Sunday, May 1, 2011

Quasimodo Sunday

So called for the first words of the Introit, " Quasi modo genitī infantēs…"  which starts out the verse: "As just born children (alleluiah) crave spiritual milk..." …" (1 Pet. 2:2), Quasimodo Sunday is also called:

*  Low Sunday -- for its contrast with Easter Sunday last week, the most important feastof the year -- and

*   in albis or White Sunday, in reference to the white robes worn by the newly Baptized Christians of the early Church in the week after their Easter Baptismal day.

Contrary to what some of my children who have been exposed to a certain Disney cartoon might think, the feastday was not named for a hunchback bell ringer, but rather, a hunchback bell ringer was named for the feastday.  In the famed Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the title character receives his name for the fact that he was discovered as a foundling at Notre Dame cathedral on Quasimodo Sunday.  If you're a Latin schoar, though, you may also note that the deformed character's name is also a pun, as the Latin words "quasi" and "modo" can also be translated as "almost" and "the standard measure."  Quasimodo can then be interpreted to mean "almost the standard measure" of a human person.  Poor Quasimodo.  A pathetic character in literature -- with more name recognition now than the original Catholic feastday. Poor world. 

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