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Carmelite Customs


graciandelamadrededios

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going back to something you mentioned a few posts up

 

Chiqui once mentioned to me that there is one Carmel in the USA with Spanish/Mexican customs whose veils were no longer sewn "shirred" or "gathered" type.  Instead, the pinned it like French Carmels does but retained the toque - spanish style - longer at the back.

 
that's Traverse City :like: http://carmeloftraversecity.org/
 

Traditional Customary of Carmel - Kissing the Scapular of the Mother Prioress:

 

kissing-the-scapular.jpg

 

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Laughing, how i would love to throw a monkey wrench into all of this just for fun!   In truth though whether one wears a cross outside the scapular or underneath it ,or still  practices penances tha

...and Chiqui, remember the photos I sent you via email? The Novice and Nun from a certain Carmel in the USA - head to foot view?  Their veils are positively more "gathered."  Too bad we cant post it here.

 

Oh yes, I remember. Yes, it did look a lot more gathered than other US Spanish Carmels.

 

I do seriously wonder if it was something St. Teresa wanted for humility's sake... to be different than the nuns at the Incarnation.. to just have it simply stitched/loosely around the forehead.. instead of cutting it so it would fit smoothly. and then it just became a custom to have that gathered look. It would be interesting to ask about this... not that it's extremely important, etc. 

 

I wonder about this with putting the scapular over the day veil too.. that she did that to be different, and maybe to look more eremitical... almost like the hoods the Desert Fathers might have worn, rather than always have like an elegant looking flowing veil that could become a source of vanity.

Edited by Chiquitunga
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PAPER OF EXACTIONS

OF THE

Discalced Carmelite Nuns

OF THE ORDER OF

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

taken from

the traditions of our Spanish Mothers and Foundresses.

 

In addition to a written Rule and Constitutions every Order has its traditions, which become the authentic interpretation of the Constitutions and set forth the Spirit of the Order in a vivid manner. The traditions of the Order, reformed and established by St. Teresa, have long since been committed to writing. They were drawn up by the first Spanish daughters of the Saint, who thus handed on in its detail and its fullness the daily life and spirit as they were established and nurtured by the Saint. They supplement the Constitutions and form an exact portraiture of a genuine Teresian Convent. These traditions or Exactions, as they have been called, have been sanctioned and recommended by authority every time they have been reprinted. This first English translation, which is a faithful rendering from an authentic copy, is hereby recognized, approved, and the usual Imprimatur is hereby given.

 

Archbishop's House of Westminster, Octave of the Assumption B. V.M., 1898.

 

Jesus + MARIA

The souls whom God calls to serve Him in our holy Order should understand that their first and principal obligation, as Carmelites, is to honor with a special care the most Blessed Virgin Mary, first in her supreme dignity of Mother of God, in all the privileges and grandeurs which flow from this dignity, and in the universal sovereignty which it gives her over heaven and earth: and secondly, in the excess of goodness and of humility which has induced this most Blessed Virgin to become the Mother and the Patron of this Order.

In order to fulfill this duty, each one will be careful to receive Holy Communion at least once a month in honor of our Blessed Lady, for the accomplishment of her designs upon earth, for the increase of her honor in the souls of men, and to obtain from her that each member of her Order may love, honor, serve, and belong to her, to the full extent of the merciful designs of her Divine Son and of her own desires for each.

Secondly, they should have ever present the end for which our holy Mother Saint Teresa instituted our Reform. She did so that we might by prayer, zeal, and holiness of life employ ourselves con­tinually in the service of Jesus Christ, and of His Church in all her needs.

They are also strictly obliged to pray for their own Monastery and for all the other Monasteries of the Order; for those who direct and those who assist them.

In the third place, they must remember that, in this Order, we make profession not only of being Nuns but also of being Hermits, after the example of the ancient Fathers of the desert, in so far as this is possible living as we do in Community; this is what our holy Mother expressly tells us in the Way of Perfection and elsewhere; she teaches us that what Carmelites should always desire is to be alone with God alone, that in this solitude they may enjoy their Divine Spouse, Who has led them hither in order to speak to their hearts, as He Himself says; and in her other works this great Saint never wearies of exhorting her daughters to this retired and solitary life occupied with God alone.                    

