Sunday, 31 May 2015

Angels and Saints, by Scott Hahn

Scott Hahn, Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones, 2014 IMAGE

Another warm and encouraging book from Scott Hahn. In the introduction, Hahn argues very clearly that the Church is not simply a society on Earth, but its heavenly members are equally part of the Church. This is an insight that I think our Protestant brethren tend to miss, or at least they fail to grasp its implications.

Scott Hahn does not provide a theological angelogy, but instead offers a set of reflections on some of his favorite saints. These include Saint Jerome, Saint Monica, Saint Therese of Lisieux. He concludes with a chapter on the Blessed Virgin, the queen of all saints. I like the fact that he focuses on Saint Thomas Aquinas' work as s Biblical scholar and theologian rather than a philosopher. Aqunas had much to say about philosophy, but his biblical works were equally important to the Church. Sadly, most of these are unavailable in translation.

This is an edifying book, though I would have spent a bit more time talking about praying to saints.

Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment: The Athanasian Creed

Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment: The Athanasian Creed

'S Pius V's Breviary anticipated this Creed being said at the Divine Office on most of the Sundays after Pentecost. The Book of Common Prayer prescribed its use a dozen times a year.

They were right. It is as necessary as ever it was. Trinitarian errors still abound, and many of our present woes arise from faulty beliefs with regard to Catholic teaching about the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union.'

Nobody should say a word about the Trinity until they have read this creed.

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Body of Saint Philomena

Litany of Saint Philomena

Lord,have mercy on us.
Lord,have mercy on us.
Lord,have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God.
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins
pray for us.
Saint Philomena,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, filled with abundant graces from your birth,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, model of virginity,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, temple of perfect humility,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the glory of God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, victim of love for Jesus,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, example of strength and perseverance,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, invincible champion of chastity,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, mirror of most heroic virtue,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pierced by a rain of arrows,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, consoled in chains by the Mother of God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, miraculously healed in prison,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, comforted by the Angels in your torments,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who preferred torments
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who converted witnesses by your martyrdom,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who wore out the fury of your tormentors,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, protectress of the innocent,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, patroness of youth,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, health of the sick and infirmed,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, new light of the Church Militant,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who rejuvenates the faith and courage of the faithful,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, whose name is glorious in Heaven and feared in Hell,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, made illustrious by the most splendid miracles,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, powerful with God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who reigns in glory,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O Worker of Wonders, Saint Philomena,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O Lord, through the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, whose eminent purity and practice of every virtue was most pleasing to you, pardon our sins and grant us the grace of_______________

Saint Philomena, pray for us, that we may be faithful unto death.

The Feast of Saint Bede the Venerable

O God, who bring light to your Church through the learning of the Priest Saint Bede, mercifully grant that your servants may always be enlightened by his wisdom and helped by his merits.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Bede, pray for us, for England and for all historians.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Common Worship: Daily Prayer

The genius of Cranmer was to put together all of the church's services into one prayer book that potentially every lay person could own. The Church of England gave up on this idea at the start of the 21st century and introduced the library of Common Worship books. It's unlikely that many Anglicans own more than one of these books. Of course, for us Catholics, we have always had a library of liturgy books and very few Catholics are likely to own even one of the three gigantic volumes of the Divine Office (or even know what the Divine Office is).

Daily Prayer is the breviary component of Common Worship, providing an office of morning, daytime, evening and night prayer. As one who loves the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, I expected to hate this, but I actually found quite an attractive and user-friendly office book. I don't like the modern English used, but as I go to Novus Ordo mass, I can't complain.

An office is provided for each day of the week, as well as seasonal offices. Reversing the decision of Cranmer, the Nunc Diminitas is moved out of evening prayer and back into night prayer. Regrettably, though the text of the Apostles' Creed is included at the back, it is not made a fixed part of morning or evening prayer, but is simply an option that can be included.

I love the range of feast days included. Collects for Catholic saints like St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Maximillan Kolbe are featured alongside Protestant figures such as Richard Hooker and Richard Baxter. Very thankfully, King Charles the Martyr, to whom I am very devoted, has a collect.

