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2 July 2011


29 June 2011


Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

Lux est ista triumphalis
Forma lucis aeternalis
Et exemplar gloriae:
Dies felix, dies laeta,
In quo Petrus fit athleta
Solemnis victoriae!

Hic ignotus, simplex, egens,
Quaerit, hami sorte degens,
Vivendi commercium:
Indigenti, sed fideli
Committuntur claves coeli,
Pastoris officium.

Nam in mari rete locat,
Sed a mari Christus vocat
Et vocantem sequitur:
Remum calcat, rete spernens;
Navem linquit, Christum cernens,
Cujus verbo pascitur.

Novae remus speciei
Rete novum datur ei,  
Forma navis alia;
Nam fit remus coeli clavis,
Rete verbum, Petri navis
Praesens est Ecclesia.

Quem contundunt maris fluctus,
Hujus mundi juges luctus,
Terror et tristitia;
Quae conformat lupus agnis
Et pusilla jungens magnis
Mactat animalia.

Hic est pastor sacri gregis,
Hic archivus summi Regis,
Hic piscator hominum;
Super aquas maris pergit,
Vacillantem mare mergit,
Sed clamat ad Dominum.

Novum nomen promeretur
Petrus petram, dum fatetur
Vivi Dei Filium.
Sana fides, vox fidelis,
Non ex carne, sed e coelis
Manat hoc mysterium.

Claves duae Petro dantur:
Clavis una, qua librantur
Meritorum pondera;
Et secunda potestatis,
Fontem ligans libertatis,
Iter dans ad aethera.

Ter negato quem dilexit,
Flevit, eum ut respexit
Salus poenitentium,
Et baptisans animarum
Dulcis rivus lacrymarum
Piumque suspirium.

Quid est, homo, quod superbis?
Stare putas in acerbis
Hujus vitae casibus.
Ne praesumas, Petrus ruit;
Ne dififidas, Petrus luit
Noxam jam singultibus.

Cum consorte moesti thori
Justa morte moeret mori
Ananias mentiens;
Verbo vitae data vita,
Surgit lecto mox Tabitha
Petri manus sentiens.

Carcer claudit datum poenis;
Membra rigent in catenis,
Herodis imperio;
Rigor ferri emollescit,
Claustra patent, custos nescit,
Misso coeli nuntio.

Mundi caput, fontem mali,
Peste plenam criminali,
Romam intrat spiritali  
Petrus actus gladio.
Triumphando mortis ducem,
Reddit caecis vitae lucem,
Et Neronis diram crucem,
Paulo spernit socio.

Simon autem debacchatur,
Alta petit, praeceps datur;
Paulus ense trucidatur,
Petrus ligno figitur;
Sic auditor praeceptorem,  
Sic dilectus dilectorem,
Sic redemptus redemptorem
Poena crucis sequitur.

Nos electos de sagena,
Petre, trahe ad amoena
Celsa Syon, ubi coena
Veri Agni vivitur,
Ubi salus, ubi quies,
Expers noctis ubi dies,
Ubi Deus homo fies,
Ubi semper vivitur! Amen. 

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

This triumphal day returning
Is a type of endless morning,
Counterpart of glory bright:
'Tis a happy, glad, day truly,
When for victory great and holy
Peter arms him for the fight!

Simple, poor, unknown, he seeketh,
From what he in fishing taketh,
His sole means of livelihood:
To him are the keys of heaven -
A poor man but faithful - given,
And to find Christ's flock their food.

Through the sea his nets he hauleth,
But, when from the sea Christ calleth.
Thence he at His call is led;
Quits his oar, his draw-net spurning,
Leaves his vessel, Christ discerning,
By His word thenceforth is fed.

He hath given to him another
Oar, a net unlike his other,
And a different vessel now:
For his oar the key of heaven,
For his net God's word, is given,
For his ship God's Church below.

'Gainst him, like the waves of ocean,
This world's flood of deep emotion.
Fears and sorrows fiercely beat;
Which gives wolves a lamb-like nature,
And, as offerings, every creature
Brings to God, both [small and great].

Of God's flock is he the pastor,
Steward of an heavenly master.
And a fisherman of men:
Walking on the sea he goeth,
Sinking fast, when fear he showeth,
On the Lord he calleth then.

A new name he now possesseth,
Peter! rock! when he confesseth
Christ the Son of God to be.
Sound that faith is, true that teaching,
Not from flesh, - from heaven's self reaching! -
Emanates this mystery.