 

For the morning.

When the sisters awake they will be careful to offer their first thought to God by an act of adora­tion, giving and offering themselves to the Most Holy Trinity as to their first principle and last end.

As soon as they hear the signal for rising,” as if they heard the voice of God saying to them," You have rested enough," they must rise promptly and kneeling on their bed, make the sign of the cross and then put on their cotte saying: my God I awake at dawn of day to think of Thee, to love Thee, to serve Thee and to fulfill in all things Thy Holy Will. They must then get up with courage, calling to mind the great love with which the Son of God came from the bosom of His Father at the moment of His Incarnation to descend upon this earth subjecting himself to all our miseries.

 As soon as they are up, they should prostrate themselves to adore God and to render homage to His Sovereign Majesty; they should also ask for the blessing of our Lord and of His Holy Mother, beseeching them for grace to honor them during the day; this must be done in the space of a Pater         Noster. Then they must dress quickly and with a great desire to go to converse with God in prayer. Each one should strive to be one of the first to reach the Choir to receive the blessing of the Guardian Angel of the Community. On coming into Choir they should make the three Acts of Religion; they can then say their morning prayers, or anything else according to their devotion.

When the Angelus bell has been rung, the Vent Sancte Spiritus is said in Choir and after the collects the Sanctissima that we may give ourselves to the Blessed Virgin, and through her to her Divine Son.  According to the recommendation of our ancient Mothers, in order to draw full fruit from this hour of prayer, we should say the Veni Sancte Spiritus and the Sanctissima with much devotion, and afterwards be careful not to make any noise which might in any way distract those who are near to us. At the end of the hour of prayer 'the Sub tuum, versicle and collects are said as marked in the Ceremonial.

If any sisters leave the Choir between the two bells, they may begin to do their cells; but they must return punctually to the Choir as soon as they hear the bell begin to toll, in order to be present at the beginning of Prime. The sign for beginning the Hours is given immediately after the last stroke of the bell.  At the end of the Hours, each one will visit the hermitage of our Lady to offer herself to her from the early morning and to implore her protection upon all the actions of the day.  Each sister should visit two Hermitages every day; on Sundays and Feasts all the Hermitages may be visited according to each one's devotion.

 If a sister has anything to say to the Mother Prioress, or a novice to her Mistress, she should try to do so before Mass, so as to avoid having to speak during the Holy Sacrifice and in order to keep the silence which should be observed in Choir. On Communion days no one will fail to wash her hands again before Mass if she has touched any­thing dirty.            

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graciandelamadrededios

Oh yes, I remember. Yes, it did look a lot more gathered than other US Spanish Carmels.

 

I do seriously wonder if it was something St. Teresa wanted for humility's sake... to be different than the nuns at the Incarnation.. to just have it simply stitched/loosely around the forehead.. instead of cutting it so it would fit smoothly. and then it just became a custom to have that gathered look. It would be interesting to ask about this... not that it's extremely important, etc. 

 

I wonder about this with putting the scapular over the day veil too.. that she did that to be different, and maybe to look more eremitical... almost like the hoods the Desert Fathers might have worn, rather than always have like an elegant looking flowing veil that could become a source of vanity.

 

Gosh!  Remember the wooden cross outside the scapular?  We never really got an answer.

 

I am inclined to think the same.  Everything St. Teresa did was a "reaction" of her experience in Incarnation.  Hence she trimmed the veils and had chosen hemp sandals and woolen frieze.

 

Long time ago, I noticed the tucked veil under the scapular and it seriously look like a hood than a veil unless the Nun or Novice pinned the communion veil or enclosure veil.  I had the same thought - it looks a the hood of a hermit.

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One more post for now...This is not a real nun, but a sister of one :hehe: (read the posts on the bottom) http://peony78.blogspot.com/2009/10/st-therese-little-late.html  

 

Click on the first picture, and then open it in a new tab. You should be able to see it very large. You can see some gathering there :like:

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One day St. Teresa was coming down the steps of her convent when she saw a beautiful young boy.