A Psalter (in some beastly modern translation) is included. I don't care much for the table of Psalms provided. It is a bit limited. I don't know why they didn't follow the BCP in giving day numbers to each set of Psalms. The prayers at the end of the psalms are a nice idea for devotion, but they don't really fit liturgically.

Daily Prayer contains a huge collection of canticles, taken from the Old Testament, the New Testament and Christian tradition. This is the defining feature of this prayer book; there is so much material in it. This is the problem. It's full of rich theological material (though you don't need me to tell you it's a bit lacking in prayers to Our Lady), but probably a bit too much. There are two many options and variations and additional material in here. What is missing is the beautiful simplicity and straightforwardness of the BCP.

I genuinely like this. It's so much easier to use than the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours (in most of its published variations), but it is by no means a worthy successor to the Book of Common Prayer.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Feast of Saint Constantine and Saint Helena

O Lord, thy disciple Emperor Constantine, who saw in the sky the Sign of Thy Cross, Accepted the call that came straight from Thee, as it happened to Paul, and not from any man. He built his capital and entrusted it to Thy care. Preserve our country in everlasting peace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, for Thou art the Lover of mankind.

Today, Constantine with his mother Helen present the Cross, the most precious wood. It shames unbelievers. It is a weapon of faithful kings against their adversaries. A great sign has come forth for us which is awesome in battle.

Saint Helena, pray for us, for Great Britain and for all mothers.

Saint Constantine, pray for us and for all monarchs and rulers.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Feast of Saint Yared

O Almighty God, who willest to be glorified in thy Saints and didst raise up thy servant St. Yared to shine as a light in the world: Shine, we pray thee, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may shew forth thy praises, who hast called us out of darkness into thy marvellous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Yared originated the form of the sacred music of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Saint Yared, pray for us, for Ethiopia, and for all musicians and composers of church music.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Catholic Church Fathers, by Dave Armstrong

Dave Armstrong, Catholic Church Fathers: Patristic and Scholarly Proofs, 2013 self-published

Dave Armstrong's book 'The Quotable Eastern Church Fathers is a book of quotations without comment. This book, however, offers comment and argument as well as quotes.

It was a common belief among the Reformers that they were attempting to recover the faith of the Church Fathers and they frequently quoted and identified with the Fathers. In this book, Armstrong attempts to show that the Church Fathers were not proto-Protestants, but were fundamentally Catholic in their teaching. He spends some time addressing the Protestant mis-appropriation and selective quotation of the Fathers. A wide selection of Fathers are drawn upon in this book. Armstrong also fortifies his case by quoting the historians Philip Schaff and Jaroslav Pelikan.

This is a useful book. My only complaint is that sometimes I got confused where the quotation of the Father ends and Armstrong's comments began.

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Feast of Saint Dymphna

Lord, our God, you graciously chose St. Dymphna as patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders. She is thus an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who ask her intercession.

Please grant, Lord, through the prayers of this pure youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all suffering such trials, and especially those for whom we pray. (Here mention those for whom you wish to pray).

We beg you, Lord, to hear the prayers of St. Dymphna on our behalf. Grant all those for whom we pray patience in their sufferings and resignation to your divine will. Please fill them with hope, and grant them the relief and cure they so much desire.

We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffered agony in the garden. Amen.

Saint Dymphna, pray for us and for all who are afflicted with mental illness.

The Feast of Saint Isidore the Farmer

Lord God, to whom belongs all creation, and who call us to serve you by caring for the gifts that surround us, inspire us by the example of Saint Isidore to share our food with the hungry and to work for the salvation of all people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Isidore, pray for us, for all husbands and farmers and for Spain.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Eclectic Orthodoxy: “I AM WHO I AM”: Thomas Aquinas and the Metaphysics of the Exodus

Eclectic Orthodoxy: “I AM WHO I AM”: Thomas Aquinas and the Metaphysics of the Exodus

'The metaphysical reading of the sacred Name may seem far indeed from the original meaning of the ˀehyeh ˀāšer ˀehyeh. The enslaved Hebrews in Egypt were certainly not in a position to leisurely meditate upon a lesson in divine ontology. But E. L. Mascall, following Etienne Gilson, argues that Aquinas’s construal of the divine being as the doing of existence represents an exciting recovery of the God of the Scriptures, albeit in philosophical idiom'