Unto Peter are committed
Two keys; one for scales is fitted,
Wherein merits' weight to weigh:
One the key of power is, binding
Freedom's fount, or paths ascending
Opening to the realms of day.

Peter, having thrice denied Him
Whom he loved, wept, when beside Him
He looked round who healeth grief:
Cleansing is that balmy river
Of sad tears sore hearts deliver,
And that sigh, fond heart's relief.

Why, O man! art thou so haughty?
Think'st to stand amidst this naughty
World's calamities and cares?
Ne'er presume thou; Peter sinneth:
Ne'er despair; since Peter winneth
Pardon for his guilt by tears!

With his wretched wife the lying
Ananias is found dying,
A most righteous fate is such!
Life the word of life, see! giveth!
Tabitha at once reviveth,
When she feels St. Peter's touch.

Close confined by Herod's orders
In the prison's penal borders,
Fetters stiffening every limb;
Soft the iron's hardness groweth,  
Doors fly open, no man knoweth;
'Tis an angel sent to him!

Rome, earth's head, sin's source, chief centre
Where the plague of crime dare venture,
Rome, that Rome, doth Peter enter,
By the Spirit's sword on borne;
Since death's chieftain he o'erthroweth,
Life's light to the blind he showeth,
Treating, while Paul with him goeth,
Nero's dreadful cross with scorn.

Simon, mad, an height ascended
And fell headlong; Paul's life ended
'Neath the sword; and, limbs extended,
Nailed is Peter to the tree:
Thus both taught and teacher, whether
Lover or beloved either,
Saviour thus and saved together,
Share the cross's agony.

Peter! from thy net selected,
Draw us where, with joy perfected,  
Sion is on high erected.
And the true Lamb's feast is spread;
Where is rest from this life's fever,
Where night follows daylight never,
Where in endless life for ever
Man shall like to God be made! Amen. 

26 June 2011


Alexander S. Lawson:
Credit for the first cursive type is generally given to the French punchcutter Robert Granjon, who made a type based on the Gothic cursive book hand that had been in use for several centuries in northern Europe before the invention of printing... It was related to the bâtarde form of blackletter type, although it was certainly more freely written. The first use of the Granjon cursive was in Dailogue de la Vie et de la Mort, by Innocenzio Ringhierei, printed at Lyons in 1557. Its second appearance, the following year, was of greater importance, as it was used in La Civilité Puerile, written by Erasmus as a grammar of manners for children. Reprinted innumerable times in later centuries, ans always with the same style of type, the title became synonymous with the type: Civilité.

25 June 2011


Kurrent, or Old German Script, is a cursive handwriting that was developed in the early 16th century, and used as an everyday handwriting by Germans until the mid-20th century. Although derived from blackletter, it is fluid and graceful, and easy to write quickly.

23 June 2011


Sequence by Thomas Aquinas:

Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem, 
Lauda ducem et pastorem 
In hymnis et canticis. 
Quantum poses, tantum aude: 
Quia major omni laude 
Nec laudare sufficis. 

Laudis thema specialis, 
Panis vivus et vitalis 
Hodie proponitur; 
Quem in sacrae mensa coenae 
Turbae fratrum duodenae 
Datum non ambigitur. 

Sit laus plena, sit sonora,
Sit iucunda, sit decora
Mentis iubilatio. 
Dies enim solemnis agitur, 
In qua mensae prima recolitur 
Huius institutio. 

In hac mensa novi Regis 
Novum Pascha novae legis 
Phase vetus terminat. 
Vetustatem novitas, 
Umbram fugat veritas, 
Noctem lux eliminat. 

Quod in coena Christus gessit,
Faciendum hoc expressit
In sui memoriam
Docti sacris institutis,
Panem, vinum in salutis
Consecramus hostiam.

Dogma datur Christianis, 
Quod in carnem transit panis 
Et vinum in sanguinem. 
Quod non capis, quod non vides, 
Animosa firmat fides 
Praeter rerum ordinem. 

Sub diversis speciebus, 
Signis tantum, et non rebus, 
Latent res eximiae: 
Caro cibus, sanguis potus; 
Manet tamen Christus totus 
Sub utraque specie. 

A sumente non concisus, 
Non confractus, non divisus 
Integer accipitur. 
Sumit unus, sumunt mille; 
Quantum isti, tantum ille: 
Nec sumptus consumitur. 

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali: 
Sorte tamen inaequali, 
Vitae vel interitus. 
Mors est malis, vita bonis: 
Vide, paris sumptionis 
Quam sit dispar exitus. 

