Feast day of the Holy Lance; a question that stumps everyone


#1

Ok, I know at times, people don’t care to read a lengthy statement, so I will firstly boil my question down for you.

Do you know of a Feast day ever for the Holy Lance (Spear) in the Church calendar?

:slight_smile: ** I don’t mean to take credit for a question that stumps -]most /-] no make that everyone, everywhere I have submitted it to! **It is not an immediate question of our salvation or faith it is more like a detail so it is not a crucial question. I had to hunt the paragraph out of a very lengthy book though this time so that it is fair showing the source instead of “springing” it on someone since no one seems to be acquainted with this Feast Day.

Kessinger Publishing out of Montana has republished many old books, religious and all types ( kessinger.net/ ). The below mentioned book is also available at amazon.

They republished in fact, the book “Our Lady of Lourdes” the English version translated from the French edition by Henry Lasserre who in facts claims to be one more person healed at the spring. The book was published in 1874. So, we in fact can deduce that back in those times, writing a comprehensive account of 500 pages of the events of St. Bernadette and her visions in 1858 in French and then translating it by 1874 in English and initially published in New York while in fact, the visionary was still alive and not that long after the initial events at the Grotto of Massabiele (Lourdes in other words) would be no small feat.

On page 148 we have the below quote:

"… That day, February 26th, 1858,being the Friday of the first week in Lent, was the Feast of the Holy Lance, and of the Nails of Our Lord. "

I will summarize an important point of which the author asserts, this day of February 26th was in fact, the day the water spring sprung up as we know from the movie “Song of Bernadette” and he likens it’s significance to the way the Holy Lance or Holy Spear celebrated on this day, pierced Christ’s side at the Crucifixion and out came blood and water, making it a sort of coincidence or maybe even a metaphor.

So, this is the question, I can’t find the Feast of the Holy Lance and of the Nails anywhere. Does anyone know of this? Was it on an old Vatican calendar of Feast days later revised in history? It is certainly not a modern day Feast. Could it even be a French phenomenon or uniquely from the Pyrenees even? Perhaps the Eastern Orthodox have heard of this. Has anyone ever heard of such a feast? Are there any other references to this that anyone knows of? Another possibility seems to be that perhaps it is on a Lenten calendar.

By the way, here is the wikipedia article on the Holy Lance en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spear_of_Destiny and it seems old writings though not the Bible itself assert the name of the Roman Soldier who had the lance was named Longinus which some people do know of.

Ok, I’ve sought to word this as best as possible, I am sure now that I think about it, a good Catholic library like the one at Notre Dame of which there exists in the US with many old books would surely produce references now that I think about it.

Thanks.


#2

There was a group of such feasts in honour of the Passion of Christ in the seasons of Septuagesima and Lent. They were never in the General Calendar - technically they for only certain local calendars. But they were so popular that they were inserted into practically every diocesan and religious calendar.
O
ne reason for the insertion of these feasts was that the number of psalms that the clergy had to recite on a day when there were no feasts (feria) were significantly more than on a feast day. Thus, through a combinaiton of practicality and piety, the insertion of these feasts reduced the ‘burden’ on the clergy.

The feasts were:

The Prayer of OLJC (Friday after Septuagesima Sunday)
The Commemoration of the Passion of OLJC (Friday after Sexagesima Sunday)
The Crown of Thorns (Friday after Ash Wednesday)
The Holy Lance and Nails (Friday after Sunday I of Lent)
The Holy Burial Cloth (Friday after Sunday II of Lent)
The Five Wounds (Friday after Sunday III of Lent)
The Precious Blood (Friday after Sunday IV of Lent)

After the reform of St. Pius X (1911-13), preference was placed upon reciting the ferial Office. Thus these feasts were removed from a lot of particular calendars. In the few calendars that they remained in, most were suppressed in 1961 by the decree of the Congregation of Rites.


#3

There was a group of such feasts in honour of the Passion of Christ in the seasons of Septuagesima and Lent. They were never in the General Calendar - technically they for only certain local calendars. But they were so popular that they were inserted into practically every diocesan and religious calendar.
O
ne reason for the insertion of these feasts was that the number of psalms that the clergy had to recite on a day when there were no feasts (feria) were significantly more than on a feast day. Thus, through a combinaiton of practicality and piety, the insertion of these feasts reduced the ‘burden’ on the clergy.

