17 November 2012

Mass of the Carmelite Rite

In the early days of the Order of Malta the knights would have followed the liturgical rite in place in Jerusalem at the time which was that of the Holy Sepulchre. The traditional Carmelite Rite known up until Vatican II is basically that same liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem that our confrere's would have known. This short video clip of a Carmelite Mass in 1960 is a beautiful historical look at the closest form of the Mass that the brethren would have experienced prior to following the Roman Rite reforms of Pope St. Pius V.

Una Voce St.Paul/Minneapolis

I am pleased to announce the formation of Una Voce St.Paul/Minneapolis to help promote the traditional latin liturgy, sacred polyphony, and the latin language in the Twin Cities. If you are interested in becoming a member send me an email. We hope to have a website up and running in a couple months but in the meantime you can visit the Una Voce America website for more information. Remember also that you can become a Friend of Una Voce to stay informed about Una Voce activities.

11 November 2012

San Anton Palace, Malta

The San Anton Palace in Malta is currently the home of the President of Malta but it was formerly the residence of the Grand Masters of the SMOM. From the website for the President of Malta is the following history,
San Anton and its Gardens owe their origin and early development to the Knight Fra Antoine de Paule, a Frenchman from Provence, who was elected Grand Master of the Order of St. John in 1623. His detractors accused him of debauched habits and contested his election as contrived and simoniac. These charges, however, had little effect in Rome. In fact, Pope Urban VIII, in a brief dated 14 March, 1626, praised his piety and prudence. His Holiness also conferred on him the title of "Eminenza" thus placing him on an equal footing with the Cardinals and the other Ecclesiastical Electors of the Empire. On the base of de Paule's mausoleum in St. John's Co-Cathedral, a Latin inscription describes him as a "Prince very dear and liberal who, when alive, was dearly loved for his qualities and, after death, was no less revered".

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that de Paule's lifestyle was lavish. While still a Knight of the Order, he had acquired a large plot of land near the village of Attard on which he built a country villa. This locality was nearer Valletta than Verdala Palace and therefore made it easier for his many friends to join him when he could get away from official duties.

The villa was planned on generous proportions so as to provide accommodation for a number of guests, apart from the domestic staff which included cooks, pantry-boys, food tasters, torch bearers, wig makers, a winder of clocks, doctors, as well as a baker engaged especially to bake black bread for the hunting dogs! Yet de Paule, after his election as Grand Master, decided to forgo the construction of a trireme galley in favour of enlarging the villa into a Palace which he named ‘San Anton’ after his patron saint, St Anthony of Padua.

A conspicuous feature of the additional works was the tower which commanded a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside. Its square shape was attenuated by a cornice, a parapet of balustrades and a carved gargoyle at each corner. The two top floors were dismantled after they had been severely damaged by lightning.

Successive Grand Masters continued to use this Palace as their country-residence. Grand Master de Rohan, on the 12th September 1776, on the first anniversary of his election, dispensed with the usual ceremony of kissing-hands and gave instead a large dinner party, at which the guests were also entertained to jousts and a performance by a French Comedy Company.

During the turbulent days of the Maltese uprising against the French, San Anton Palace became the seat of the National Assembly from February 1799 to the capitulation of Valletta by the French in September 1800. Captain (later Sir) Alexander Ball resided at the Palace, first as Chief of the Maltese Congress and subsequently as Chief Commissioner. During the latter period, he built the loggias round the Drawing Room and an impressive balustrade-walk round the outer courtyard. The Palace charmed Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Sir Alexander’s Private Secretary at the time, so much so that he wrote: "I live when in the country, which I am nine days out of ten, at the Palace of San Antonio. If living in lofty and splendid rooms be a pleasure, I have it".

Thereafter the Palace was used as the residence of the Governor and of the Governor-General of Malta during the British period. Since 1974 it became the Official residence of the President of Malta.

Worthy of note is the private chapel, dating back to de Paule. It is dedicated to the Madonna del Pilar and its vault is decorated with the coats-of-arms of Grandmasters Antoine Manoel de Vilhena, Manoel Pinto de Fonseca and Emanuel de Rohan-Polduc. Stylistically, the chapel is similar to the contemporary churches of the first half of the 17th century to be found in towns and villages. It consists of a rectangular barrel-vaulted nave with arched ribs which divide the ceiling into six bays. The altar is set in a deep chancel separated from the nave by two pilasters which carry the last arched rib of the vault.

A large part of the original gardens, designed on a symmetrical plan, was opened to the public in the 19th century. Large parts of the gardens consist of orange groves. At the time of Grandmaster Antoine de Paule, these oranges were sent with his compliments to those he desired to honour or propitiate, in addition to the more conventional presentation of diamond crosses.