Monday, 11 May 2015

Conservative Home: How Cameron’s mainstream, moderate, middle-ground politics delivered us a famous victory

Conservative Home: How Cameron’s mainstream, moderate, middle-ground politics delivered us a famous victory

Article by Guy Opperman MP

'The Prime Minister was able to articulate a vision which sits comfortably with modern Britain. Firing up the engines of enterprise and aspiration and getting the economy moving and creating jobs – whilst at the same time protecting the public services that people care passionately about, such as schools and the NHS.

I know this because I heard it time and time again on the doorstep, and more importantly, it is what people voted for at the ballot box. My constituency is England’s last frontier, wedged between Newcastle and Carlisle, and sitting directly on the Scottish border. Here, in this most northernly of seats, the results of the Conservatives fighting a sound and sensible campaign in the centre ground were clear.'

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Biblical Headcovering

1 Corinthians 11

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

UKIP and Electoral Reform

Having made absolutely no gains in the election, Nigel Farage has started talking about electoral reform. It hardly makes him look terribly smart to start talking about it now, as if he previously had no insight into how the First Past the Post system was stacked against UKIP. Perhaps, they genuinely did have no understanding of this. I think UKIP's electoral strategy was badly miscalculated. Instead of targeting seats with Conservative majorities, they would have done far better to concentrate their energies on more marginal seats.

From an electoral point of view, it would make sense for UKIP to want PR. yet they aspire to be the party that represents the British way of doing this. You can't be a voice of conservatism while wanting to make a fundamental change to Britain's electoral system.

Would Farage really like us to become like Italy or Germany, with all their coalition governments? I can't imagine UKIP enjoying being part of a coalition and having to continually make compromises.

Catholic Herald: Why are people afraid to admit they voted Conservative?

Catholic Herald: Why are people afraid to admit they voted Conservative?

Article by Ed West

'Conservative causes generally tend to suffer from their supporters being “shy” about expressing views they know to be unfashionable or unpopular, but which they feel to be right.

David Quinn is making the same point about the Irish same-sex marriage referendum, which may well also surprise the pollsters.

It doesn’t help that socially liberal people tend to have a higher status in society. They are richer, more successful and more socially sophisticated – and it’s human instinct to defer on these subjects.

The general election obviously represents a great result for the Conservatives, but in the longer term Tories may want to ask what it means for their future if being a supporter has become something to hide.'

Friday, 8 May 2015

Local Election

As expected, I did not win the seat I was contesting on Stevenage Borough Council. I came second by about four hundred votes.

However, the Conservatives gained three seats on the council, so we are all very pleased.

It was the Tory rank and file wot won it

The success of the Conservative party last night has been astounding. We predicted to come neck and neck with Labour, but we ended up winning against both Labour and the Liberal Democrats, as well as holding our own against UKIP.

Much of the praise for this must be owned by the faithful members of the Conservative Party. Across the country, party volunteers have been delivering leaflets, knocking on doors, making phone calls and telling at polling stations. It is the hard work and determination of these ordinary people that won it for us.

In Stevenage we maintained a tremendously well organised and coordinated campaign. It was amazing to see just how many people were willing to give up their time to help get Stephen McPartland re-elected. This was the victory that we deserved.

Eclectic Orthodoxy: To Be or Not to Be: The A-being god of Theistic Personalists

Eclectic Orthodoxy: To Be or Not to Be: The A-being god of Theistic Personalists

'Farrer then goes on to highlight the philosophical challenges posed by this construal of God. If God does not head or belong to a class of existents, if he is truly a unique, singular being, how can his existence be demonstrated? Every a posteriori argument in support of the existence of God assumes that which we seek to demonstrate. We cannot prove his existence by his effects, observes Farrer, “because we must first know that they are effects, and effects of a perfectly unique activity” (p. 7). But how do we identify the effects of an activity whose agent is transcendently singular? How do we distinguish them from the effects of creaturely agents? The reason I bring this up is simply to point out Farrer’s assumption of a classically Christian construal of the Deity whose existence he seeks to rationally demonstrate. Philosophy did not teach him this God; the Church did.'

