An Old Document in a New Frame
All that We Have: The Stations of the Cross of Saint Andrew’s, Part 1
Published on November 2-3, 2013 in the Parish Bulletin of Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY
Right next to the processional cross in the northwestern corner of the Church is a delicate nineteenth century document in a new white frame. It is a record of the blessing and erection of the first Stations of the Cross at the old white clapboard Church of Saint Andrew’s on Chiles Street. That Church was built and consecrated in 1893; the Stations were erected four years later, in 1897.
The manuscript itself is a form that had been provided by the Chancery of what was then Diocese of Louisville. It is composed of three parts: first, the priest’s request to the Bishop for the faculty (which was reserved to the Order of Friars Minor) to bless and erect the Stations of the Cross; second, the Bishop’s delegation of this faculty to the said priest; third, the priest’s testimony of the formal erection of the Stations at the Church.
This form, now yellow and brittle, was signed by the Rev. Cyrin Thomas (1853-1917), a former monk of Saint Meinrad who, after leaving the abbey, served as the pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Danville from 1895 to 1897. According to the 1897 Hoffman’s Catholic Directory and Almanac, he was entrusted also with the care of the following missions: Saint Andrew in Harrodsburg, Saint Patrick in Junction City, Saint James (now Saint Lawrence) in Lawrenceburg, Saint Francis of Assisi in New Austria, Saint Sylvester in Ottenheim, and Saint Mildred in Somerset. The missions in Junction City and New Austria have since been closed; the rest have been elevated as parishes.
The first part of the document reads as follows in Latin:
(Nomen Loci vel P.O.) Danville (Datum) die 20 Martii 1897
Reverendissime in Christo Pater!
Infrascriptus Orator Rev. Cyrinus Thomas humillime petit, ut Amplitudo Vestra facultatem sibi impertiri velit S. Viae Crucis Stationes benedicendi et erigendi cum Indulgentiis et privilegiis adnexis in ecclesia Sti. Andreae in oppido Harrodsburg ubi Patres Franciscales non sunt.
Pro qua gratia etc.
Amplitudinis Vestrae, humillimus in Cristo servus,
The English translation of the original Latin text above is as follows:
(Name of Place or Post Office) Danville (Date) the 20th day of March 1897
Most Reverend Father in Christ!
The undersigned lowly petitioner Reverend Cyrin Thomas requests that Your Greatness would deign to bestow upon him the faculty to bless and erect the Holy Stations of the Way of the Cross with the annexed Indulgences and privileges in the Church of Saint Andrew in the town of Harrodsburg where the Franciscan Fathers are not present.
For this favor and others
[I am] The lowly servant in Christ of Your Greatness,