians; still, if they should attend patiently and diligently to those things which are written in this little work, perhaps they shall suppose or think otherwise. And so, I, the least of the servants of Christ, who have heard frequently and read a little concerning the law of Mahomet, and have always grieved for those who walk by that law—when, in the same year in which I began to write these things, I had read the Koran and the Doctrine of Mahomet and certain other things concerning it, and had reread them with very great diligence, I was touched with anguish in my heart, deploring the deception and eternal damnation of such innumerable thousands of men: in particular, because the Saracens concord with us in so many things, and because of this seem to be able to be converted with sufficient ease. Hence, for the laud and glory of God, sublime and blessed, who is worshiped profitably by Christians alone, I have set it before myself to write these things for the conversion of the Saracens, by showing to them in a clearer light their errors and the falsities of the doctrines of Mahomet, and by manifesting that the writings of the Koran are rife with errors, and implying contradiction, alas! frequently.

I furthermore desire, that as much as we Christians attentively read the writings concerning the law of the Saracens, they themselves read these things with diligence, and do not pertinaciously contradict what is most clearly true. For if (as Mahomet himself declares many times) Jesus, the son of Mary, is the Christ, absolutely no doubt is left for one who understands the scriptures of the new and old Testament, that all the Saracens, and likewise the other infidels, are in a state of eternal damnation, especially since Christ himself in the Gospel says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me.” Indeed, all the Prophets have foretold and taught this, that Christ is the savior of the whole world, nor can anyone be saved unless he believe in him, so that in the time of the evangelical law, no man can please God unless he be truly Christian. Nor does faith alone suffice, but (according to the doctrine of Christ) it is necessary to serve the superglorious and incircumscribable God with all humility, patience, charity, and the other virtues. Finally, Christ says in the Gospel: “Unless a man has been reborn of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Since therefore the Saracens were not regenerated from water and the Holy Ghost, that is, they are not baptized, it is certain that they are damned. And it suffices now to have touched upon these things, seeing that they shall be proved most clearly in what follows below.