Rorate Caeli

The 1962 Missal is now the Missal of Saint John XXIII
And a Venetian tale

Or... "Making Glasses Look Half-full"...

The Easter of 1953 was the first that Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli spent in Venice. Following the singing of Vespers and the Eucharistic Benediction, the Patriarch thought there would be nothing else [in the ceremonies].

Instead, the choir of seminarians intoned the Litany of Loreto in the fascinating rhythm of the patriarchal melodies.

It seemed that the angels and the saints, looking down from the mosaics of the golden dome, rose up in joyous jubilation. The Cardinal asked his assistant (old Canon Francesco Silvestrelli): "What is this?"

The Canon responds, "Eminenza, andemo a l'altar de la Nicopeia a ralegrarse con la siora Mare, perchè so Fio xe ressusità!" (Eminence, we are going to the altar of the Nicopeia [the highly venerated icon of Our Lady in Saint Mark's] to celebrate with the Lady Mother, because her Son is risen!)

That pious custom, followed by the faithful with intense fervor, moved Cardinal Roncalli to tears.

Having become afterwards John XXIII, he cherished the nostalgic memory, until the end of his life, of that melodious chant and of that delightful function in honor of the Madonna on Easter day.

He loved to recount his deep impressions from that Easter, and he repeated: "Let us go celebrate with the Madonna:... because Her Son is risen!"

[Source: Benedictine Monastery of Praglia, via Messa in Latino]