OLGS Rogations Photopost
Today we find ourselves in Rogationtide again this year, a day of penance and prayer to ask God’s favor (Latin rogare, to ask). There are actually two separate Rogations that share the same name and liturgy, but are of somewhat different origin.
The Greater Rogations always fall on the feast of St. Mark, April 25th, and are the more ancient observance. They are believed to have been introduced in Rome specially to counteract the Robigalia, a pagan festival and procession whereby a dog was sacrificed to the god Robigo to protect the grain from disease.
The Lesser Rogations, which always fall on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension, were instituted by St. Mamertus of Vienne in the 5th century, and spread from Gaul to Rome around the beginning of the 9th century.
The Rogations emphasize, first and foremost, the need to turn to God in prayer and boldly ask Him for our needs. The Gospel and the Communion verse of the Mass both feature Christ’s famous words from the 11th chapter of Luke:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth, and he that seeketh, findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
And in a nod to the feast’s origins, that asking is seen in a specifically agricultural context in the Mass’s Epistle, of St. James:
Elias was a man passible like unto us; and with prayer he prayed that it might not rain upon the earth, and it rained not for three years and six months: and he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Now that more of the faithful are employed in factory and office work than in farm work, the agricultural importance of the Rogations has unfortunately been made less relevant.
But there are certainly still places where the tradition is kept up, including at our very own Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary. We are pleased to pass along some photos from the April 25th OLGS Rogation Mass and Procession, which included a blessing of the orchard and garden. More images can be found on the OLGS site here.
May 15, 2023