VoL. CXL, No. 2 Fesruary, 1959


Is Our Veneration of Our Lady “Mariolatry”? Francis J. Connell, C.SS.R. 73

The Last Supper: Thursday or Tuesday? Part I. Robert F. McDonald, S.J. 79

The Priestly Aspects of Christian Parenthood Edgar Schmiedler, O.S.B. 93

The New Testament Designation of the True Church as God’s Temple Joseph Clifford Fenton 103

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS John P. McCormick, S.S., and Francis J. Connell, C.SS.R.

Ornamentation of Chasuble Advent Antiphons Blessing of Ashes at Evening Mass

Vernacular Problem

(Contents Continued on Next Page)

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One of the most frequent objections made by non-Catholics against the Catholic Church is the charge that Catholics in prac- tice are guilty of “Mariolatry.” They say that our devotion to Mary is excessive, that we give her the honor that is due only to God by ascribing to her a power and dignity that are actually divine. We attribute our salvation to her rather than to Jesus Christ, they claim. These charges seem to have increased in fre- quency and in vehemence since Pope Pius XII solemnly defined the doctrine of Mary’s Assumption.

The first reaction of many Catholics to such objections is to show resentment, to accuse those who present them with bigotry or ignorance, and to dismiss their arguments with a brief and vigorous reply which often is in no wise an adequate explanation of the topic involved.

To my mind, this is an incorrect—and often uncharitable—way of acting. It is true, some of those who bring up these objections are prejudiced and bigoted; but I believe that many others who question Catholics about their devotion to the Blessed Virgin are sincerely disturbed about the way in which some Catholics speak and act in relation to the Mother of God. They are not actually ignorant or bigoted, but are honestly seeking enlightenment about our attitude toward Mary. And they have a right to an answer which will be clear and exact and which will correctly explain the matter to anyone who is honest and intelligent.

In the first place, let us admit without hesitation that there are some Catholics whose manner of devotion toward Our Lady is not in accordance with sound Catholic teaching and practice, and can justly be said to be exaggerated and excessive. I have seen Catholics enter a church and go directly to the altar of Our Lady without any recognition of the Blessed Sacrament ; and when their devotions to Mary were ended they left the church without making even a genuflection toward the tabernacle. Doubtless it was to rectify such an unfortunate custom that the Holy See, in 1923, granted an indulgence to those who, on entering a church, proceed at once



to the altar of the Blessed Sacrament and make even a brief adoration there.1 In Europe I have seen churches in which the altar of Mary was ablaze with light and adorned with fragrant flowers, while the altar of the Blessed Sacrament, hidden in some obscure corner, had no other adornment than a sanctuary light and a tabernacle veil. There were many persons kneeling before the former, very few before the latter.

Surely, this is not right, nor is it consistent with our repeated statements that honor is due in the first place to God, that He alone is worthy of Jatria while Our Lady receives only hyperdulia, that her place in the economy of salvation is to lead us to God, etc. And it can easily happen that sincere non-Catholics, seeing the emphasis that the practices we have described put on devotion to Mary to the apparent neglect of the adoration that we owe to God, could be scandalized and could be deterred from further investigation of the Catholic faith.

Moreover, I believe that when priests are publicly speaking about Our Lady they should refrain from statements which, though they can be interpreted correctly and may even be found in reputable theological manuals, are very likely to be misunderstood by the hearers, who will accordingly conceive a false notion about the Catholic teaching on Our Lady. For example, the expression “We can never praise Mary too highly” (which I believe is the sense of De Maria nunquam satis) might be taken literally and the con- clusion drawn that we can ascribe infinite power and dignity to the Mother of God—though this axiom is perfectly true in the sense that we can never fully comprehend and express the greatness of Mary’s grace and glory. Again, there is an axiom that is found in some theology textbooks, “What God can do by His command, thou, O Virgin canst do by thy prayer” (Quod Deus imperio, tu prece, Virgo, potes). This axiom might lead some to conclude that according to Catholic teaching Mary is equal to God—the very charge which non-Catholics are constantly making and which we are constantly denying.