 

The child spoke to her and said:

 

"Who are you?"

 

Teresa answered:

"I am Teresa of Jesus, who are you?"

 

The child answered:

 

"I am Jesus of Teresa."

 

 

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graciandelamadrededios

PAPER OF EXACTIONS

OF THE

Discalced Carmelite Nuns

OF THE ORDER OF

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

taken from

the traditions of our Spanish Mothers and Foundresses.

 

Modesty and religious behaviour.

 

The Religious Habit requires, of those who have the honor of wearing it, great modesty shining forth at all times and in all places, especially in Choir, in Chapter, in the Refectory, and in walking through the House.

 

The sisters should be careful to regulate and compose their movements to the best of their power, in honor of the outward bearing of Our Lord and of His Blessed Mother. They should hold themselves upright whether speaking or walking, taking care to walk as quietly as they can. They should be modest and recollected when going about the house, keeping their hands under their Scapular unless they have something to carry. They should avoid turning their head or raising their eyes to look at anything out of curiosity or levity; thus their mortification will show how watchful they are to keep themselves occupied with the thought of the Presence of God. Our Spanish Mothers used sometimes to raise the Scapular of the sisters whom they met, particularly of the Novices, to see if they were holding their Rosary.

 

They should let no hurry or precipitation be seen in their actions, accustoming themselves to walk at a measured pace, but without being too slow; taking care not to drag their feet, and to make so little noise in walking as not to be heard. Our first Spanish Mothers were most exact in this practice, and strongly recommended it; they used to say that a Carmelite should be seen before she is heard.

 

When the sisters are sitting in their cells or in their offices, although no one sees them, they should not lie down, nor hold themselves badly. They should not stretch out their feet; but let their attitude be always full of modesty, without any desire to make themselves too comfortable since we ought always to observe a religious mortifica­tion.

 

Whilst hearing a Sermon, whether in the Choir or in the parlor, still greater care should be taken to be seated in a religious manner, without moving more than can be helped and without turning one's head; bowing when the preacher addresses himself to the Community, and when he pronounces the holy names of Jesus and Mary, and that of our holy Mother St. Teresa. If anyone were asleep, the sister nearest to her should awake her; it has been thus ordained from time immemorial.

 

They should never complain of little discomforts, such as cold, heat, fatigue, or infirmities, nor of anything disagreeable and mortifying which they may meet with amongst the things given to them for food, clothing, and other necessaries of life. They should be careful not to wear anything that is not clean and in good order.

 

The Professed sisters should never be without their upper veil, excepting when sweeping or work­ing in the laundry. In a word the mortification of Jesus Christ should at all times regulate and hold in subjection all their senses and all their move­ments both interior and exterior, and this, in all places, and in all their occupations, even the most laborious.            

 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios
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graciandelamadrededios

PAPER OF EXACTIONS

OF THE

Discalced Carmelite Nuns

OF THE ORDER OF

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

taken from

the traditions of our Spanish Mothers and Foundresses.

 

 

OF THE CELLS.

 

We should keep our cell clean, taking care not to make ink spots or other stains. It is the abode of the Divine Spouse, and indeed we are there but for a short time and until it is given to another. Every day after the hours unless prevented by some other occupation we do our cell, we must not take more than seven or eight minutes for this in order to begin work as soon as we can. It is against holy poverty to employ more time than necessary for each occupation, our time belongs to then be clean but without exaggeration, for nature insinuates itself everywhere and everywhere it must be withstood.

 

We are allowed to have the following things in our cell:—A little stool, three engravings or prints, a plain wooden Cross, a Holy water stoup, a lamp, a broom, a duster, and the usual books, which are: The New Testament, the Psalter Latin and English, The Rule and Constitutions, the Paper of Exac­tions, The Imitation of Jesus Christ, a book for Spiritual reading, one for Meditation, and the Life of a Saint.