The feasts were:

The Prayer of OLJC (Friday after Septuagesima Sunday)
The Commemoration of the Passion of OLJC (Friday after Sexagesima Sunday)
The Crown of Thorns (Friday after Ash Wednesday)
The Holy Lance and Nails (Friday after Sunday I of Lent)
The Holy Burial Cloth (Friday after Sunday II of Lent)
The Five Wounds (Friday after Sunday III of Lent)
The Precious Blood (Friday after Sunday IV of Lent)

After the reform of St. Pius X (1911-13), preference was placed upon reciting the ferial Office. Thus these feasts were removed from a lot of particular calendars. In the few calendars that they remained in, most were suppressed in 1961 by the decree of the Congregation of Rites.

The Passionists still observe the Wounds, Commemoration of the Passion, Prayer OLJC and Precious Blood on their Proper Calendar. In addition, some of the votive Offices for Fridays in the Passionist LOTH have themes from the earlier feasts. I’m not sure, since it’s a long time since I looked at the Passionist LOTH (my greatest regret was that I couldn’t copy it!) but I think that one of them did have a reference to the lance.


#4

That’s helpful. Thanks. In fact, that basically answers it and points me in a direction to read more upon it. Excellent.

I had to get my source document this time so it could be read in its proper context. Good.


#5

I think the Germans celebrated Speerfest on the second Friday after Easter


#6

" will summarize an important point of which the author asserts, this day of February 26th was in fact, the day the water spring sprung up as we know from the movie “Song of Bernadette”

This is the kind of thing, that makes me wonder if I am meant to be a catholic or not. I will, and just ignore this kind of thing I think.


#7

Oh well, that doesn’t sound like a Catholic (spelled with a Capital C as I say Lutheran and Baptist as well) thing to say to begin with.

But I’d think most Catholics know they are NOT required to believe in Church approved Apparitions; only that they are worthy of belief.

Again, your statement is rather surprising.


#8

Thank God, you won’t be stopping me.


#9

You are out for something and as I said your statement is peculiar. Please do not harrass people for coming here notsmart.


#10

However did I do that?

The movie Song of Bernadette, is the way we can determine dates?
Even from Bernadette herself (forget the movie now)
We ought to be concerned about the specific date of Feb 26th did you say? that Jesus was pierced?

Wow.


#11

I’m sorry, you have dug yourself deeper and deeper and I will not read what you have to say.


#12

Learn something new everyday. i am a cradle Catholic and this ias the first time I have ever heard of these feasts


#13

Why not? Aren’t movies enough to convince you?:wink:


#14

Once again, just to steer the post back to topic.


#15

Why wouldn’t germans celebrate saints says or feast days? They do last time I looked at my free calandar they gave me from the Lutheran church.


#16

Yes, thank you all my brethren, this has gone from being a post answered by the second post by a someone obviously very learned on this subject at least and who has enrichened my faith greatly with a question I’ve had for half a year even if I did not exhaust all of my sources.to a potentially popular thread! :cool:

Thank you for your posts!:thumbsup:


#17

Excellent topic and question.
And excellent and informative answer from AJV, as usual. :thumbsup:

J+M+J


#18

Thanks for a great answer, AJV. I had never heard of these feasts/devotions.


#19

What? I simply answered the OP’s question. The German church celebrated Speerfest (the Feast of the Holy Lance) on the second Friday after Easter.


#20

Of the Lance and the Lamb in the Byzantine Liturgies…

This is what it looks like… http://www.hellenic-art.com/chalice/120022.jpg

The first part of the Divine Liturgy is the Prothesis or Ceremony of Preparation of the Oblations. During the Ceremony, the priest/abouna prays and cuts the Qurban based on the nine squares on the large side of the Holy Seal or (IC|XC NIKA Stamp) impression.
The Prothesis is performed by the priest and deacon without the direct participation of the people on the “proskomide” or “table of oblation” or “Altar of Preparation” which stands in the altar area to left of the altar table.
Arrangement of Nine Squares

On the Holy Seal for the qurban facing upwards, the nine squares are in this arrangement.
On the Qurban facing upwards, the nine squares on the large side are in this arrangement.
On the Diskos, the three squares and two rows are in this arrangement.
Squares Are the Following

Large IC|XC NIKA Impression - “The Lamb” - Particles for Holy Eucharist for the Clergy are cut from this square.

Large IC|XC NIKA Impression - “The Lamb”

Large IC|XC NIKA Square - “The Lamb” is in the center on the Holy Seal and on the Qurban. “The Lamb” becomes the Body of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ via “Transubstantiation”.

CON’T


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