However, the fact that some Catholics practice an exaggerated devotion to Our Lady and the fact that expressions are some- times used in reference to her which may be misunderstood should

1 Raccolta, n. 147.


not deter Catholics, both priests and people, from cultivating toward Mary a devotion that is fully in accord with the teaching of the Church, despite the attacks and the ridicule of some non- Catholics. On the contrary, these circumstances make it all the more necessary that Catholics should have a clear and adequate understanding of the basis of the honor the Church renders to Mary, so that their own devotional practices will be properly regu- lated and they will be enabled to give a correct explanation of the Catholic attitude toward Our Lady to non-Catholics who question them on this matter.

It is difficult to see how anyone who admits the fundamental Christian doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ can fail to admit the reasonableness of the honor paid to Mary by the Catholic Church. Sincere non-Catholics who do not grant the force of tradi- tion or the infallible teaching authority of the Church will not concede some of the privileges ascribed to Mary by Catholics as proved facts, but at least they should admit that Catholic doctrine and practice in respect to the Blessed Virgin are not absurd or derogatory to the adoration due to God, but on the contrary are quite reasonable and consistent with Christian principles. Of course, this supposes that the Catholic attitude toward Mary is explained to these persons exactly and adequately. And this means that priests must themselves be fully familiar with the Church’s teaching on Our Lady and must make it the matter of frequent instruction to their people.

Mary is truly the Mother of God. That is the fundamental reason for the great honor we give her. For if God conferred on her this dignity, far superior to any privilege given to men or angels, why should we not honor her as the most exalted of creatures? At the same time, we may not forget that she is a mere creature and that there is an infinity between her excellence and that of God. Actually, whenever we honor her our intention is to extend that honor to Him who gratuitously chose her for the high office of Mother of God. To neglect the adoration due to her Son through exaggerated esteem for her would be entirely contrary to the true Catholic attitude. Our devotion should never stop with her but should be a stepping-stone to the worship and love of her Divine Son—per Mariam ad Jesum. This has been magnificently illustrated at Lourdes during the past century. The prayers and processions


that Mary sought from Bernadette are nowadays mainly those that honor Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. This does not mean less veneration of Our Lady; but it means more adoration of her Son.

When priests explain the doctrine of the divine maternity, it is vitally important that they point out the significance of the word “God” in the title “Mother of God.” I believe that there is much misunderstanding of this title on the part of non-Catholics, which is the basis of their refusal to call Mary the Mother of God. They think that in giving this title to Mary we attribute to her a real motherhood of the Godhead in its Trinity—the three Divine Persons possessing the divine nature from all eternity. Of course, such an interpretation is utterly absurd—heretical, as far as Cath- olic faith is concerned. The word “God” in Mary’s most glorious title signifies only one of the three divine Persons, and not accord- ing to the divine nature which He possesses in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost, but according to the created human nature which He alone assumed at the Incarnation. In the words of St. Thomas: “The Blessed Virgin is called the Mother of God, not because she is the mother of the divinity, but because she is the mother of a person possessing divinity and humanity and is mother according to the humanity . . . The name ‘God,’ although it is com- mon to the three persons, nevertheless sometimes signifies only the person of the Father, sometimes only the person of the Son or of the Holy Ghost. Thus, when we say: “The Blessed Virgin is the Mother of God’ this name ‘God’ signifies only the person of the Son Incarnate.’”?

It is just as correct to say that Mary is the Mother of God as it is to say that God walked the streets of Palestine and God died on the cross. It is difficult to see how any intelligent non-Catholic can deny the logic of this conclusion—at least, if he believes that Jesus Christ is a divine Person. And once this is admitted, it is easy to perceive why Mary is worthy of great honor as the most highly favored of all creatures. And it should also be easy to realize that it was most fitting (even abstracting from revelation and the teaching of the Church) that God should bestow on her extraor- dinary privileges, such as the Immaculate Conception and the bodily Assumption.

2 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologica, II, q. 35, a. 4, ad 2, 3.


