What has been said about the Traditional Mass

Much of the opposition that traditionalists face when proclaiming their love for the Tridentine Mass, is that other Catholics fail to understand the richness that such a tradition has. In the face of such opposition, the best response is to check what the saints and other distinct Catholics said about such a Rite. Before I begin to quote the saints, I would like to present a quote by a convert, Paul Claudel. This poet,dramatist and diplomat owes his conversion to the Solemn High Mass, in fact he said: “It was the most profound and grandiose poetry, enchanted by the most august gestures ever confided to human beings. I could not sufficiently satiate myself with the spectacle of the Mass.” As this Frenchman has said so eloquently the traditional Mass, is rich in verse and gestures. One particular saint which stands out when it comes to appreciation shown in respect to the Tridentine Mass is Padre Pio . This humble friar from Italy, was concerned with the value of the Mass and men’s appreciation to it. In fact he said: “If men only appreciated the value of a holy Mass they would need traffic officers at Church doors every day to keep the crowds in order.” Ironically, it is estimated that approximately 20 million people have attended the Mass celebrated by Padre Pio. Now that is holy traffic! Sick and tired, the stigmatized priest received the dispensation to say Mass sitting, he opened his mouth and for the last time said the holy words in Latin, following the traditional Roman rite, as he had done all his life. As Blessed John Henry Newman wrote in “Callistus”: “It (the traditional Latin Mass) is virtually unchanged since the third century.” Thus it comes at no surprise the fact that many saints, who lived prior to the second Vatican Council, had something to say about the Mass in Extraordinary Form. In fact, St Alphonsus Liguori said:  “Man cannot perform a more holy, a more grand, a more sublime action than to celebrate a Mass, in regard to which the Council of Trent says: “We must needs confess that no other work can be performed…..so holy and divine as this tremendous Mystery itself. God Himself cannot cause an action to be performed that is holier and grander than the celebration of Mass.” As Catholics we are responsible to preserve the Faith and tradition, in fact St Basil the Great once said: “Who has lost and who has won in the struggle — the one who keeps the premises [buildings] or the one who keeps the Faith? The Faith obviously. That therefore the ordinances which have been preserved in the churches from old time until now may not be lost in our days,… rouse yourselves, brethren,… seeing them now seized upon by aliens.”


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