 

We usually sweep our cell twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, we can never dispense ourselves from sweeping on Saturday without a special permission. We must take up the dust and carry it away ourselves, we may only shake our duster in the dormitory passage if it has not yet been swept. From time to time we should ask leave to shake our blankets and to do our cell very thoroughly, but we ought not to choose a foggy or damp day for this. The Lay Sisters have permis­sion to do their cells after Prime.

 

During the day each sister should stay in her cell or office which she ought not to leave without necessity; the cell should be the home of a Carmelite; on this account we should in the morning recall to our memory what we may have to ask or to do during the day, in order to attend to it at the end of some Community hour. And we should even try to see to several things at that one time in order to make as few journeys as we can about the house. Those who help in the Offices should retire to their cells as soon as they are able to do so.

 

The window of the cell must not be open when the weather is damp or foggy. In winter when the weather is fine enough to leave it open we shut it at 4 o'clock. When we go to a Community hour, we must be careful to leave our window in such a way as that should it begin to rain no accident could happen to remedy which would oblige us to leave the Community. Neither must we let our door bang, but leave it so that if open it makes no noise. We must be accommo­dating to our neighbors, not making any noise ourselves and not complaining if others do so. Every Saturday we place our little stool near the door to receive the weekly packet of linen; we should return to the linen office any of which we are not in need.

 

When we want a sister who is in her cell or office, we must knock at the door; if after knocking twice she does not answer, we must go away without opening the door; but the sister should understand that she is obliged to answer Deo Gratias, and to open the door to see what is required of her.

 

If we leave our Choir cloak anywhere out of our cell during the night we lose a Communion; if on feast days we are still in the Choir when the bell for the Examen rings we may leave our cloak there even until Vespers if it is a day on which it is worn.

 

We should keep our lamp in good order and clean it one of the two days in the week fixed for sweeping. We must not draw the wick up too far as this is contrary to holy poverty. We cannot leave it burning during the night, nor use a candle in our cell after Matins without leave. We cannot use a candle for any purpose without special permission.             

 

 

 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios
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PAPER OF EXACTIONS

OF THE

Discalced Carmelite Nuns

OF THE ORDER OF

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

taken from

the traditions of our Spanish Mothers and Foundresses

 

of the respect

which we ought to have for our mother prioress 

and for all the sisters.

 

 

 We must have a deep respect both interior and exterior for our Mother Prioress, seeing in her person that of Jesus Christ and being as exact in doing what she ordains as if the Son of God himself commanded it, carrying out what she orders in general as if she were speaking specially to each one in particular.

 

We must speak in a low tone of voice in her presence, and be eager to do her service in every­thing of which we are capable. We must always speak to her kneeling, bend down before her when she reproves us for any fault, only rise when she gives the sign to do so, and never excuse our­selves. When we meet her in the house we draw aside at a distance of two or three steps and turning towards her, make a deep inclination as she passes. In the morning when she is not in Community, we ask her blessing. We should kiss her hand each time that we present anything to her or that she gives us something.

 

We rise when she enters the Choir, the Chapter, the Refectory, the Recreation, etc., etc., and we do not sit down again until she is seated herself. We ought not to take the liberty of asking any service of the Mother Prioress nor enter her cell to take a light nor take a light from her when we meet her in the house, should she wish to light our lamp we must receive this charity kneeling. We must never go into her cell with our habit hooked up nor with an apron, nor without a veil.

 

We must never listen to what the Mother Prioress may say in her cell or elsewhere; we must be careful as soon as she speaks to a sister to withdraw sufficiently to be unable to hear what is said and should we be unable to avoid hearing we should let her know. If we happen to be with her when other sisters come to speak to her, we should take no part in the conversation. When our Reverend Mother sends for us, we must not leave until she sends us away; when we go to her of our own accord, we may leave as soon as we have finished what we have to say.

 

We must ourselves ask our permissions of our Mother and not take the liberty of asking them through other sisters. We can enter wherever she may be, excepting in the Turn, the Sacristy and the Parlors in these latter cases if we have something to say to her which cannot be deferred we should address our­selves to the Turn Sister. We must never take the place of the Mother Prioress nor of the Mother Sub-prioress; we must not put either cloak or books in the Mother Prioress's stall, nor ever make use of the things which are set apart for her.