This is the basic reason for the veneration which Catholics give to Mary, because she is truly the Mother of God—a doctrine solemnly defined by the Church in the Council of Ephesus in 431. It is good for Protestants to know that the title “Mother of God” (Oeordxos) was in use among Christians in the third century —thirteen centuries before Protestantism began. But there is another reason for the devotion of Catholics to Mary, particularly for their custom of praying to her in all their needs. It is based on the undeniable fact that Mary participated in the work of man’s redemption. She freely accepted the function of Mother of the Redeemer,? she protected her Son from the murderous designs of Herod,* she induced Him to perform the first of the miracles by which He proved His divine mission,®5 she accompanied Him to Calvary and stood beneath the cross as He died in agony.® Certainly, it is most reasonable to infer that this holy woman whole- heartedly consented to all that the divine plan of redemption demanded of her Son and united her prayers and sufferings to His for the salvation of the human race. And if she took so important a part in the acquisition of graces for the salvation of mankind, is it not reasonable to conclude that she is granted by the Almighty some participation in the distribution of those graces to individual souls from her exalted place in heaven? Indeed, is it not very logical to infer that she has some share in the distribution of every supernatural grace granted to men, since she had a share in the gaining of every grace—in other words, that she is the Mediatress of all graces?

This is not, indeed, an article of Catholic faith, though it is com- monly accepted by Catholics; and many theologians (including myself) believe that it is contained implicitly in the deposit of divine revelation and could be defined by the Church. However, at present the non-Catholic who denies it is not rejecting a solemn teaching of the Church, as does one who denies that Mary is truly the Mother of God. Of course, Mary’s mediatorship does not mean that she has the power to confer supernatural grace herself. For supernatural grace is a participation in the nature of God Himself, and hence can be conferred directly only by God as the principal cause, through an operation of the divine nature. Mary obtains

3 Luke, 1: 38. 5 John, 2: 4. 4 Matth., 2:14. 6 John, 19: 25.


graces for us only by her prayers. Her mediatorship is not deroga- tory to the unique mediatorship of Jesus Christ; for her power to obtain graces for human beings, like her sanctity, depends entirely on the merits of her Divine Son. All these truths are contained in the doctrine of Mary’s mediatorship, and should be explained clearly to Catholics by their priests. It is difficult to see how any unprejudiced person to whom this doctrine is properly explained can regard it as unreasonable or blasphemous or an example of “Mariolatry,” even though he does not admit it himself.

I wonder how many non-Catholics (and Catholics, for that mat- ter) realize that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as our Redeemer is really admitting a principle that enters essentially into the Catholic belief in the efficacy of Mary’s intercession. For the Christian belief in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ means that through the created humanity of Jesus Christ God willed to save mankind using that humanity as an instrument of divine power and mercy. Now, the Catholic practice of recourse to Mary’s inter- cession is based on the belief that through her, mere creature though she is, God wills to bestow graces on mankind, using her as an instrument subordinate to the instrumental causality of Jesus Christ. It is true, the humanity of Christ, hypostatically united to the Person of the Word, is infinitely superior to Mary. He alone could adequately merit and satisfy for the human race; her very power of prayer comes from His redemptive activity. Neverthe- less, the principle involved in both is the same—God has willed to sanctify and save men through created instruments. Those who say: “I will not seek graces through Mary because she is a creature” are completely inconsistent if, at the same time, they pray to Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, and acknowledge Him as their Saviour because of His suffering in human flesh.

All Catholics should be familiar with these Catholic principles and their practical application, for only then will they have a cor- rect understanding of Mary’s place in the economy of man’s redemption and of the way we should venerate her and ask her intercession, only then will they be able to refute the unjust charge that true Catholic devotion to Our Lady is “Mariolatry.”

Francis J. CONNELL, C.SS.R. The Catholic University of America Washington, D. C.



