18 April 2011

Salve, Sancta Parens

Here is more on the subject of our Blessed Lady from the writings of the Carthusian Order:

The introduction into our liturgy of the Mass Salve, Sancta Parens -- the Proper of which is said after the Office of Prime of our Lady -- is the memorial of the help given by Mary at a critical hour of Carthusian history. This is how our chronicler Peter Dorland relates the incident:

"At the instigation doubtless of the devil, certain Houses of the Order were once assailed with such numerous temptations that the religious discipline became burdensome to the monks. The Divine Office, prayer, meditation, the observance of fasting and abstinence, awakened in them nothing but repugnance. From every heart there arose to almighty God a loud cry, together with pleadings and tears, begging Him to free them from their persecutor. Whereupon God sent an angel who addressed these words to a Father of exemplary piety: 'The Virgin Mary, Mother of mercy, will take pity on you, if in addtion to the Hours you recite daily in her honour, you are willing to say between Prime and Terce of the Office of the Blessed Virgin, the dry Mass Salve, Sancta Parens, and to celebrate each day a Mass to her glory.' As soon as this was known, everyone was delighted to accept the condition; and from that day the Carthusian Order has always been helped by the prayers of the Mother of God" (Le Couteulx: Annales, Vol. IV, p.52).