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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 5

Isabella Breviary was given to Queen Isabella I of Castile (Isabella the Catholic) as a gift on the occasion of the double marriage of her children.  It was composed in the late 1480s in Bruges in the Dominican style.  Here is an extract from the Wikipedia article on the Isabella Breviary:

A page from the calendar of the Isabella Breviary.  Note the Zodiac sign of Virgo in the top right of the page. 
“Besides the feast days, the calendar contains also the computistical entries necessary to determine the day of the week corresponding to a given calendar date. In the first column one can find the golden number and in the second the Dominical letter. In the third column the date is expressed in the according to the Roman calendar with kalendae, nonae and idus. Also the date on which the sun enters a zodiacal sign is indicated in the calendar.  In the heading for each month the number of days and lunar days is given and the length of day and night is indicated.”
Again notice the miniature illustration of the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius in the top left corner, as well as the indication of the date on which the sun enters the sign of Sagittarius: Sol in Sagittario.

As noted above, the highly Catholic Isabella Breviary notes the date on which the sun enters each constellation of the Zodiac, just as the Papa Stronsay calendar does. See the image of the 2015 Papa Stronsay Calendar below to witness over 500 years of Catholic tradition in action!

 In the Papa Stronsay Calendar, the date on which the sun enters each constellation of the Zodiac is marked: Sol in Sagittario.


Keep watching this space for more great examples of the Catholic Church using the Zodiac constellations through the ages!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14




You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 4

Ancient astronomers and keepers of time divided the annual course of the Sun across the 12 Zodiac constellations into 12, 30 degree segments. In a year, the Sun moves across the Zodiac to complete a 360 degree circuit. The Sun takes about a month to move from one Zodiac constellation to the next. A reason why a year is divided into 12 months. The Moon takes 29.5 days to complete a cycle from Full Moon to the next. Another reason why a month, on average, is 30 days.


The Zodiac therefore is not a superstitious method of predicting the future by looking at the stars, but rather a perfectly wonderful, God-given method of telling the time and calculating the date.  By looking at the image, you can see that you could just as easily say Pisces as you could March; after all, March is named after the Pagan god of war, Mars.

Keep watching this space for some great examples of the Catholic Church using the Zodiac constellations through the ages!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14




You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 3

During a moon-cycle, the Moon moves across the 12 Zodiac constellations. The first astronomers divided the monthly orbit of the Moon into 28 different sections called 'lunar mansions'. Each 'mansion' is approximately one day of the lunar cycle, or about 12.2 degrees of the Moon's 360 degree circuit. This 28 division of the Moon cycle can be divided into four phase periods of the Moon. How 7 days was determined to be a week, correlates with the 7 day moon phase division of 28.


This is important as is demonstrates that the constellations of the Zodiac are not the same thing as astrology.  They are simply part of the intricate calendar designed by God.  This is why, in keeping with the ancient tradition of the Church, the Papa Stronsay calendar tracks not only the sun's progress through the constellations of the Zodiac, but the lunar calendar as well! Order your Papa Stronsay Calendar below.

More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14





You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Friday, September 19, 2014

The Queen's Message

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Portrait taken at Balmoral

Message from the Queen following the Scottish Referendum

After many months of discussion, debate, and careful thought, we now know the outcome of the Referendum, and it is a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect.

For many in Scotland and elsewhere today, there will be strong feelings and contrasting emotions – among family, friends and neighbours. That, of course, is the nature of the robust democratic tradition we enjoy in this country. But I have no doubt that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others.

Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all. Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly-held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.

My family and I will do all we can to help and support you in this important task.

ELIZABETH R.

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 2

The Papa Stronsay Calendar is out now to order, and it can be purchased at the bottom of this post.  In the promotional video, also found below, the sun's course through the constellations of the Zodiac is mentioned as being marked on the calendar.  The Zodiac is these days associated almost entirely with superstitious astrology, but the Zodiac is not astrology.


Timekeeping was devised by identifying and measuring the movement of the Sun and Moon across the Zodiac constellations.  A 360 degree system plots and times the course of the Sun in a year. The coordinate system can be easily divided by 60, 30 and 15.  A minute has 60 seconds. An hour 60 minutes. One day of 24 hours divided by 2 is 12.  The stars move towards the west one minute in distance, every minute, or one degree every four minutes.  The sun and stars move fifteen degrees in one hour.  Fifteen degrees multiplied by the four which it takes to complete one degree gives us sixty minutes.  Thus the very time which we daily read from our wrist-watch is determined by tracking the motion of the sun and stars across the sky.

More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14





You can order the Calendar right here and now:
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 1

There has recently been a question regarding the Papa Stronsay Calendar, which you can purchase at the bottom of this post.

