Diario Romano (It. for “Roman Daybook”), a booklet published annually at Rome, with papal authorization, giving the routine of feasts and fasts to be observed in Rome and the ecclesiastical functions to be performed in the city.
The Diario for 1908 gives the days on which the Roman Congregations—Index, Rites, Propaganda, etc.—hold their sessions. A table is then given for the ringing of the bell for evening Angelus, which varies with the time of sunset, and ranges from 5.15 p. m. to 8.15 p. m. In quoting the time of day at which an exercise is to take place, the Diario uses the regular style for the morning hours, but says, “before” or “after the Angelus“, for the afternoon. The Diario notes the phases of the moon, the eclipses, the movable feasts, the ember days, the ecclesiastical cycles, the time for the solemnization of marriage, a list of days on which certain specially honored images of the Blessed Virgin are exposed for veneration, and a list of saints and blessed honored on each day of the year and of the churches at which the feast is celebrated. In the body of the work the statement is frequently made that images and relics of Christ and of the saints, ordinarily veiled, are uncovered and put in a prominent place. Such relics are: the table on which Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist; the manger or crib in which Christ is said to have been placed after his birth; the heads of Sts. Peter and Paul; the Chair of St. Peter (Cathedra Petri). Next are given the various functions as follows:
(I) Ordinary—(a) Daily.—In all churches where canons or religious communities reside the canonical Hours of the Breviary are recited and conventual Mass is sung. Mass is said in all the churches, the earliest at 5 o’clock, and the latest at 12, the latter at S. Maria della Pace and always a votive Mass in honor of the Holy Trinity in thanksgiving for the favors conferred by the Blessed Virgin. At S. Giuseppe alla Lungara dei Pii Operai a daily foundation Mass with sermon and “Libera” is offered for the souls in purgatory. The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament takes place daily at S. Gioacchino ai Monti, at S. Claudio dei Borgognoni, at S. Croce of the convent of S. Maria Riparatrice, at S. Brigida, at the church of Corpus Domini, in the chapel of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. In these churches and chapels special devotions are held during the day and are always well attended. The recitation of the Rosary is a favorite practice of the Romans; it takes place at Mass in twenty-one churches in which Benediction is then given with the pyx; in the afternoon the Rosary, or, in some instances, the beads of the Seven Dolors or of the Precious Blood, is said daily in thirty-seven churches and chapels, in some of which a sermon is added. On feast days Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is held in the morning in six churches, Rosary and Benediction in the afternoon in eight; in five also a sermon is preached, and in five others the chaplet of the Sacred Heart is added.—(b) Weekly.—In the parish churches high Mass and sermon are held at eight or nine o’clock on Sundays, and in the after-noon Christian doctrine is taught. At St. John Lateran there is a procession before Mass; at S. Gioacchino the Blessed Sacrament is exposed at Mass and prayers of reparation are said, in the afternoon Benediction is given after the Rosary has been recited before the Blessed Sacrament. In nine other churches there is Exposition in the morning, to which, at S. Prassede, prayers for a good death are added. Benediction is given in many churches at various times of the day, together with an explanation of the Holy Scriptures, an instruction, a sermon, Rosary, etc. The Way of the Cross is made in four churches. The Diario notes the following devotions to be held for Monday: exposition during Mass at Santi XII Apostoli and Ara Coeli, in the evening at four churches, with special prayers to St. Jude Thaddeus at S. Eusebio. Tuesday: Exposition in the morning for four churches and for the same number in the evening, a devotion to St. Anne, and a meditation. Wednesday: for five churches Exposition in the forenoon; for four in the afternoon, Rosary, chaplet of the Immaculate, chaplet of Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph. Prayers to the Mother of Sorrows. Thursday: Exposition during the whole day at S. Gioacchino in Prati with Rosary and Benediction in the evening, Exposition in five other churches, to which a discourse is added at N. S. di S. Cuore; in S. Andrea at the Quirinal catechetical instruction for boys. Friday: Exposition, chaplet of the Sacred Heart, Holy Hour for the dying, prayers in honor of the Passion, Way of the Cross, Way of the Mater Dolorosa, chaplet of the Seven Dolors. Saturday: Exposition, devotion to the Mother of Mercy against lightning, in honor of the Queen of the Holy Rosary, special prayers for the conversion of England, chaplet of the Immaculate, of the Seven Dolors, sermon, singing of the litany, and Benediction.—(c) Monthly.—For the first Sunday is ordered, in one church or another: Exposition in the form of the Forty Hours, procession, prayers for a good death, Way of the Cross, Corona dei Morti, Communion of the Pages of Honor of St. Aloysius. For the second Sunday: Exposition in the morning and in the evening, procession of the Blessed Sacrament, at S. Maria sopra Minerva procession with the Bambino and prayers for blasphemers. For the third Sunday: Exposition in the morning or in the evening, and procession. For the fourth Sunday the same is prescribed for several churches, also the Way of the Cross. For the last Sunday: Exposition and procession for two churches in the morning, for others in the evening; Way of the Cross at the Campo Santo. Similarly, the Diario makes announcements for the first Tuesday, the first Wednesday, etc. Among the devotions noted for these days special mention may be made of prayers for obstinate sinners said on the first Wednesday at S. Giacomo in Augusta, Mass of reparation for the insults offered to the Blessed Sacrament, Mass in the morning and Benediction in the evening with prayers for the conversion of England, supplications for the reunion of Christendom, English sermon on the first Friday at S. Giorgio e santi Inglesi.