Process for beatification of Grand Master Andrew Bertie initiated - timesofmalta.com

Process for beatification of Grand Master Andrew Bertie initiated - timesofmalta.com

10 November 2012

Hampton Court Palace


The site of the Palace was occupied from 1236 by the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem under the direction of Clerkenwell Priory, the headquarters of the Order in England. The premises at Hampton included some residential buildings, farm buildings, and a chapel. Hampton Court had been a manor in the possession of Sir Walter de St Valery, according to the entry in the Domesday Book of 1086. He went on the First Crusade, and his grandson Reginald de St Valery donated the estate to the Military Order of the Knights Hospitaller. In 1338 a survey was sent by the Prior of Manor of Hampton, to the Master of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem concerning their possessions in Hampton and other parts of the country. 

The survey provides a good idea of land use in Hampton at that time. The manor house was known as a 'camera' that is to say a small establishment with land. 

There were several timber-framed buildings (some with tiled roofs), houses, barns, a chapel and a kitchen with accommodation for visitors and a hall. All were probably arranged around a courtyard. These buildings are thought to have stood on the site of Hampton Court Palace. In the museum at Clerkenwell Priory it is mentioned that one of the sisters of the Order was recorded as a nun of the Hampton religious community who was sent to join others at a new Hospitaller house at Buckland in Somerset. There were probably a few men and women religious at Hampton, and a staff of lay people to work the farm for the benefit of Clerkenwell and the mission of the Order in the Holy Land. 

The bell above the astronomical clock (which has only just been repaired) is the oldest existing artefact in Hampton Court Palace, and was cast in the 15th century and once hung over the Hospitallers' chapel. Some human remains found in Chapel Court, north of the present Chapel Royal, are probably those of the Hospitallers or those who worked for them. By the 15th century, some new residential buildings were added to the area of the present Clock Court and used as a country retreat by the Priors of the Order of St John. In 1503, Henry VII and a pregnant Elizabeth of York paid a visit here.

Henry’s Lord Chamberlain, Sir Giles Daubeney, took a 99-year lease on the property and on occasions, entertained Henry VII. It is thought that at this stage the house would have been large and comfortable. If you look at the pavement in front of the colonnade in Clock Court, you can see the layout of Daubeney’s entrance range marked out in brick.

Sir Giles Daubeney died in 1508 and in 1514, Thomas Wolsey obtained a 99-year lease of Hampton Court from the Knights Hospitallers and proceeded to turn the ‘large and comfortable’ country house into a home befitting his status as Cardinal and Lord Chancellor of England.

Church of St. John of Jerusalem in Maiano, Italy


Another place worth visiting in Maiano is the Church of St John of Jerusalem, which appears to date from the late thirteenth century.

The hospital annex was founded in 1199 through a donation by Artuico di Varmo, the feudal lord of San Daniele.












The exterior architecture of the church includes a gabled fa├žade of stone surmounted by a small bell gable; it preserves traces of 13th century frescoes.

Inside there is a fresco of the mid-fourteenth century, signed by Nicholas Gemona, depicting Our Lady of Mercy, and a Roman altar with bass reliefs of the first century AD, used as a holy water font.

Before the 1976 earthquake, Late Gothic wooden altarpieces were kept there, one depicting the Madonna and Child, of the Tolmezzo School (late 15th -early 16th century), and the other a Baroque altar named "Altar of Pity" (a triptych panel of late 16th -early 17th century), both quite effective in their style but obviously produced with modest means, attributed to workers from Friuli. There are also paintings (St John the Baptist and St Paul) by Giovanni Maria Furnio da San Vito (1567) and by Julius Urbanis di San Daniele (The Annunciation and the Beheading of St John the Baptist, circa 1580).

01 November 2012

Global Fund for Forgotten People

If you are not familiar with this work of the Order I encourage you to visit their website. The following is taken from their site.

The Global Fund for Forgotten People is part of the Order of Malta. Through it, we raise money for a range of our projects which reach out directly to people who would otherwise be forgotten. The Fund raises awareness of and support for particular issues which have fallen under the radar, and which struggle to get public attention. We send out regular newsletters. To sign up and stay informed about The Global Fund’s news and activities please sign up on our website.

Global Fund for Forgotten People

If you are not familiar with this work of the Order I encourage you to visit their website. The following is taken from their site.

The Global Fund for Forgotten People is part of the Order of Malta. Through it, we raise money for a range of our projects which reach out directly to people who would otherwise be forgotten. The Fund raises awareness of and support for particular issues which have fallen under the radar, and which struggle to get public attention. We send out regular newsletters. To sign up and stay informed about The Global Fund’s news and activities please sign up on our website.

Disclaimer

This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.