Victory in Stevenage

Our Conservative MP Stephen McPartland was re-elected with a huge majority.

All of us Conservative campaigners at the count early this morning were ecstatic with delight. The Labour people were in utter dismay.

In his acceptance speech, Stephen McPartland thanked the people of Stevenage for putting their trust in him.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Probably not going to be a Councillor tomorrow

I've spent all day campaigning for the Conservative Party. We're feeling confident that our MP is going to be re-elected.

I'm actually running for Stevenage Borough Council myself this year. I'm not expecting to win. Not that I mind, being a councillor is too much like hard work.

The general election count is tonight; the local election count is tomorrow.

Monday, 4 May 2015

The "Deposited Book"

The Book of Common Prayer as proposed in 1928; including the lessons for Mattins and Evensongs through the year, 2008 reprint Canterbury Press

The period after the First World War was the height of the influence of Anglo-Catholicism in the Church of England. The influence of the Anglo-Catholic party culminated in the drafting of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer not to be confused with the American 1928 prayer book). This accommodated the desire of Anglo-Catholics for a more catholic liturgy than the 1662 prayer book. However, this new liturgy was rejected by our parliament, who found it just a bit too Popish for their taste. I imagine Americans with their separation of church and state must find the idea of parliament debating church liturgy simply unbelievable.

Although the 'Deposited Book' was not authorized for worship in 1928, it continued to be printed and was used in many Anglo-Catholic parishes. This reprint from Canterbury Press is a very useful resource. It contains a complete lectionary with Old and New Testament readings for every day of the year. While this does make it a very bulky volume, it is useful as I find opening up a Bible to find the reading too much of a break in the flow of prayer. The publishers have opted to treat the liturgy as an historical document, rather a prayer book for contemporary use, as the prayers for the Sovereign have King George and Queen Mary rather than Queen Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It has one page-marker, which is quite sufficient for the simple BCP structure.

The 1928 BCP contains the 1662 offices of morning and evening prayer. However, it also contains an alternative set of offices. This offers seasonally appropriate invitary antiphons. It also offers Psalm 51 as an alternative to the Te Deum.

Distinct elements in the 1928 prayer book are an order for compline, an order for prime and a office of devotional prayer to be said prior to communion. As with the American 1928 prayer book, the occasional prayers included are more useful for contemporary use than those in the 1662 book.

This book will be of interest to all enthusiasts of the Book of Common Prayer.

The Feast of Saint Monica

O God, who console the sorrowful
and who mercifully accepted
the motherly tears of Saint Monica
for the conversion of her son Augustine,
grant us, through the intercession of them both,
that we may bitterly regret our sins
and find the grace of your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Monica, pray for us, for all mothers and for young people.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Feast of Saint Moura of Lebanon

Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy Martyr St. Moura triumphed over suffering, and despised death: Grant, we beseech thee, that enduring hardness, and waxing valiant in fight, we may with the noble army of martyrs receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Moura, pray for us, and for Lebanon.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

BBC News: Princess presented to world

BBC News: Princess presented to world

The Council in Question, by Moyra Doorly and Aidan Nichols, OP

Moira Doorly and Aidan Nichols, OP, The Council in Question: A Dialogue with Catholic Traditionalism, 2011 Gracewing, Leominster, Herefordshire, UK

This is a multi-perspective book in which Moyra Doorly, a Catholic journalist voices the concerns of the SSPX about the Second Vatican Council. She brings up such issues as the liturgy, the theology of the Eucharist, ecumenicism and religious liberty. In reply, Fr Aidan Nichols, a Dominican theologian, acknowledges these concerns. He admits some problems in the implementation of the Vatican II reforms, but defends their validity.

As a 'debate book,' I found this a little painful to read at times. Moira Doorly, a layperson attempts to debate a trained theologian. Doorly's knowledge of church history does not seem particularly great and she seems unable to think in any kind of theological depth. Nichols replies to her are very kind and gentle, but it is obvious she is out of her depth in trying to debate these issues with him. The clear impression we get, rightly or wrongly is that the voice of Radical Catholic Traditionalism is the voice of the unlearned and ignorant.