(2) Extraordinary devotions.—Sermon two hours before the Angelus on all feasts of Christ and of Our Lady at S. Alfonso on the Esquiline; at S. Andrea delle Fratte Way of the Cross on all Sundays of February, March, November, and December, and on the eight days of Carnival; at S. Agnese Outside the Walls Exposition on all Sundays and Holy Days at two hours before the Angelus, with chaplet of the Five Wounds during Lent; at S. Andrea at the Ponte Milvio a Mass is said on all Sundays and Holy Days for the deceased members, two hours before the Angelus; Office of the Dead, absolution given in the adjoining cemetery, then Benediction in church after the recitation of a litany. On Septuagesima Sunday at S. Filippo on the Via Giulia Exposition all day, closing with litany and Benediction. On the Saturday before Sexagesima some churches perform a pious exercise called Carnivale santificato. On the Friday after Sexagesima and on the Fridays of Lent, in nearly all churches, the Way of the Cross is made or the Via Dolorosa. Lenten sermons are preached on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Lenten preachers are received in audience by the pope. For the Apostolic Palace a special preacher is appointed. On Lmtare Sunday the Holy Father blesses the Golden Rose, which he then sends to persons of rank, to cities, or corporations as a token of gratitude; on this Sunday also begin the catechetical instructions prescribed by Benedict XIV as a preparation for Easter. The Holy Week exercises are performed in all the parish churches, and additional devotions are held in many, as the washing of the papal altar at St. Peter’s on Maundy Thursday, sermons on the Passion, Way of the Cross or of the Desolata, or honoring the Hours of the Agony. The Ruthenian Rite is used for the functions of Holy Week at SS. Sergio e Bacco, the Armenian Rite at S. Nicola da Tolentino on January 1. At S. Andrea della Valle the Veni Creator is sung after Mass and the baptismal vows are renewed; at S. Maria in Campitelli the faithful consecrate themselves to the patron chosen for the year; at S. Carlo a Catinari the spiritual testament of St. Charles Borromeo is read on January 5. At S. Atanasio water is blessed in the Greek Rite and at S. Andrea della Valle and at other churches in the Latin Rite. This water the pious faithful take home to sprinkle the sick, their houses, fields, vineyards, and themselves. The 6th of January is the titular feast of the Propaganda; Mass is celebrated in the Oriental Rites, and sermons are preached in the different languages. On February 3 takes place the blessing of throats with a relic of St. Blaise, and in the churches of the Blessed Virgin the pious custom obtains, throughout the year, of anointing the throats with blessed oil. On December 31, in nearly all the churches and oratories, the year is closed with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Te Deum. Formerly greater solemnity was imparted to some feasts by the presence of the Holy Father, who would celebrate the Mass or Vespers, or would assist at them pontifically in one of the greater basilicas and impart the Apostolic blessing to the world from the outer loggia. The Diario mentions some twenty days on which such a cappella papale, as it was called, used to take place before 1870. For the year 1908 only two are noted: for July 20, the anniversary of the death of Leo XIII, and for August 9, the anniversary of the coronation of the reigning pontiff, Pius X.
The special feasts of the churches are ushered in by preparatory triduums, novenas, or devotions of seven or of eight days, on which pious exercises are performed in common and Benediction is given; entire months are dedicated to saints or mysteries—as the month of St. Joseph, the month of Mary, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of the Precious Blood, of the Sacred Heart of Mary, of the Seven Dolors, of the Rosary, and of the Dead. Holy Communion for a series of fixed days of the week, together with special prayers, is much in use. We read in the Diario of six Sundays of St. Aloysius, seven of St. Camillus, nine of St. Cajetan, ten of St. Ignatius, fifteen of the Rosary; nine Mondays of the Archangel St. Gabriel; nine Tuesdays of St. Anne, and thirteen of St. Anthony of Padua; seven Wednesdays of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; seven Fridays of the Seven Dolors; seven of St. Juliana Falconieri, nine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, ten of St. Francis Xavier, thirteen of St. Francis of Paul, thirteen of St. Onuphrius; five Saturdays of the Name of Mary, twelve of the Immaculate Conception, fifteen of the Holy Rosary.
To encourage the faithful in the frequent reception of the sacraments, in visiting the churches, venerating the Blessed Sacrament or the relics of the saints, and in performing other acts of devotion, the Church has opened wide her treasure and granted almost innumerable Indulgences. Of special note is the toties quo-ties Indulgence. The Vatican Basilica has this Indulgence for every day of the year; the church of S. Andrea delle Fratte on the feast of St. Francis of Paul (May 3); the churches of the Trinitarians on Trinity Sunday; SS. Cuore at the Castro Pretorio on the feast of the Sacred Heart; the churches of the Carmelites on July 16; in several churches the Indulgence of Portiuncula on August 2; the churches of the Servites on the feast of the Seven Dolors in September; where the Confraternity of the Rosary is canonically established, on Rosary Sunday; in several churches on the feast of the Holy Redeemer; in the Benedictine churches on November 2. Only lately (February 20,1908) the Holy Father has granted a toties quoties Indulgence to the pious practice of the Scala Santa (Acta S. Sedis, XLI, 294). Spiritual retreats are given for men twice a year at the Caravita, and once for women; for both sexes at the Crociferi, and a special one preparatory to Easter, for both sexes, at SS. Vincenzo e Anastasio.