Fracto demum Sacramento, 
Ne vacilles, sed memento, 
Tantam esse sub fragmento, 
Quantum toto tegitur. 
Nulla rei fit scissura, 
Signi tantum fit fractura, 
Qua nec status nec statura 
Signati minuitur. 

Ecce panis Angelorum, 
Factus cibus viatorum, 
Vere panis filiorum, 
Non mittendus canibus. 
In figuris praesignatur, 
Cum Isaac immolatur; 
Agnus Paschae deputatur, 
Datur manna patribus. 

Bone Pastor, panis vere,
Jesu, nostri miserere,
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere,
Tu nos bona fac videre,
In terra viventium.
Tu, qui cuncta scis et vales,
Qui nos pascis hic mortales,
Tuos ibi commensales,
Cohaeredes et sodales,
Fac sanctorum civium. Amen.

English translation:

Sion, lift thy voice and sing: 
Praise thy Savior and thy King; 
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true: 
Dare thy most to praise Him well; 
For He doth all praise excel; 
None can ever reach His due. 
Special theme of praise is thine, 
That true living Bread divine, 
That life-giving flesh adored, 
Which the brethren twelve received, 
As most faithfully believed, 
At the Supper of the Lord. 

Let the chant be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt to-day in every breast; 
On this festival divine 
Which recounts the origin 
Of the glorious Eucharist. 

At this table of the King, 
Our new Paschal offering 
Brings to end the olden rite; 
Here, for empty shadows fled, 
Is reality instead; 
Here, instead of darkness, light. 

His own act, at supper seated, 
Christ ordained to be repeated, 
In His memory divine; 
Wherefore now, with adoration, 
We the Host of our salvation 
Consecrate from bread and wine. 

Hear what holy Church maintaineth, 
That the bread its substance changeth 
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood. 
Doth it pass thy comprehending? 
Faith, the law of sight transcending, 
Leaps to things not understood. 

Here in outward signs are hidden 
Priceless things, to sense forbidden; 
Signs, not things, are all we see:- 
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine; 
Yet is Christ, in either sign, 
All entire confessed to be. 

They too who of Him partake 
Sever not, nor rend, nor break, 
But entire their Lord receive. 
Whether one or thousands eat, 
All receive the selfsame meat, 
Nor the less for others leave. 

Both the wicked and the good 
Eat of this celestial Food; 
But with ends how opposite! 
Here 'tis life; and there 'tis death; 
The same, yet issuing to each 
In a difference infinite. 

Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The Signified remaining One
And the Same forevermore

Lo! upon the Altar lies, 
Hidden deep from human eyes, 
Angels' Bread from Paradise 
Made the food of mortal man: 
Children's meat to dogs denied; 
In old types foresignified; 
In the manna from the skies, 
In Isaac, and the Paschal Lamb. 

Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thy true flock in safety keep.
Living Bread! Thy life supply;
Strengthen us, or else we die;
Fill us with celestial grace:
Thou, who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the Feast of Love,
We may see Thee face to face. Amen.

22 June 2011


Suggestions in Design by John Leighton:
Faith, shield divided into light and darkness, party per fess or and sable, charged with a cross resting upon the neck of a serpant surmounted on a skull. Sin and Death overcome by the power of the cross, which has for crest the celestial crown. Supporters two angels holding the lower shields. Hope, party per fess sable and sea proper, charged with the firmly planted anchor as the last. Charity, on a shield party per pale sable and or, the pelican feeding its young with its own life blood, proper, the heart below gules, being typical of love.

20 June 2011


Walter of Châtillon:
Incidit in Scyllam qui vult vitare Charybdim.
C.S. Lewis:
Satan always sends error into the world in pairs that are opposites. His great hope is that you will get so upset about one of his errors that you’ll react into the opposite one, and he’s got you.

Colleen McDannell:
In 1862 Paris had at least a hundred and twenty-one firms that made and marketed the material culture of Catholicsm: holy water fonts, medals, statues, crucifixes, rosaries, holy cards, ex votos, religious jewelry, candles, scapulars, creches, wax Agnus Dei, lace pictures, and novena cards. Since the 1840's. Paris's Left Bank had become the worldwide center for the sale of liturgical arts (chalices, vestments, monstrances) and sacred arts (stained-glass windows, statues, church murals). The area around the rue Saint-Jacques and the church of Saint-Sulpice became synonymous with the objets de religion used in domestic worship and church art. What concerns me here is not the small objects which Catholic put in their pockets or placed in their home shrines. Rather, it is the debate over what was kitsch and what was art which originated with the domination of l'Art Saint-Sulpice in church decoration.

