Thursday, February 21, 2008

A bit of Lafayette History

Back in 2003, great effort was expended in order to obtain relics of the Fatima visionaries Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Fransciso. The Bishop of our diocese wrote a letter in English which was then translated into Protugese to honor the local vernacular and into Latin as the official Church document in order to obtain these rarely translated relics. The petition was successful, and the relics can now be seen and venerated in Fatima Church, Lafayette. Below is the text of the offical Latin petition for the tranlsation of the relics (slivers of wood from the caskets of both children, and a splinter from the tree of aparition -- at the time, we did now know exactly what the relics would be. Although the text begs for primary relics, the rector of the shrine agreed to secondary relics). Yours truly composed the Latin text. The priest mentioned in the second half was a former associate priest at Fatima Church who was acting as the Bishop's legate. Other than clergymen, few have seen this petition or even know of its existence, but I think it is a bit of Lafayette history and is therefore of interest, as such protocols are very ancient, yet still very much current. Other than the original copy sent to Portugal, which was subsequently copied and sent to Rome, I doubt that any record or memory of the relics' history still exists at the Lafayette site where the relics are housed. I have a copy of the document, however, and am pleased to share it with you here:
HAC DIE 24 SEPTEMBRIS ANNO DOMINI 2003
CARISSIMO RECTORI REVERENDISSIMO PATRI FATIMAE URBE SANCTUARII DOMINAE NOSTRAE SALUTATIONES

Episcopo me ipso Diœcesis Lafayettiensis Louisianae Populo Dei ministrante, humiliter a te peto, ut me primi gradus reliquias potiri Beatae Iacintae et Beati Francisci adiuvares, duorum quibus imagine sui Virgo Beatissima Maria apparuerat. Has potiri et in Diœcesen Lafayettiensem reliquias transferre vellim ut eaedem in Ecclesia Dominae Nostrae Fatimae in Diœcese nostra posita ad publicum venerandum proponerentur proprio modo ut opus est secundum Codices Legum Canonicarum. Quia haec Parœcia apud primas Civitatibus in Unitis esset Nostrae Dominae sub Fatimae titulo dedicatae, quaedam reliquiae Beatae Iacintae Beatique Francisci mandatum et preces offerre et paenitentiam agere a Matre Beatissima Fatimae ad urbem relictum valdissime certissimeque dilatarent.
Reverendum Patrem Paulum Broussardum mandavi officialem meum legatum, qui reliquias percipiat easque in Diœcesen nostram transferrat. Me agente gratias, tibi alicui beneficio caritatis, quaecumque videatur optima, donum his cum litteris inclusum propter adiuvationem tuam praebeo.
Pro tuis intentionibus et quibusdam eorum, qui tua in cura congregati sunt, preces offero. Remaneo in Christo




EXCELLENTIA SUA
REVERENDISSIMUS MICHAEL JARRELL
EPISCOPUS LAFAYETTIENSIS LOUISIANAE

6 comments:

PaulaB52 said...

Where are the relics? Did Fr. R put them in a storage room? Or did he hide them behind the hideous busts of the children and an adult Sr. Lucia in the side altar?

Serious, is that what this is in the gold box by the pulpit? I had no idea.

RC said...

The Latin's more or less OK, but why'd they have you go to the trouble of drafting it? The previous chairman of the Latin Liturgy Association, Robert Edgeworth, was a professor at LSU at the time.

Jason Pennington said...

Yes, the golden box that looks like a French chateau is the reliquary. There is a tiny silver tree inside the glass area which displays the relics.

JP

Jason Pennington said...

Then Msgr. Provost had me translate the Bishop's letter because I was in the parish and I was his Latinist. The relics were going to Fatima, not LSU, so naturally, Edgeworth really had nothing to do with our efforts in Lafayette to obtain them. I'm in good company regarding my Latin, since St. Augustine and Tertullian's Latin is more or less ok too.

JP

RC said...

Hey, I knew St. Augustine. St. Augustine was a friend of mine....

Jason Pennington said...

HEHE! Auggie was a neat guy. My Medieval History prof always wore a button with a quote attributed to him: "I was evil, and I loved it!"

JP