On 2nd February, at the Seminary of Saint-Curé-d'Ars, Flavigny, France, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, auxiliary bishop of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, gave the clerical habit to the 16 seminarians of the 1st year.
The new Levites are French for the most part, but there are also two Englishmen - Mr Christopher Sudlow of Manchester and Mr. Julian Rodrigues of London - a Portuguese and a Swiss. About thirty priests from the Society assisted togethe with representatives from the Transfiguration Fathers of Merigny, the Capuchins of Morgon, the Sisters and Oblates of the Fraternity, and also the Dominican sisters of Brignolles and Fanjeaux. It was a happy day. Please pray for their perseverance and pray that more young men may have the courage and the spirit of sacrifice to give themselves to the service of God in His Church.
The Clerical Habit
The clerical habit is a sign of separation from the world. The seminarian is not yet an adopted child of the Church - that happens when he receives the tonsure which will happen on the feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8th December, but he is accepted into the sanctuary which is out of this world! The black of his habit is a sign of death to the world; he is now a sign of contradiction to those who seek heaven in material things or in themselves.
When the seminarian or priest puts on his clerical habit in the morning he recites the following prayers:
- Collar: Subjice me, Domine, dulci jugo tuo, dulcique Matris tuae Mariae. Subject me, Lord, to thy sweet yolk, and to the sweet yolk of Thy Mother Mary.
- Cassock: Dominus, pars hereditatis meae et calicis mei, tu es qui restitues hereditatem meam. O Lord, the portion of my inheritance and my chalice, You are He who will restore my inheritance.
- Cincture: Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentia et castitatis. Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and quench in my heart the fire of concupiscence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide in me.
- And then, when donning the surplice to enter the choir in the sanctuary: Indue me Domine, novum hominem, qui secundum Deum creatus est in justitia et sanctitate veritatis. Invest me, O Lord, as a new man, who was created by God in justice and the holiness of truth. Amen.