Until recently work on the problem of dating the Last Supper was pretty much concerned with an internal criticism of the text of the Gospels. While there has always been external testimony of one form or another to assist the work, it manifests the same state of confusion as the Gospel narratives themselves on this point. An example of this state of affairs can be found in the answers given this question: Did Our Lord eat a paschal meal before His death, or did He not? The synoptic Gospels seem to say He did, but how could He, when He died before the legal day for such a meal?! On the other hand, if Our Lord did not eat the paschal meal, then we are at a loss to explain the synoptic accounts. Some exegetes have settled for one horn of the dilemma, men like St. Hippolytus (ca. 222),? St. Peter Alexandrinus (ca. 300),° and Claudius Apollinaris of Hieropolis (ca. 161), who all said Our Lord did not eat a paschal meal, the Gospels notwithstanding. Others took the other horn, the author of the Didascalia,5 and St. Irenaeus (ca. 200), for example.* In 1954 Mlle. Annie Jaubert published an article saying, in effect, that you could escape injury, if you took both horns of the dilemma.’ Her paper presented a real breakthrough toward the solution of the problem: Our Lord cele- brated the Last Supper on Tuesday of Holy Week; it was a paschal meal, and on a day legally recognized for the celebration of the Pasch by an older calendar than the one in common use in Our Lord’s day.


In the following pages I shall explain how Mlle. Jaubert attempts to prove her claims, and I shall comment on different points as we

1 Matt. 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:8.

2F. Cabrol and H. Leclercq, Monumenta ecclesiae liturgica (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1901-2), I, 194*.

3 Tbid., I, 154. 4 PG, 92, 78. Chronicon paschale, 5.

5M. D. Gibson, Didascalia apostolorum (London: C. J. Clay, 1903).

6 Irenaeus, Contra haereses, Book II, c. 22 (PG, 7: 783).

7 Jaubert, “La date de la derniére céne,” Revue de Vhistoire des religions, 146 (1954), 140-173.



go along. But first, a few words about Mile. Jaubert herself. She is an assistant professor at the Sorbonne and a member of two scientific organizations, the Centre national de la recherche scienti- fique, and the Ecole biblique et archéologique francaise de Jéru- salem. She has a book coming out on the Last Supper which will probably deal more extensively with the problem covered in three articles she has published so far.* The first article established the biblical origins of the older calendar Our Lord must have used in celebrating the Pasch on Tuesday of Holy Week.® The second arti- cle was published in the Revue de l’histoire des religions for the following year, 1954. It is this article which concerns us here and



Before going into details, a brief sketch of Jaubert’s thesis wili be helpful. She compares the evidence for both the Tuesday tradi- tion and the present Thursday tradition for the celebration of the Last Supper. Both traditions seem to date back to the early second century, but there is this difference between them: the Thursday tradition is supported only by an interpretation of the Gospel texts, St. John for the most part, whereas the Tuesday tradition is sup- ported by sources independent of the Gospels, and these independent sources help us reconcile the apparent contradictions found in the Gospel accounts. The main independent sources for the Tuesday tradition are the Didascalia apostolorum and the old sacerdotal calendar contained in the apocryphal book of Jubilees or Little Genesis. It is Jaubert’s contention that Thursday is more of a deduction from the Gospels, than a real tradition.'°

8 The book has already appeared in France under the title: La date de la céne (Paris: Gabalda, 1957). It has been reviewed by the following: H. M. Feret, O.P., La maison-Dieu, 52 (1957), 141-6; John A. O’Flynn, “The Date of the Last Supper,” The Irish Theological Quarterly, 25 (1958), 58-63; Patrick W. Skehan, “The Date of the Last Supper,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 20 (1958), 192-9.

9 Jaubert, “Le calendrier des Jubilés et de la secte de Qumran. Ses origines bibliques,” Vetus Testamentum, 3 (1953), 250-64.

10 Jaubert, La date, p. 153. Wherever possible I shall try to give the cor- responding reference to Jaubert’s book of note 8 under the title of The Book to avoid confusion with the article of the same name. Here: The Book, p. 96.



At the outset Jaubert presents several passages from the Didascalia, commenting at length on three of them. She is using the edition of F. Nau, La didascalie, so the sections will be num- bered according to that edition. All the passages are from chapter twenty-one.!! This is the first passage:

... XIV, 5. After eating the Pasch, on Tuesday evening, we went to the Mount of Olives, and, during the night, they took Our Lord Jesus prisoner. 6. On the following day, that is on Wednesday, He was kept under guard at the house of the high priest, Caiphas; the very same day, the leaders of the people assembled and held council con- cerning Him. 7. On the next day, Thursday, they brought Him before the governor, Pilate, and they held Him under lock and key at the governor’s palace during the night. 8. On Friday morning, they brought many charges against Him in front of Pilate. They were unable to prove any of them to be true, but they produced false witnesses to testify against Him, and they demanded that Pilate put Him to death. 9. They crucified Him on that very day, Friday, and He suffered hang- ing on the cross for six hours.