 

One can never enter the cells of the Mother Prioress, and the Mother Sub-prioress, nor the cells of any of the other Nuns, in their absence. The Mother Prioress alone can give permission to enter those of the Professed Nuns, but the Mistress of Novices can give the Novices leave to go into each other's cells if necessary. When the Mother Sub-prioress presides in Community we must not speak to her except on our knees, and a sister whom she reproves must prostrate herself.

 

The novices should kneel when speaking to her, whether in Community or elsewhere, unless the Mother Prioress be present, and they should prostrate themselves when she reproves them. We may ask leave of the Mother Sub-prioress to take a piece of bread, to go to bed if we feel ill, to have a pocket handkerchief, to remain where we are after a Community hour. But we do not ask her these permissions unless we know that we cannot find our Mother, and we never ask her leave for penances nor for things of devotion, nor to give anything to one of the sisters, nor to enter into some office, etc.; these permissions are asked only of the Mother Prioress.

 

Nothing is more to be desired than the affectionate union of all the sisters, which draws down upon the whole Community the loving attention and the favors of the God of peace. But familiarity, far from contributing to this inestimable union, on the contrary tends most certainly to lessen it. If the sisters do not mutually respect and honor one another, accord­ing to the precept of St. Paul, slight disagreements will very soon give birth to little troubles of which the consequences are always most sad; besides which, the dissipation inseparable from frivolity becomes a continual obstacle to the union of the soul with God. Let the sisters, then, converse together at recreation and elsewhere, like good sisters who love and esteem one another sincerely, without constraint, without frivolity, but with respectful liberty and with the freedom that springs from reciprocal affection, so that it may be seen that they are at their ease, and that they are full of charity and consideration one for the other. It would be a want of respect to a sister to call her by her name without previously saying "Sister."

 

When the elder sisters speak to the younger ones they should do so in a gentle, kind, and affectionate way, but at the same time so as to make them understand that they honor them; the young sisters, on their side, when speaking to the elder ones should do so with marked respect. In a word, each one attentive to her own duty should avoid observing whether the others fulfill or not their duty towards her; it is for those only who are in charge to observe such things.

 

When we meet a sister in the house we must be careful to bow to her, making a half inclination, and if at a doorway we should humbly draw back to let her pass; should she refuse to do so, we must then pass gently and with confusion at the humility of our sister. In this same spirit of charity, and to repress familiarity, the sisters should look upon themselves as daughters of the Blessed Virgin, and they should respect one another as belonging to Jesus and Mary, doing homage to the honor which the Son of God rendered to our nature by uniting it to His Divinity, and by taking the Blessed Virgin for His Mother. With this view of Jesus and Mary in the person of our sisters, when we see any one of them in trouble we shall have great care to recommend her to God. 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios
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PAPER OF EXACTIONS

OF THE

Discalced Carmelite Nuns

OF THE ORDER OF

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

taken from

the traditions of our Spanish Mothers and Foundresses

 

THE REFECTORY.

 

When the reader says: In nomine Domini, &c., all the Sisters will make an inclination at the Holy Name of Jesus.

 

 

Between the two ringings of the little bell the Sisters will raise their hearts to God, making their own, some of the thoughts and practices which the Saints have taught us to this end: as to unite themselves to the holy dispositions of Jesus Christ, who deigned to humble Himself even to these very actions; to give Him thanks that in His love He provides His poor little creatures with what is necessary for their life, although by their sins they have merited to be abandoned by Him.

 

They will then make an act of renunciation of the satisfaction which might be taken in the meal, offering also to Our Lord the mortification to which our state of life obliges us, and remembering that He delights to communicate the sweetness of His spirit even here below to the souls who, for love of Him, willingly deprive themselves of the satisfaction of their senses.  When the little bell rings the second time, after having made the sign of the Cross, they will turn up their sleeves; they will then take their bread, make the sign of the Cross upon it before cutting it, and kiss it, blessing God and holy Religion, who gives it to us as an alm.

