Villanova Law Celebrates Red Mass
The Law School was adorned in red for its annual celebration of the Red Mass which was held on Friday, October 14th at St. Thomas of Villanova Church. A reception was held following the Mass in the Law School Commons. The Reverend Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., University President, was the Celebrant, and The Reverend Philip G. Bochanski, C.O., The Philadelphia Oratory, delivered the Homily.
This traditional name, Red Mass, is derived from the color of vestments worn by the celebrant and concelebrants, the scarlet robes of judges in attendance (which were bright scarlet in the Middle Ages), and the scarlet gowns of the members of the law faculty.
Since the thirteenth century, the Red Mass has been celebrated to invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit for all those who seek justice. The Red Mass was celebrated at Villanova for the first time in 1957, and this was an occasion for faculty, alumni, students, and guests to mark the beginning of the Law School’s academic year.