A second passage apparently in Our Lord’s own words:

... XIV, 18... . You will fast for them (on behalf of the Jews) on Wednesday, because it is on Wednesday that they began to destroy their souls, when they arrested Me. 19. Tuesday night is really part of Wednesday, as it is written: It was evening, and it was morning, one day. So the evening belongs to the following day. 20. On Tuesday evening, I ate my Pasch with you, and, during the night, they took Me prisoner. . . . 21. Fast for them on Friday also, because on that day, they crucified Me... .

And a third passage of which Jaubert makes much as we shall see :

... XVII, 2. On the tenth day of the lunar month—which we com- pute as the faithful Hebrew does—[on the tenth day, again] which was Monday, the priests and elders of the people assembled and came together in the main hall of Caiphas the high priest: they held council for the purpose of seizing Jesus and killing Him, but they were fearful and said: “Not on a festival day, for fear that the people would become excited; because everyone thought highly of Him. .. .” (Judas tried

11 [bid., pp. 142-4; The Book, pp. 82-4.


to find an opportunity to betray Jesus into their hands.) ... 6. Be- cause of the great crowds of people (Jews), from every city and town, who went up to the Temple in order to celebrate the Pasch at Jeru- salem, the priests and the elders considered the situation carefully, and subsequently ordered that the feast be celebrated without delay, so that they could seize Him without causing a riot. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem offered sacrifice, and were busy eating their Paschal meal before the other people from outside the city had a chance to arrive, all because they the leaders had changed the days for the feast. For this reason they were accused by God (who said to them): You deceive yourselves in everything. 7. They celebrated the Pasch then, three days too soon, on the eleventh day of the lunar month, Tuesday; because they said: Everyone is falling into error following Him; now that we have the chance, let us seize Him, and when all the people finally arrive, let us put Him to death publicly, so that everyone will clearly see his mistake, and turn away from Him.


Jaubert considers the Didascalia to be a hodge-podge sort of document containing many disparate elements.!* It is an odd assort- ment of quotations from different sources, representing different traditions.1* To get down to details, the first two quotations clearly indicate Tuesday as the day of the Last Supper. The first gives a complete chronology of the events for the rest of the week, so that there can hardly be any room for error in mistaking the symbols used in the Syriac text to indicate the different days of the week. The second quotation represents for Jaubert an older tradi- tion than the others. It contains a reference to one of the oldest liturgical usages of the Jews, a preference for Wednesdays and Fridays as fast days to all the other days of the week.'* How old a tradition does the passage represent? We cannot say for certain. Nau considers the Didascalia to have been written in the early part of the third century, but there are indications that some of the material contained in it is as early as Clement of Rome in the first century.

12 [bid., p. 144; The Book, p. 84.

13 F, Nau, “Didascalie,” DTC, 4, 734-48.

14 Jaubert, La date, p. 145; The Book, p. 85. On p. 153 Jaubert cites the argumentation of K. Holl on this point; The Book, p. 92.

15F, Nau, DTC, 4, 741.


With reference to the third passage, Jaubert considers this to be simply a later effort on the part of the editor of the Didascalia to explain the Tuesday tradition. He makes no attempt to deny it, but he does not know the foundation for it, so he conjectures that the pharisees and priests decided to move up the date of the Pasch and kill Our Lord almost before the Jews from outside Jerusalem had a chance to arrive.1® In the light of subsequent argumentation which Jaubert presents to prove the Jews had every resaon to hold a full-scale trial, the efforts of the editor of the Didascalia to avoid this do seem rather unnecessary.1*7 However, this a priori argu- mentation is not the strongest point Jaubert makes against this difficult passage in the Didascalia. The calendar of the Jubilees, which she takes up later on, is the real basis for the Tuesday tradition.1®