 

They must keep their eyes cast down before them, without turning their head or looking at the others or at what is given to them, and when the server presents the portions they must make a deep inclination to her, taking what is nearest to hand without any choice. They must take care to hold themselves straight, neither leaning upon the table nor against the wall, their feet withdrawn under their habit without ever crossing them, and their hands under the scapular before and after the meal. They must also be religious in their way of eating, careful not to eat with noise or hastily, nor yet too slowly, taking care to have finished with the others.

 

Each one should eat her soup and all that is reasonably necessary of the portions, endeavoring to do so not for the satisfaction of the senses, but by obedience and with a view to being better able to fulfill the Rule. Whatever repugnance may be felt must be struggled against, trying to overcome it and not to let it manifest itself exteriorly by any gesture.

 

It is a custom in Religion to make the sign of the Cross over one's cup before drinking for the first time, and to hold it in both hands. Care must be taken not to put anything that can be eaten into the bowls and not to let crumbs of bread fall to the ground. Each one, when she has finished, must gather up the crumbs from her napkin and eat them in loving memory of Our Lord, Who, after He had worked the miracle of the multiplica­tion of the loaves, said to His disciples: "Gather up the fragments that remain lest they be lost."

 

Care must be taken not to put bread-crumbs into portions which one does not intend to finish, and to leave what remains of bread or portion so clean that it cannot be an occasion of mortification to whoever may eat it after us. One should take care not to dirty one's fingers and napkin more than can be helped, and when one has finished wash one's knife and spoon, and in all things have a careful regard to cleanliness.  If anyone happens to spill something or to make a noise she must rise at once and go to prostrate herself in the middle of the Refectory. 

 

It is not allowed to ask for anything in the Refectory unless it be bread and water. If a Sister perceives that something is wanting to one sitting next to her, she will procure it for her by making a sign to the server, or else she will go and tell the Mother Prioress or whoever is presiding. 

Nor is it allowed to give or send anything to anyone; the Mother Prioress alone can do this.  When the Mother Prioress, or in her absence the Sub-prioress, enters or leaves the Refectory during the meal, all the Sisters rise and bow to her as she passes.

When the Table of the Offices is read, those who are named should bow in token that they look upon it as a grace to receive an Office. If a Sister comes in after the reading has begun she must prostrate in the middle of the Refectory and not rise until the sign is given by whoever is presiding. Should anyone arrive after the Community has left, she should also prostrate but rise at once without waiting for a sign, unless the Mother Prioress or the Sub-prioress is present.

 

 On all Fast days, for the evening collations, everything should be put on the tables before the Community arrives, and when anything hot has to be served, the Lay Sisters should take care to place it towards the end of the hour of prayer, this must be observed even for the Sisters who, for some special necessity, are dispensed from fasting; what is served to them must be put under their napkin.

Each one when she has finished eating lets drop the end of her napkin on the Table, waiting quietly for the first ringing of the little bell; then, on fast days, she folds it in two; on other days she only folds over on the table the end she has used after putting under it her knife and spoon; at the second ringing of the little bell, all rise, and after answering Deo Gratias to the Reader, leave the table recol-lectedly and without noise to say Grace.  

 

If a Sister having come late to the Refectory has not finished when the sign is given she will not leave the table with the others but will remain standing till the Community has left the Refectory.  Every evening, excepting the eves of Feasts and of Sundays, the napkin is folded in four, the spoon and knife put into it, and the cup as usual upon the napkin.

 

 

Those who cannot be present at the Benedicite or at Grace with the Community will be careful to say by themselves standing at their place, for the Benedicite:—Pater noster, Ave Maria, then the Antiphon ; Benedic Domine nos et h&c tua dona quo; dc tua largitate siimus sumpturi. Per Christum . . . In Nomine Patris. . . .   For Grace, standing near their place and turning towards the Crucifix :—Agimus tibi, &c., Retribtiere, &c., . . . Pater noster, Ave Maria, Fidelium animce per misencordiam Dei Requiescant in pace. Sit nomen Domine benedictum.  Ex hoc nunc, &c.                           

 

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