Rorate Caeli

Tears of Faith and Love: Happy 25th Anniversary, FSSP!

Come sorrowing tears, the offspring of my grief,
Scant not your parent of a needful aid;
In you I rest the hope of wish'd relief,
By you my sinful debts must be defray'd:
Your power prevails, your sacrifice is grateful,
By love obtaining life to men most hateful.

If love, if loss, if fault, if spotted fame,
If danger, death, if wrath, or wreck of weal,
Entitle eyes true heirs to earned blame,
That due remorse in such events conceal:
That want of tears might well enrol my name,
As chiefest saint in kalendar of shame.

At Sorrow's door I knock'd, they craved my name:
I answer'd, one unworthy to be known.
What one? say they. One worthiest of blame.
But who? a wretch, not God's, nor yet his own.
A man? Oh no! a beast; much worse. What creature?
A rock. How call'd? the rock of scandal, Peter!

With mildness, Jesu, measure mine offence;
Let true remorse Thy due revenge abate;
Let tears appease when trespass doth increase;
Let pity temper Thy deserved hate;
Let grace forgive, let love forget my fall:
With fear I crave, with hope I humbly call.

Redeem my lapse with ransom of Thy love,
Traverse th'indictment, rigour's doom suspend;
Let frailty favour, sorrows succour move,
Be Thou Thyself, though changeling I offend.
Tender my suit, cleanse this denied den,
Cancel my debts, sweet Jesu, say Amen!
Saint Robert Southwell
St. Peter's Complaint


The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter proudly display as their symbol not emblems of glory, but tears of heartfelt shame, the tears of their heavenly Patron. As with Peter, the early tears of uncertainty became assurances of triumph - not for the earthly honor of their members, but for Our Lord Jesus Christ and the undying heritage of the Church of Rome, founded upon the blood of Simon son of John.

Congratulations to the Fraternity on this their 25th Anniversary of foundation - and a wish of many more decades of fidelity to the Roman See and her doctrine and steadfastness, under the protection of God and of the redeemed tears of Saint Peter.