Before going further with Mlle. Jaubert’s presentation, a few further remarks concerning the Didascalia would seem to be in order here to help us evaluate the document properly. It is an early description of the Church’s discipline originally written in Greek. What we have now is not the Greek original, but a number of translations of which the Syriac used by Jaubert is considered by some to be the most reliable. Without calling its historical value into question or attempting thereby to weaken Jaubert’s position, it seems only fair to state that the text of the Didascalia is not based on anything like the manuscript tradition of the Gospels. Mrs. Gibson makes use of only two manuscripts for the most part in her edition of the Didascalia.1° Furthermore, in the Ethiopic version of J. M. Harden,?° which seems to be a descendant of the Syriac and contains roughly the same material,?4 not only is there no mention of a Tuesday tradition, but there is definite mention of Thursday as the day of the Last Supper.?? Just what is the relation- ship of these two versions of the Didascalia? Which is really the more acceptable of the two? In the introduction to Harden’s edition an attempt has been made to bring some sort of order to all the

16 Jaubert, La date, p. 146; The Book, p. 86.

17 [bid., pp. 162-3; The Book, pp. 123 ff.

18 [bid., p. 155 ff.; The Book, pp. 13-75.

19 Gibson, op. cit., Part I, Introduction, p. v.

20 J. M. Harden, The Ethiopic Didascalia (London: Macmillan, 1920). 21 [bid., Introduction, p. xv. 22 Tbid., p. 124.


documents which go by the name of Didascalia, but it is only too clear that much remains to be done in this area.”* It does not seem possible, therefore, to say which version is preferable. From Mlle. Jaubert’s point of view though, the Ethiopic version is an incon- venient thing to have around.

Besides these remarks on the level of textual criticism, it might be admissible to make one observation on the authenticity of the Didascalia. Mrs. Gisbon goes along with the opinion of de Lagarde and others that the Didascalia was written by one or other member of an heretical sect called the Audeans.** Mile. Jaubert would seem to go along with this opinion, too, since it is contained in the intro- duction to her (Nau’s) edition of the Didascalia in a quotation from Epiphanius (ca. 400).2° While it cannot be denied that Epiphanius treats of the Didascalia in connection with the Audeans and recognizes their knowledge of the document, nevertheless it seems that he questions this Audean provenience in one place in his works:

. .. The Audeans seek to strengthen their own position by drawing to it some of the authority behind the Apostolic Constitution. Although some people consider this book not to be trustworthy, it should not be discredited. Everything that has to do with Church discipline is con- tained in it. It has nothing in it contrary to the Catholic profession of faith, or contrary to the administrative decrees of the Church. But with reference to that passage from which they attempt to strengthen their own opinion concerning the Pasch, this is something which they misinterpret and in their ignorance they make it mean something it does not mean. . .76

Mrs. Gibson picks up the quotation from this point where it seems that Epiphanius attributes the Didascalia to the Apostles:

... for the Apostles define in that Constitution that ye reckon not, but observe (it) when your brethren from the circumcision do; do so together with them; and they did not say “when your brethren in the circumcision,” but “those from the circumcision,” that they might show

23 Ibid., Introduction, pp. vii-xxiii.

24 Gibson, op. cit., Introduction, p. v. On the Audeans cf. also DTC, I-2, 2266.

25 Ibid., p. v. Cf. also Jaubert, La date, p. 146; The Book, p. 87.

26 Epiphanius, Adversus haereses, lib. 3, tom. 1, Haeres 70 (PG, 42, 355).


that those who had come over into the Church from the circumcision were leaders after that time.27

However, granting for the sake of argument that the Didascalia does come from the Audean sect, what influence did this exert over the nature of the work itself? Does it make it more or less reliable? Was the control of this small, ostracized group over its environment and its productive work such that it could hand ‘on to us a critical document? Did they even intend to do so? It does not seem possible to answer these questions at the moment, but at least they seem to merit consideration and comment, especially so when one wishes to base a theory on the validity of the Didascalia.

