Weapon

Est Rosarium praecipue implorando Matris Dei patrocinio adversus hostes catholici nominis institutum.

Leo P.P. XIII., Salutaris ille spiritus precum, die XXIV. Decembris An. MDCCCLXXXIII.

Our Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula is a Catholic building built by our fathers to be a House of God, for the celebration of the holy Mass, for the praise of God and the saints.

The occupation of our cathedral by Protestants to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is therefore a profanation.

Indeed, the so-called Reformation was really a revolt: under the pretext of combatting abuses, Luther rebelled against the divine authority of the Catholic Church, denied numerous Truths of the Faith, abolished the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments, rejected the necessity of good works and the practice of Christian virtues. Finally, he attacked the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the saints, the religious life and monastic vows.

This terrible revolution was a great tragedy for Christian society and for the salvation of souls. And the Lutheran errors are still heresies today because the Truth is eternal.

Extracted from leaflet (original in French) distributed during youth protest of ceremony celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels.

A Friendly Presence

Louise Bourgeois's sculpture, Maman, was installed over the grave of Belgian painter James Ensor's grave, in the churchyard of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ter-Duinen (Our Lady of the Dunes), at Ostend, in 2006.
Louise Bourgeois’s sculpture, Maman, was installed over the grave of Belgian painter James Ensor’s grave, in the churchyard of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ter-Duinen (Our Lady of the Dunes), at Ostend, in 2006.

The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.

Louise Bourgeois.

Meet James Ensor

James Ensor, Skeleton Painter in his Studio, 1896; Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.
James Ensor, Skeleton Painter in his Studio, 1896; Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Meet James Ensor
Belgium’s famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man

Before there were junk stores
Before there was junk
He lived with his mother and the torments of Christ
The world was transformed
A crowd gathered round
Pressed against his window so they could be the first

To meet James Ensor
Belgium’s famous painter
Raise a glass and sit and stare
Understand the man

He lost all his friends
He didn’t need his friends
He lived with his mother and repeated himself
The world has forgotten
The world moved along
The crowd at his window went back to their homes

Meet James Ensor
Meet James Ensor
Belgium’s famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man

They Might Be Giants.

The Nard of Bernard’s Sanctity

The Lactation of Saint Bernard, c. 1480, oil on panel, 15.4 × 10.2 inches, Curtius Museum, Liège, Belgium.
The Lactation of Saint Bernard, c. 1480, oil on panel, 15.4 × 10.2 inches, Curtius Museum, Liège, Belgium.

 

Iam Regína discúbuit,
Sedens post Unigénitum:
Nardus odórem tríbuit,
Bernárdus, tradens spíritum.
The Queen of Heaven reclines,
Seated after the Only-Begotten Son.
Bernard, yielding up his spirit,
Proffers her the perfume of spikenard.
Dulcis Regínæ gústui
Fructus sui suávitas:
Dulcis eius olfáctui
Nardi Bernárdi sánctitas.
Sweet to the Queen’s taste
Is the fruit of her delight.
Sweet to her nostrils
Is the nard of Bernard’s sanctity.
Venit Sponsa de Líbano
Coronánda divínitus,
Ut Bernárdus de clíbano
Veníret Sancti Spíritus.
She, the spouse, comes from Lebanon
to be divinely crowned,
So that Bernard may come forth
From the furnace of the Holy Spirit.
Quæ est ista progrédiens
Velut auróra rútilans?
Quis est iste transíliens
Colles, sanctis coniúbilans?
Who is she who goes forth,
Dazzling as the dawn?
Who is he who comes leaping upon the hills,
Exulting with the saints?
Hæc glória terríbilis
Sicut castrórum ácies:
Hic grátia mirábilis
Ut Assuéri fácies.
Terrible is her glory
As an army in battle array.
Wonderful is his grace
As the face of Assuerus.
Ora pro nobis Dóminum,
Prædúlcis fumi vírgula:
Inclína Patrem lúminum,
Pastor ardens ut fácula.
Pray for us to the Lord,
Thou pillar of aromatic smoke.
Incline to us the Father of Lights,
Thou shepherd, glowing like a flaming torch.
Sit Trinitáti glória,
Per quam triúmphus Vírginis
Et Bernárdi felícitas
Manent in cæli cúria.  Amen.
Glory be to the Trinity,
Through Whom the triumph of the Virgin
And the joy of Bernard remain forever
in the sacred courts of Heaven.  Amen.

— Vespers Hymn in Alternative Office of St. Bernard as given in the Monastic Diurnal (1963);
evidently from the Cistercian Breviary.