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kings to be anointed, or chrism hallowed, these and all such things used to be done under the protection of the Eucharist; and without the sacrifice they thought that nothing was properly performed '."
Lammas day was also called the Gule of August. Some say that this is the same word as Yule, a name signifying a festival or holyday, and commonly given to Christmas. Others interpret it to mean a cycle or anniversary; others a beginning. But none of these derivations explain why the name was given to this day rather than to any other festival or anniversary, or to the first day of any other month. Its true etymology seems to have been derived from gula, the throat; and commemorates the miraculous cure of a disease in the throat with which the daughter of Quirinus, a Roman tribune, was afflicted, during the pontificate of S. Alexander, the seventh in succession from the blessed Peter. After the glorious martyrdom of the first Bishop of Rome, the faithful disciples of the Cross kept the chains with which he had been bound, as precious relics of his passion. And S. Alexander, who filled the see early in the second century, hearing of this young woman's sufferings, directed her to visit the Church where these chains were preserved, and to kiss them. She did so in faith, and was cured. And her whole family was immediately converted and baptized.
For fourteen centuries the Church has observed the 1st of August as a festival in commemoration of the miraculous deliverance of S. Peter from prison". In the fifth age a church of S. Peter ad vincula was
1 Rerum Liturg. lib. ii. c. 14.
2 Acts xii.
dedicated in Rome on this day; and hence the festival was kept upon it, though the event happened shortly before Easter. His chains were kept there, and were held in great veneration. This church now gives title to a Cardinal. It is not unreasonable to suppose that in some parts of the Church at least this miracle would be related as often as the feast returned, and so in time Kalendæ Augusti was changed to Gula Augusti.
"I make no question," says Hearne, the learned antiquary, "but this famous accident was formerly, before the pulling down and making havock of the religious houses, (a most dismal thing,) much talked of, and mentioned too, annually, in the sermons and homilies on the feast of S. Peter's chains among us in England, though it be now quite forgotten. Nay they did not mention such things only in their sermons and homilies, but oftentimes in their thanksgiving prayers. It were to be wished that this custom had not been broke off. People would by that means have been better able to tell who were the founders of their churches, and to [the honour of] what saints they were dedicated'." This explanation of the word Yule is confirmed by Cowel, in his Law Dictionary.
No brazen fetters have the captive bound,
Of sentry watching by the bolted cell;
He in his chains hath truer freedom found.
1 Notes on Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester, vol. ii. p. 681.
The ponderous iron is by love made light,
Breaks in the prisonhouse of gloomy night
Blest chains, that prove no guilty criminal,
More precious they than golden ornament,
THE Transfiguration of the Lord, which is the theme of our contemplation on this day, has been called by ancient doctors the Sacrament of the Resurrection. It took place probably on Mount Tabor in Galilee, and in the spring of the year of the Incarnation 32, that is, in the third year of our Lord's public ministry. The evangelists S. Matthew, S. Mark, and S. Luke have each recorded its marvellous circumstances. The English Church used anciently to commemorate it at the Eucharistic Office in the words of the holy Gospel according to S. Matthew, as the Latin Church does at this day. While we read them, be ours the prayer that "the Lord may be in our hearts and on our lips, that we may worthily pronounce the holy Gospel of God."
"And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain art; and was transfigured before them and His face did shine as the sun, and His
raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias, talking with Him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead'.'
The narrative of S. Mark is nearly in the same words. S. Luke adds that the Lord retired with His three chosen Apostles "to pray ;" and that “ as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering." He also relates that Moses and Elias "appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem."
That we may learn a deeper lesson from this mystery, let us observe the events which went immediately before it. The three Evangelists relate them in very similar words. S. Peter had made the glorious confession, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, on which the Lord declared that
1 S. Matt. xvii. 1-9.
His Church should be built as on a sure rock. That blessed Apostle had received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, with power to bind and loose on earth, and with the promise that his sentence should be confirmed in heaven. The Lord had begun to declare more particularly to His disciples the circumstances of His bitter Passion, and had taught them the painful lesson of His Cross, which the faithful must take up daily and follow Him. He had again urged upon them the infinite value of the world to come, and had foretold the advent of the Son of Man in glory, to reward every one according to his works. He had proclaimed that "whosoever shall be ashamed of Him and of His words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in the Father's, and of the holy angels." And, further, He had declared that there were some standing near who should not taste of death, till they should see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. “And after six days," or, as S. Luke says, "about an eight days after," "Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves, and He was transfigured before them'." "After the confirmation of the Cross," says S. Jerom," the glory of the Resurrection is shown: that they might not fear the reproach of the Cross, who had seen with their eyes the glory of the future Resurrection."
The ancient Fathers of the Church have drawn many lessons of wisdom from each minute particular in the history of the Transfiguration. Thus Ven.
1 S. Mark ix. 2.