To sum up then on this point in Mlle. Jaubert’s thesis: it is clear that the Syriac version of the Didascalia does support the Tuesday tradition for the Last Supper and that this tradition dates from the second century. Jaubert also recognizes the nature of the docu- ment as being one of uneven quality. My observations on the mat- ter have been prompted by the feeling that she has not presented an evaluation of the Didascalia which is satisfying on all points.

In connection with the Didascalia Jaubert cites the corroborative, though not independent, testimony of Epiphanius, the bishop of Salamis (ca. 400). We have remarked on this already, and it seems necessary now only to notice the conclusion Jaubert comes to here. She observes that one can judge from the implicit faith Epiphanius puts in the Didascalia that he must have had more to go on than just the literary tradition represented by the Didascalia itself.?® In other words, the Tuesday tradition must have been so commonly accepted that Epiphanius does not think it worth commenting on. He does not even consider calling it into question.


Before taking up the evidence for the Thursday tradition Jaubert brings up two further points.”® She first mentions the testimony of Victorinus of Pettau, bishop of Styria, who died in 304. Secondly, she considers the evidence of liturgical expressions that were in use during the first four centuries of Christianity.

27 Gibson, op. ctt., part II, Introduction, p. vii. 28 Jaubert, La date, p. 147; The Book, p. 89. 29 Tbid., pp. 148-9; The Book, p. 89 and p. 95.


The bishop of Styria wrote a small work called the De Fabrica Mundi. In it he makes a statement about Our Lord’s being taken prisoner on Tuesday of Holy Week. If one bears in mind the Jewish way of reckoning a day from six o’clock the evening before until six o’clock in the evening of the day itself,°° then it will become clear that Victorinus is speaking of Tuesday in the following:

. .- The Man, Christ Jesus, Author of those things we mentioned above, was seized by wicked men on the fourth day of the week. So because of His captivity of the fourth day, and on account of the great- ness of His works we fast until vespers of that day or extend it until the following day, it being a time salutary for mankind, rich with fruit, and without storm.%1

Jaubert holds Victorinus to be independent of the Didascalia.®* Hausleiter would seem to agree with her since he makes no men- tion of any such dependence in the prolegomena to his edition of the De Fabrica Mundi. Bardy takes Victorinus back to an Eastern origin and maintains that he was influenced by Origen and Hip- polytus, but he makes no mention of anything owed to the Didascalia.**

The only comment I wish to make concerning Victorinus is this: The De Fabrica Mundi is a highly allegorical work, at least in the section quoted above and referred to by Jaubert.** The author is trying to heap up arguments in praise of the number “four” and the “fourth” day of the week. Just how far can such a work be trusted? Are all the examples pressed into service of equal validity? Specifically, is this instance of Our Lord’s seizure on Tuesday night historically credible in the context of the rest of the document? It is hard to say, but it is a point for Mlle. Jaubert to look into.

In considering the evidence as presented to us by the liturgical formulae and books of the early Christian era, Jaubert remarks that nothing substantiating the Thursday tradition presents itself

30 Ibid., p. 143; The Book, p. 83. Cf. also Gen. 1: 5.

31 Victorini episcopi Petavionensis opera, edited by J. Haussleiter (Vindo- bonae, 1916), p. 4, #3 (CSEL, 49).

32 Jaubert, La date, p. 148; The Book, p. 89.

33 G. Bardy, “Victorin de Pettau,” DTC, XV-2, 2882-87.

34 Cf. also on this point Sr. Mary J. Suelzer, Julianus Pomerius (West- minster, Md.: Newman, 1947), p. 193, note 70.


until the second half of the fourth century.*5 Instead of the formula we have today in the Canon of the Mass: “Qui pridie quam patere- tur, accepit panem. . . ,” which obviously refers to the Thursday tradition, we keep running into the noncommittal phrase: “The night on which He was betrayed. . . .”8* Now this proves neither one way nor the other prima facie, but in the face of today’s formula and the strongly entrenched position of the Thursday tradition, it does seem to be a point in favor of the Tuesday tradition that nothing resembling our present usage existed in the primitive Church.

