The Scottish Legacy of Luigi Cardinal Traglia
Canon James Foley, St Augustine’s Coatbridge
On St. Andrew’s Day of the 1975 Holy Year a group of Scots priests concelebrated Mass in the Chapel of the Scots College in Rome. The principal celebrant was Luigi Cardinal Traglia, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, who had ordained all of them over a period of almost thirty years when he was Vicegerent of the Diocese of Rome between 1937 and 1965. Forty-six Scotsmen received their ordination to the priesthood at the hands of Luigi Traglia and many of them were present on that memorable occasion in 1975 to celebrate the Holy Year together in their Alma Mater and, at the sign of peace, to shake the hand of the bishop who ordained them.Since we gathered on that carefree St Andrew’s Day in 1975 thirty of our number have died and, at time of writing (May 2011), sixteen of us remain in the land of the living. With this simple homage to a generation of Scozzesi comes an invitation, in the spirit of the Letter to the Hebrews, to think well of this diminishing cloud of witnesses. We share the priesthood of Christ in a special way by reason of our Holy Orders.For years there hung unremarked on the wall of the Common Room of the Scots college in the Via delle Quattro Fontane a faded Papal Blessing, bestowed on the College by Pius XI. The following is a free translation of the Holy Father’s blessing:
‘To those whom Rome once kept at a safe distance by building a wall, we now extend a welcome and a paternal embrace’.
Our names follow with a few biographical details and obituaries where these exist. To learn more simply click on the name of your choice. If the details seem scant they will surely evoke something of the potential of a relatively small number of priests to influence the lives of many thousands of people. The forty-six priests listed served in more than 150 parishes and chaplaincies throughout Scotland. No two of us were alike in personality nor were our parishes. Nonetheless, it is a reasonable assumption that we preached the Gospel and administered the sacraments of the Church in essentially the same manner wherever we were. The special unity which bound us by reason of our education and priestly ordination at the hands of one Roman bishop was shared with those later entrusted to our pastoral care. This sacramental dialogue between priest and people has surely enriched us all.Perhaps the best place to begin our story is with the prelate who ordained us, Luigi Traglia. This is not so easily done. For most of us our encounter with him was limited to the duration of our ordination Mass. In mitigation, however, it could be argued that those who were ordained by him in those pre-Vatican II days felt that, by the time they reached the end of the ceremony, they had more than a passing acquaintance with the ordaining prelate. On a good Ember Day or Easter Vigil, the Mass of Ordination would include first clerical tonsure, four minor orders, sub diaconate, diaconate and priesthood and could last up to five hours. In passing it should be noted that Traglia’s command of the Ceremoniale Episcoporum was such that it allowed him to proceed as if he were himself the author of the texts he recited with such fluency. On occasion he would issue reprimands to intrusive photographers in such a manner as to give the impression that he was quoting the rubrics: ‘Retro photographi!’ (Photographers get lost!)Apart from these liturgical encounters, there were other occasions when we became better aware of the personality and stile of the man. He was the Cardinal Protector of the Scots College in keeping with the Roman practice, and in this capacity he was the principal guest at the celebration of our patronal feast each November. On these occasions, and on many others, he radiated a real sense of pride in his role and in his association with the College and its distinguished history. This sense of pride was evidenced in a special way on the occasion of the Mass which he concelebrated with his Scots ordinands on St Andrew’s Day 1975. His homily on that occasion rose to the occasion and revealed a prelate with a big heart and an instinctive awareness of the bond of unity in the priesthood of Christ and the uniqueness and dignity of each priest it had been his privilege to ordain. His opening words set the tone: ‘La Chiesa Romana ha sempre voluta bene agli Scozzesi…’ (The Church of Rome has always had a soft spot for the Scots…’.
Luigi Traglia had spent his entire ministry in Rome and had been entrusted with some of the most important offices in the Roman Curia. The following is an edited version of the landmarks in his career.
His Episcopal lineage can be traced back to Scipione Rebiba in the sixteenth century:
|Giulio Antonio Santorio||12.03.1566|
|Vincenzo Maria Orsini (Benedict XIII)||23.07.1724|
|Prospero Lambertini I(Benedict XIV)||27.07.1724|
|Carlo Rezzonico (Clement XIII)||09.03.1743|
|Giacinto Sigismondo Gerdil||02.02.1777|
|Giulio Maria della Somaglia||21.12.1788|
|Carlo Giuseppe Mezenod||14.10.1832|
|Giuseppe Ippolito Guilbert||11.03.1842|
|Francesco Maria Richard||11.02.1872|
|Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani||14.04.1918|
Below is a list of all the priests ordained by Luigi Cardinal Traglia, for further information just click on of the names below.
Prayers recited each day on the occasion of visits to the Blessed Sacrament
after lunch and supper in the Scots College Rome.
All of the priests ordained in Rome by Luigi Cardinal Traglia also led their lives under the benign surveillance of the Rector of the College, William R. Clapperton (1886-1969). He led the students in the following prayers, without fail, each day for forty years. Those of us who still survive are happy to commend him to the same patrons of Scotland to whom he commended his students so faithfully every day: May he rest in peace. Amen
Prayer after Lunch.
Cum pervenisset Beatus Andreas
ad locum ubi crux parata erat
exclamavit et dixit:
O bona crux diu desiderata
et jam concupiscenti animo praeparata
securus et gaudens venio ad te,
ita et tu exultans suscipias me
discipulum ejus qui pependit in te.
V. Annuntiaverunt opera Dei.
R. Et facta ejus intellexerunt.
Majestatem tuam, Domine,
ut sicut Ecclesiae tuae
Beatus Andreas Apostolus
exstitit praedicator et rector;
ita apud te sit pro nobis
Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
When Blessed Andrew had reached
the place where the cross awaited him
he raised his voice in prayer:
O goodly cross, so long my heart’s desire,
my soul now yearns for you,
secure in hope and filled with joy I come to you
knowing you will gladly receive me
as one who claims to be a disciple of him who
once hung upon you.
V. They proclaimed the powerful works of the Lord
R. And understood his mighty deeds
Let us pray:
To you O Lord
we offer this humble prayer:
that the Blessed Apostle Andrew,
who proved a worthy preacher
and leader of your Church,
may also prove our constant advocate
in your presence.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen
Prayer after Supper
(St Margaret of Scotland)
Manum suam aperuit inopi,
et palmas suas extendit ad pauperem,
et panem otiosa non comedit.
V. Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis.
R.Propterea benedixit te Deus in aeternum.
Deus, qui beatam Margaritam Reginam
eximia in paupers caritate mirabilem efficisti:
da; ut ejus intercessione et exempla,
tua in codibus nostris caritas jugiter augeatur.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
She open her hands to the needy
and reached out to the poor
No idle bread passed her lips.
V. Her speech was ever gracious
R. Hence God has blessed her forever
Let us pray:
O God who graced Blessed Margaret
with boundless charity for the poor,
grant that through her intercession and good example
your love will ever grow in our hearts.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.