Ca. 470 Mamertus* organized litanies in the Ascension season; the immediate reason may have been an earthquake, pestilence, or barbarian invasion. Rogation days are now observed by RCs and many Prots. on the 3 days before the Festival of the Ascension (see Church Year, 9) and in RCm on April 25, the Feast of St. Mark, though neither the origin nor the theme of the rogation observance has anything to do with him. The Sunday before Ascension Day is called Rogate (after the Rogation days in that week) or Vocem iucunditatis (after the 1st words of the Introit in Lat.); but Rogate is a festival in its own right, not a penitential day; the fact that its propers lend themselves to the rogation theme is coincidental; the character of the rogation days is in traditional practice not made retroactive to Rogate. See also Tempus clausum.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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