Jaubert certainly seems to be right in her observations concern- ing the liturgical formulae current in the primitive Church, but Cabrol and Leclercq quote a great number of expressions seem- ingly in favor of the legal calendar of Our Lord’s day, a calendar which is used in St. John’s Gospel and which is, as we shall see, behind the Thursday tradition.*7 Cabrol and Leclercq do not pre- tend to furnish us with a critical text of these liturgical expressions, and they are not an easy source of material to deal with, but in the absence of such a critical evaluation, I cannot see that they prove one way or the other at this moment. Perhaps that is all Mlle. Jaubert desires for now.


Having presented the testimony in favor of the Tuesday tradi- tion, the next point that Mlle. Jaubert takes up is the evidence for the Thursday tradition. She cites passages from St. Irenaeus (ca. 200), Apollinaris of Hieropolis (ca. 165), and Clement of Alex- andria (ca. 200). The important point to bear in mind is her insistence that their testimony amounts to nothing more than an interpretation of the Gospel accounts.*8

In his Adversus Haereses II, 22, St. Irenaeus writes as follows:

When He had raised Lazarus from the dead, and while the Pharisees were plotting to trap Him, He went away to the city of Ephrem: and

35 Jaubert, La date, p. 149.

36 E.g., I Cor. 11: 24.

87 Cabrol and Leclercq, op. cit., pp. 148 ff., and pp. 152 ff., but especially p. 195*.

38 Jaubert, La date, p. 153; The Book, p. 96.


from that place six days before the Pasch He came to Bethany, and from Bethany He went up to Jerusalem, ate the Pasch, and suffered on the following day.®®

The passage just quoted does bear out Jaubert’s position. It is a deduction from the Gospels. The first phrase italicized (ital- icizing my own) is from St. John’s Gospel, 12:1. The second phrase, although contained nowhere as such in the Gospel narra- tives of the Passion, resembles closely John 13: 1.*° We have already remarked in passing that St. John’s Gospel seems to be the basis for the Thursday tradition.*! Jaubert takes this up in detail later on.4?

Irenaeus does more than simply appeal to the Gospel of St. John. He cites the example of the predecessors of Pope St. Victor, going as far back as Sixtus (ca. 119). In a letter to Victor agreeing with him against Polycrates on the celebration of Easter and recorded for us by Eusebius, he speaks as follows (letter written ca. 198):

. . . Finally, he said, all the popes before the time of Soter, who ruled the Church as you do now, I mean Anicetus, Pius, Hyginus, Telesphorus and Sixtus, they and their followers disagreed with them [with Polycrates and his followers], and did not follow the same observance. Yet they were always at peace with the churches, which did follow this observance.**

The last citation does not immediately bear upon the question of the Last Supper, but it does support Jaubert’s position that the old sacerdotal calendar was used at Rome at a very early date.** The important characteristic of this calendar of Jubilees is that feast days fell on the same day every year, and this is what Pope St. Victor maintained against Polycrates with reference to Easter, that it was a fixed feast.

39 Trenaeus, op. cit., Book II, c. 22 (PG, 7, 783). Cf. also Jaubert, La date, p. 150; The Book, p. 96.

40F,. P. Dutripon, Concordantiae bibliorum sacrorum (Prati, 1861), pp. 1360-61 ; cf. “sequor.”

41 Cf. note 37 supra.

42 Jaubert, La date, pp. 157 ff.; The Book, pp. 109 ff.

43 Eusebius, Kirchengeschichte, Book V, c. 24, nos. 9-25 (GCS, IX, part 1, pp. 495-97). Cf. also Encyclopaedia Britannica (ed. 1951), XVII, 225, for the chronology of these popes.

44 Jaubert, La date, p. 170; The Book, p. 111.


The second witness Jaubert brings forward for the Thursday tradition is Claudius Apollinaris, bishop of Hieropolis in Phrygia about the year 165. In an obscure work of unknown origin called the Chronicon paschale he is quoted as follows:

. . . Some people, he says, stir up disagreements on the subject of the Pasch “because of their ignorance. They say that, on the fourteenth day [of the month], the Lord ate the [paschal] lamb with His disciples, and that He suffered on the great feast of the unleavened bread; they pretend that