I don't think Doorly is unusual in her theological naivety. The impression I get from Traditionalist blogs is that a lot of Catholic Traditionalists lack much interest in theology. They will talk at length about changes to the liturgical calendar, but they would have an hard time discussing the nature of grace or divine providence in any depth. An interest and enthusiasm for correct liturgy needs to be matched by a delight in theology.

The Feast of Saint Athanasius

Almighty ever-living God, who raised up the Bishop Saint Athanasius as an outstanding champion of your Son's divinity, mercifully grant, that, rejoicing in his teaching and his protection, we may never cease to grow in knowledge and love of you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Athanasius, pray for us, for all for theologians and for the Christians of Egypt.

The Athanasian Creed

WHOSOEVER would be saved / needeth before all things to hold fast the Catholic Faith.

2 Which Faith except a man keep whole and undefiled, / without doubt he will perish eternally.

3 Now the Catholic Faith is this, / that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity;

4 Neither confusing the Persons, / nor dividing the Substance.

5 For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, / another of the Holy Ghost;

6 But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, / the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

7 Such as the Father is, such is the Son, / and such is the Holy Ghost;

8 The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Ghost uncreated;

9 The Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Ghost infinite;

10 The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal;

11 And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal;

12 As also there are not three uncreated, nor three infinites, / but one infinite, and one uncreated.

13 So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, / the Holy Ghost almighty;

14 And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15 So the Father is God, the Son God, the Holy Ghost God;

16 And yet there are not three Gods, / but one God.

17 So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, / the Holy Ghost Lord;

18 And yet there are not three Lords, / but one Lord.

19 For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity / to confess each Person by himself to be both God and Lord;

20 So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion / to speak of three Gods or three Lords.

21 The Father is made of none, / nor created, nor begotten.

22 The Son is of the Father alone; / not made, nor created, but begotten.

23 The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son; / not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24 There is therefore one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; / one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

25 And in this Trinity there is no before or after, / no greater or less;

26 But all three Persons are co-eternal together, / and co-equal.

27 So that in all ways, as is aforesaid, / both the Trinity is to be worshipped in Unity, and the Unity in Trinity.

28 He therefore that would be saved, / let him thus think of the Trinity.

29 FURTHERMORE, it is necessary to eternal salvation, / that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30 Now the right Faith is that we believe and confess / that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and Man.

31 He is God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; / and he is Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world;

32 Perfect God; / perfect Man, of reasoning soul and human flesh subsisting;

33 Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead;/ less than the Father as touching his Manhood.

34 Who although he be God and Man, / yet he is not two, but is one Christ;

35 One, however, not by conversion of Godhead into flesh, / but by taking of Manhood into God;

36 One altogether; / not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.

37 For as reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;

38 Who suffered for our salvation, / descended into hell, rose again from the dead;

39 Ascended into heaven, sat down at the right hand of the Father, / from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

40 At whose coming all men must rise again with their bodies, / and shall give account for their own deeds.

41 And they that have done good will go into life eternal; / they that have done evil into eternal fire.

42 THIS is the Catholic Faith, / which except a man do faithfully and stedfastly believe, he cannot be saved.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, / and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, / world without end. Amen.

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Feast of Saint Tamara

Let the mountain-tops and vales of Georgia sound with songs of praise to laud Tamara as the vessel of wisdom, the smiling sun, the sword of truth, the conversion of infidels, the most harmonious reed-pipe of Jesus Christ, and our fervent intercessor before the King of Kings, entreating Him to grant great mercy unto us.

O Thou whom thy people called a king in justice and truth, the father of orphans and the judge of widows, thou sun which shone on the Georgian land, thou who spentest all thy strength defending thy kingdom, rise up, O Tamara, and defend us now also, and by thine intercessions with Christ, save us from sufferings.

Saint Tamara, pray for us and for Georgia.

Saint Tamara was queen of Georgia from 1160 to 1213. Although she is an Eastern Orthodox and not a Catholic saint, I feel a great sense of devotion to her.