The shops in the Saint-Sulpice quarter sold [plaster] statues and other church furnishing made in factories outside Paris.... Plaster could be moulded and easily carved to achieve realistic images of Christ, Mary, the saints, and angels. Unlike the realistic statues of the Baroque period, l'Art Saint-Sulpice avoided the bloody and pained images of Christ and the martyrs. There was almost no decay or decomposition in l'Art Saint-Sulpice....

By the end of the 19th century, l'Art Saint-Sulpice became the international style of Catholic church art. From Ireland to Mexico to India or the United States, local art was replaced by goods either imported from France or copied from French standards. In the United States, the area around Barclay Street in Manhattan housed import firms that dealt with the French-produced religious arts and companies that made Catholic devotional goods.
[Material Christianity by Colleen McDannell. Yale University Press. 1995]

Rev. Demetrio Zurbitu:
It would be said [in the future] that the artists [of the early 20th century] had ceded their posts to the merchants; it would seem that the sculptor and the goldsmith had no concern for making a beautiful object to inspire piety, but rather for making an industrial model able to be multiplied by the dozen. The noble carving of marble and wood had been laid aside before the invasion of common plaster. Lamps and candlesticks, and (infinitely sadder) chalices and ciboria were many times considered as mere hardware. And in this inundation of so many profane and vulgar objects, as wretched in form as in material, it would be useless to look for any sign of religious inspiration or even a recollection of the respect deserved by the noble destiny for which they were forged: honor to the House of God and participation in the most august sacrifice.... Everyone who desires to find in the temple surroundings conducive to the elevation of the spirit must condemn repeatedly the profanity of modern religious art.
[Talleres de Arte and the Renovation of Liturgical Art by Rev. Demetrio Zurbitu Recalde, SJ. 1929]

Jacques Maritain:
Just about everything has been said about what is called the art of Saint-Sulpice - an ill-chosen phrase, it must be said, and one that is very insulting to an estimable Parisian parish, the more so because the scourge in question is world-wide in scope; about the diabolical ugliness, offensive to God and much more harmful than is generally believed to the spread of religion, of the majority of the objects turned out by modern manufacture for the decoration of churches.
[Art and Scholasticism by Jacques Maritain. 1935]


Alain Besançon:
L'Art Sacré stood at the center of an attempt to reconcile modern art and the French Catholic Church. Published in two series, before and after World War II, and, between 1937 and 1954, edited by two Dominicans, [Pie-Raymon] Régamey and [Marie-Alain] Couturier, it was the inspiration behind a few large-scale undertakings: the churches and chapels of Assy, Vence, Audincourt and Ronchamp. In 1950, very aggressive resistance surfaced, a consequence, in particular, of the crucifix by Germaine Richier added to the church in Assy. Fifty years from now, one article declared, who will remember Reverend Father Régamey and Reverend Father Couturier, with all their smug, naïve admiration of hideous works, some of them baroque, some monstrous, some Satanic?

[The Forbidden Image by Alain Besançon. University of Chicago Press. 2001]

TIME Magazine:

In 1925, at the age of 27, Pierre Couturier put away his brushes and became a Dominican monk. Years later, his spiritual superiors asked Pére Couturier what he thought of the present art in churches. His answer came with surprising vehemence. Our church art is in complete decay, he burst out. It is dead, dusty, academic - imitations of imitations... with no power to speak to modern man. Outside the Church the great modern masters have walked - Manet, Cézanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Braque. The Church has not reached out, as once it would have, to bring them in....
Father Couturier's superiors were impressed. See what you can do, they told him....

White-robed, ascetic-looking Father Couturier... has become the light and power of a small but significant movement among French artists... In his spare time he has devoted his energies tirelessly to visiting the studios of artists everywhere and telling them that the Church is where their work belongs. In addition he founded, twelve years ago, the little magazine L'Art Sacré, which has had a measurable influence on French priests as well as artists.

Gradually he has won the interest of scoffers and agnostics among the painters, even including a few Communists (e.g. Picasso). Father Couturier welcomes them all, whatever the state of their faith. We start, he explains, with the assumption that artists are men and therefore sinners. If their sins are sometimes startling, it is because they are men of imagination, artists. But all spring from our culture and even our religion.... When some think themselves communist, it is as artists are communist, out of love for the poor. We must free them to work for us, give them the right to paint on our walls, and they will tell our great story as it has not been told in 500 years.

