Saturday, August 14, 2010

Litany of the Most Precious Blood

It is wonderful to be back after my lengthy absence and to also have good news to share with the readers of the Duhem Society Blog! Over the past few months I've had grueling exams and research papers to contend with and at last they are complete! My thanks to those to kept my travails in their thoughts and prayers. So much has happened since I last posted, not least the establishment of the Fr. Jaki Foundation which is a very exciting development! Today, let me share with you news of the publication of father's final litany commentary, the Litany of the Most Precious Blood, which is presently available from the website. Reprinted below is father's explanation of the impetus for this book.

~ Jakian Thomist

In early January 2009, the manager of Real View Books forwarded to me an e-mail from a priest in Canada. He wanted to know whether the author of The Litany of Saint Joseph: A Commentary would consider writing a similar book on the Litany of the Precious Blood. This was the first time I heard that there was such a Litany, although I knew full well of the Feast, indeed a Solemnity, of the Most Precious Blood celebrated on the first day of each July. First I thought that this was one of the dozens of litanies which popped up during post-Tridentine times. Actually its origins go back to the thirteenth century and has since taken on many forms, of which one, thoroughly revised in 1960, became the latest addition to litanies approved by the Holy See for public use in the Church. The priest in Canada received within a day or two my assurance that I would give a serious thought to his suggestion.

The writing of a commentary on each of the Litany's twenty-four invocations presented little problem and indeed offered most welcome opportunities as it immersed my mind in topics most spiritual. More problematic was to find sufficient material about the history of the Litany to be dealt with in the introduction.

Fortunately I had to be in Rome in March 2009 for delivering a series of lectures (more on them later), I could plan on getting proper information from the central offices of the Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood. In that expectation of mine I was not disappointed. They provided me with the best published material on the history of the Litany and also on the life and work of their founder, Saint Caspar del Bufalo, a most zealous promoter of the devotion to the Most Precious Blood. He was also a chief missionary in the Pontifical States during the 1820s and 1830s, a mission land in those years.

In short, the typescript of the commentary on the Litany was essentially ready by the end of March 2009 and joined the list of minor works of mine that had been completed and in part published by then.

(Extract from 'Three more years' additional chapter to Fr. Jaki's autobiography)

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