Angelic Cardinal Reginald Pole - C. M. Antony

Appendix: An Act of Thanksgiving
for the Reconciliation of England

The following remarkable prayers were found by the Editor written in the end of a magnificent copy of Pynson's edition of the Sarum Missal (1520) which is preserved among the treasures of the famous Pepysian Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

As far as is known, no other copy of these prayers is in existence, and they have never before been printed. They consist, evidently, of what is known as an Oratio imperata with corresponding Secret and Post communion, i.e., special prayers ordered by authority to be said at Mass after the collects for the day on some particular occasion or for some special intention.

These prayers are headed:

Orationes dicende in missis pro agendis deo gratiis de reconciliatione regni cum ecclesia catholica: that is to say, "Prayers to be said at Mass, to give God thanks for the reconciliation of the kingdom with the Catholic Church." They were, no doubt, ordered by Cardinal Pole, under whose direction they will have been composed (if he did not himself write them) to be said or sung in solemn thanksgiving for the Reconciliation of England on that great St. Andrew's Day, 1554. Probably they were to be used every year on the anniversary of that glorious event. They have thus an enormous and most pathetic interest for English Catholics. They inevitably suggest a comparison with those that Cardinal Vaughan ordered to be recited year by year in the Mass of the English Martyrs, in memory of the Consecration of England to Our Lady and St. Peter.

It will be interesting if it is possible to discover any allusion to these prayers in Pole's correspondence, and still more so if the order for their recital can be discovered among his papers.

D. B. C.


Deus qui hoc regnum a catholice ecclesie unitate, et obedientia, satane malicia alienatum, ad eandem sub philippo et maria regibus, per romani pontificis, et sedis apostolice legatum, totius regni consensu, singular tue benignitatis previlegio revocasti, concede quesumus, ut tanti beneficii semper memores, in vere religionis cultu, et catholice ecclesie unitate atque obedientia te protegente constanter persevcremus, utque reliqui populi qui ab ea recesserunt ad eandem nostro exemplo revertantur: per dominum, &c.

Deus a quo salvator noster Jesus christus ne fides petri deficeret orans, pro sua reverentia est exauditus, concede precamur omnibus nobis a sismate et erroribus quibus immersi fuimus, tua dementia mirabiliter liberatis, earn in fide constantiam que ab apostolica sede nunquam nos liberare (sic) sinat: per eundem dominum, &c.

Presta quesumus omnipotent deus, ut nos qui per immensam misericordiam tuam ad catholice ecclesie unitatem, et vicarii unigeniti ftlii obedientiam a qua satane fraude delusi longe recesseramus, tanquam oves errantes reducti sumus, ita per gratiam tuam in vere obedientie fructibus crescamus, ut nostro exemplo etqui in ea manentconfirmentur, el rebelles te inspirante ad eandem revocentur: per eundem dominum, &c.

We append a translation which we have made as literal as possible.


O God, Who by the singular privilege of Thy kindness, hast, with the consent of the whole realm, through the legate of the Roman Pontiff and the Apostolic See, re called this kingdom, alienated by Satan's malice from the unity and obedience of the Catholic Church, back to the same under Kings Philip and Mary: grant we beseech Thee, that always being mindful of so great a benefit, we may constantly persevere, under Thy protection, in the worship of the true religion and in the unity and obedience of the Catholic Church, that the other peoples which have gone astray may, by our example, return to it once more: Through our Lord, &c.

[Secret] O God, by Whom our Savior Jesus Christ, praying that the faith of Peter might not fail, was heard for His reverence; grant, we beseech Thee, to all of us, who by Thy clemency have been wonderfully de livered from the schism and errors in which we were immersed, that constancy in the faith which may never permit us to stray from the Apostolic See: Through the same, &c.

[Post Communion] Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who by Thy immense mercy have been brought back like erring sheep to the unity of the Catholic Church and to the obedience of the Vicar of Thine only begotten Son, from which deluded by the craft of Satan we had gone far astray, may so by Thy grace increase in the fruits of true obedience, that by our example both those who remain in it may be confirmed and the rebellious may be inspired by Thee to return to the same; Through the same, &c.