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Catholic Dictionary




Prescribed days of prayer and penance in spring. Two sets of rogation days were kept since early Christian times: the Major Rogation on April 25, the Feast of St. Mark; and the Minor Rogations on the last three days before Ascension Thursday. They were instituted to appease divine justice, ask for protection, and invoke God's blessing on the harvest. The Litany of the Saints was changed in procession and the Rogation Mass followed. THe Fest of St. Mark, as the more ancient, was also called the Greater Litanies; it Christianized a pagan spring festival in honor of the god Robigus. The three other rogation days were adapted in Rome under Pope Leo III (reigned 795-816). (Etym. Latin rogatio, inquiry, request.)