When should the Cure of Ars be celebrated?
Many traditionalists are uneasy about any rapprochement between the EF and the OF. Their suspicions are understandable. There has been a surfeit of ill-advised tinkering. People feel wounded. But a semi-unified Calendar would be of inestimable benefit from the point of view of the celebration of Patronal Festivals and Name Days et cetera. I say semi-unified, because there are some things, such as Christ the King, where the teaching given in the EF is so different from that in the OF that the distinction should be maintained. Vivat Christus Rex. And no sane person wishes to give up Stir Up Sunday!
But why should traditionalists be at all prepared to give up the immemorially ancient days on which saints are celebrated? To the barricades! Marchons!! But ... calm down, dear.The point here is that some of the dates in the 1962 Calendar are not ancient at all; they are extremely recent; they date from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Can it really be set in stone by 'Tradition' that a Saint must be observed on a particular day because it says so in 1962, when both 1950 and 1970 might agree in having him/her on the same day as each other, a day which differs from the 1962 date? And, if we love reading Quo primum and feel uneasy about any changes to what S Pius V put in place 'for ever', how can we possibly, logically, have rooted objections to going back to a date which the Missal of S Pius V prescribes?
Many of us use the St Lawrence Press Ordo [giving things as they were at the start of the pontificate of Pius XII], at least to the extent of keeping an eye on the rather more ancient dispositions which held sway before the start of the Bugnini era. This is an important thing to do if one is interested in the present state of the Roman Rite and how we have got to where we are. Get one, if you haven't already done so!
Causes of instability have in the past included: a fashion for moving feasts off Vigils and Octave days, so that they are not cluttered; a silly OF fetich for never observing two saints on the same day by means of the ancient system known as 'commemoration'; and a (laudable) bias for observing a Saint on his/her natale, 'heavenly birthday' (i.e. anniversary of earthly death).
Anybody who wants to do their own research on this could, for starters, have a look at the travels of S Hilary and S Irenaeus.
But back to the Cure of Ars. He first entered the Calendar on August 9. But early in the Bugnini era, he was shifted back to August 8 so that he would not be in collision with the Vigil of S Laurence. Then the OF Calendar put him back to his natale, August 4. But there he would have been in conflict with S Dominic. So S Dominic was shifted to his natale on August 6 ... er ... oops ... no he wasn't, because that would have left him arguing things out with the Transfiguration. So S Dominic went to the day after August 6, where he lived happily for ever after. Except that he didn't, because after a year or two, August 7 itself came under pressure. You see, S Xystus (the Pope whom S Laurence served and who was martyred a few days before him) needed a home which would not leave him hanging around on Transfiguration day ... and there was also the question of S Cajetan ... so S Xystus was budged forward to August 7, meaning that S Dominic went on his travels yet again, to August 8.
In my view, this sort of thing, with Saints endlessly peripatetic, is plain wrong.
A modest reconsideration of the Calendar, in my view, should be undertaken. One of its principles should be that where (1) S Pius V, (2) 1950 (pre-Bugnini), and (3) 1969 (Novus Ordo), or two of these three, are in agreement against 1962, this concord should stand. There's nothing magical about the books of 1962, which, in the view of many of us, have serious flaws.
Another consideration might be that, other things being equal, a date which also had the support of a Byzantine date would be preferred.
The revision should not be rigid. There might remain many days when OF and EF were out of sync.. But it would be better than the present situation where both OF and EF are in a mess.
I sha'n't enable comments which give me the impression of blustering without the author actually having read what I have written.