Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Friday, May 06, 2011

Regina Cæli , ora pro nobis


The Crowning of the Virgin (Oddi Altarpiece)

Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Alleluia.
For He, whom thou wast worthy to bear. Alleluia.
Has risen as He said. Alleluia.
Pray for us to God. Alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, Alleluia.
Let us pray
O God, Who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast been pleased to give joy to the whole world, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

It is said:
St. Luke is said to have painted the famous "Salus Populi Romani" ("Protector of the Roman People") Hodegetria-style icon which was brought from the Holy Land to Rome by Helena, Constantine's mother. It is housed in St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome, a Basilica which was built in response to a miracle: in A.D.. 358., Our Lady appeared to Pope Liberius and a couple and told them to build a church at a place she would mark out with snow on Esquiline Hill. On an August night, she did just that -- a church-sized, church-shaped area of snow fell on the hill. The people staked out the area "Our Lady of the Snows" indicated, the Basilica was built, and Pope Liberius consecrated it. It has been rebuilt over the years, lastly by Pope Paul V (1605-1621). The Feast of the dedication of the (original) Basilica is August 5, and in commemoration of the miraculous snowfall, white rose petals are sprinkled down from the dome during the Mass that day.

During St. Gregory the Great's pontificate (A.D. 590-604), in the year A.D. 597, this icon was carried in procession to Hadrian's tomb during a time of a great plague. Upon arrival at the destination, a choir of angels was heard singing:
Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia;
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia;
Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia.

To which St. Gregory replied:
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Then St. Michael appeared over the tomb, with sword drawn -- and put his sword back in its sheath as a sign of the end of the pestilence. This appearance of the Archangel is the reason why Hadrian's tomb is now known as Castel Sant'Angelo.


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