Friday, August 31, 2012

Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum et lumen semitis meis

Psalm 119, verse 105
From The Psalter of Henry VIII
c 1540 - 1
Royal MS 2 a xvi  f 150v
The British Library, London

Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum et lumen semitis meis
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path 
Psalm 119, verse 105
Cardinal Carlo Maria  Martini who died today aged 85 was one of the great Catholic leaders of his generation.

A great Biblical scholar he requested that the above verse be his epitaph on his tombstone:
"Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum et lumen semitis meis"

Henry Purcell: memorably put these verses to music: Thy Word is a lantern unto my feet, Z61

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of Dei Verbum by the Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict XVI explained the importance of the Declaration on Scripture 

"The Church knows well that Christ lives in the Sacred Scriptures. For this very reason - as the Constitution stresses - she has always venerated the divine Scriptures in the same way as she venerates the Body of the Lord (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 21).  
In view of this, St Jerome, cited by the conciliar Document, said that ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 25).  
The Church and the Word of God are inseparably linked. The Church lives on the Word of God and the Word of God echoes through the Church, in her teaching and throughout her life (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 8)."