The question regards the signs of the Zodiac which are marked on the calendar.  The Zodiac does not mean astrologyAstrology is a superstitious system of divining which is condemned by the church.  With the signs of the Zodiac we simply track the sun through the constellations of the Zodiac during the year.  The sun takes very nearly one month exactly to transit one constellation.  Thus it is simply marking the months.  Nothing whatever to do with predicting the future.


It is a venerable method of time-keeping and has been used by the Church since the beginning.

"In the fifth century there was a controversy between Rome and Alexandria about what the latest possible date for Easter could be.  According to Alexandrian tradition, it was April 25.  Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461) criticized this very late date by pointing out that, according to the Bible, Easter should fall in the first month, and the first month did not mean April, but the time when the sun is passing through the first part of the Zodiac — the sign of Aries.  The constellation in the heavens seemed to speak, in advance and for all time, of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (Jn I:29), the one who sums up in himself all the sacrifices of the innocent and gives them their meaning.  The mysterious story of the ram, caught in the thicket and taking the place of Isaac as the sacrifice decreed by God himself, was now seen as the pre-history of Christ.  The fork of the tree in which the ram was hanging was seen as a replica of the sign of Aries, which in turn was the celestial foreshadowing of the crucified Christ." - Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 99-100



Scholars show Pope Gregory XIII a chart of the Sun against the Zodiac to indicate the location of the Sun throughout a year.  This great pontiff was responsible for the reform of the calendar into form we have today.

The Zodiac is profoundly bound up with Catholicism.
More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14





You can order the Calendar right here and now:
Quantity

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Papa Stronsay Calendar - Better than Ever!

The Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2015 is out now!  Have a look at the video below to see what you're missing out on:


There really is so much packed into our calendar, that you won't need any other calendar for the whole year!

You can order the Calendar right here and now:
Quantity: 

If you have problems, you can use this link to do it directly from our online store.

There have been some questions regarding why we mark the suns transit through the signs of the Zodiac.  To understand why and how this is Catholic, click the "Signs of the Zodiac" label, or click here.
Remember that if you are already a subscriber to our Catholic Newspaper, you will automatically receive one copy of the calendar as part of that subscription.  Please also allow up to three weeks for delivery of your calendar.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Phase Two Completed

August, 2014, saw the completion of phase two
 of the work on the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour,
 the chapel attached to our monastery in
 Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Oratory as it stood after phase one in March, 2013.
 The dome over the altar and beautiful arch window
 allowing light to stream in during the morning Mass is in place.
 Much of the sanctuary furnishing is in place along with the altar steps.
The Oratory on 31 August, 2014. 
The Gospel side of the sanctuary in March, 2013.
The Holy Baptism of little Ambrose Green on 31 August, 2014.
The Gospel side of the sanctuary has been transformed
 with a new door and window installed,
 new panelling fixed on the lower walls.
 To see the many young families that crowd into the
 Oratory every Sunday, injecting so much
 life and joy into the community is 
an hundred fold reward to all those 
who have contributed to the work.
2013
2014

In the wall of the Gospel side of the sanctuary
 an Ambry for the reservation of the Holy Oils
 has been installed. 
Two side altars have been installed
 in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
 and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The altar of the Sacred Heart is erected
 in memory of Mr Duncan Simon, R.I.P. 
while the altar of the Immaculate Heart
 is erected in memory 
of Mrs Nancye Price, R.I.P.

 
The Altar of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima in its own chapel. 
This altar is erected in memory of Mr Michael Hayes, R.I.P.
The shrine of St Joseph 
erected in memory of Rev. Fr Augustine Cummins, C.SS.R., R.I.P.
The first and last thought in entering the Oratory 
is Our Blessed Lady of Christchurch.
 The ceiling around her altar is coffered 
and embellished with fleur-de-lis.
 The newly refurbished 
Stations of the Cross line the walls. 
 The stars which adorn the ceiling remind us
 of our Heavenly home,
 wherein dwells the Father of Lights!  
Our thanks to all our many and dear friends in Christchurch
 who gave of their time and substance
 to make this beautiful work possible
 for the glory of God and His Holy Church -
 helping with painting, woodworking, building,
 purchasing materials,
 cooking and catering for the work days, etc.
  This chapel is a fitting tribute to you all. 

As Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, 
it has been our privilege to make this humble effort
 for the rebuilding of the fair city of Christchurch,
 and provide a little sanctuary
 where souls may come to spend time
 with Our Heavenly Queen,
 and may enjoy some of the
 beauty of the traditional Rite.

Indeed we cannot repeat too often in our lives: 
Thanks be to God for all He has done
 and is doing for us.

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