Father Couturier has several projects in various stages of completion. Sometimes they are delayed by ecclesiastics who have strenuously differing views about how a church should be decorated. But the work of Father Couturier is finding growing support among his fellow churchmen and also among such anticlericals as Henri Matisse, the grand old man of French painting.
[Time Magazine. 20 June 1949]

Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas:
In our day we are witnessing a peculiar outbreak of ugliness and brutality in the domain of art; yes, even in the field of Christian art. This morbid epidemic has the character of a deforming arthritism or elephantiasm or leprosy in art.... The late Cardinal Constantini, chairman of the Pontifical Academy of Art, speaks of visual blasphemies and figurative horrors in modernistic art, arousing a sense of repugnance and disgust. Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints are pictured with cretinic faces and with hands and feet affected with elephantiasis. Christ, on the Cross, is portrayed as degraded and almost animal-like. We meet saints with monkey faces and in attitudes that remind one of a mental hospital or an institution for abnormal diseases. Many suspect - and not without reason - that we are face to face here with the infiltrations of Communism seeking to make religion ridiculous and repulsive, especially to the children.

[Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas, Modernistic Art and Divine Worship. The American Ecclesiastical Review, 1960]

19 June 2011


Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

Trinitatem simplicem,
Trinum Deum, non triplicem,
Supplex colat ecclesia!
In creatis
Interlucent rebus vestigia.

Mens in Deum consurgat sobria!
Genitoris et Geniti
Spiritusque Paracliti
Nobis sacra revelet mysteria.

Tres personae sunt, et plura
Quae personas distingunt mysteria.
Tres idem sunt in natura,
Quod una nec tribus minor singula.

Trium posse, scire, velle paria,
In personis tribus et distantia.
- Sit par reverentia
Tribus, et uni gloria! Amen.

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

To the Trine God, not Gods three,
The Trinity in Unity,
Let the Church now bow the knee!
All creation
Clear and lucid, gives of a Trinity.

Let the sober mind up to God then rise!
Of the Father and of the Son,
With the Paraclete Spirit one,
To our eyes
May God's grace reveal all the mysteries!

There are Persons three, and many
Mysteries marking these Persons distinctively:
One by nature, all and any,
Neither is separately less than all the three.

Equal in all Three is knowledge, power and will,
Yet in their three Persons is there difference still:
- Equal reverence to the Three,
To the One all glory, be! Amen.

17 June 2011


Prose by Hildegard of Bingen:

O ignis Spiritus Paracliti,
Vita vite omnis creature,
Sanctus es, vivificando formas.

Sanctus es, unguedo
Periculose fractos;
Sanctus es, tergendo
Fetida vulnera.

O spiraculum sanctitatis,
O ignis caritatis, 
O dulcis gustus in pectoribus
Et infuso cordium
In bono odore virtutum.

O fons purissime,
In quo consideratur
Quod Deus alienos colligit
Et perditos requirit.

O lorica vite
Et spes compagnis membrorum omnium
Et o cingulum honestatis:
Salva beatos.
Custodi eos qui carcerati sunt
Ab inimico,
Et solve ligatos
Quos divina vis salvare vult.
O iter fortissimum,
Quod penetravit omnia
In altissimis et in terenis
Et in omnibus abyssis: 
Tu omnes componis et colligis.

De te nubes fluunt, ether volat,
Lapides humorem habent,
Aquae rivulos educunt,
Et terra viriditatem sudat.

Tu etiam semper educis doctos
Per inspirationem Sapientie

Unde laus tibi sit,
Qui es sonus laudis
Et gaudium vite,
Spes et honor fortissimus,
Dans premia lucis.

12 June 2011


Prose by Notker the Stammerer:

Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia,
Quae corda nostra sibi faciat habiyacula,
Expulsis inde cunctis vitiis spiritalibus.
Spiritua alme, illustrator omnium,
Horridas nostrae mentis purga tenebras.
Amator sancte sensatorum semper cogitatuum,
Infunde unctione tuam clemens nostris sensibus.
Tu purificator omnium flagitiorum, Spiritus,
Purifica nostri oculum interioris luminis,
Ut videri supremus Genitor possit a nobis,
Mundi cordis quen soli cernere possunt oculi.
Prophetas tu inspirasti, ut praeconia Christi praecinuissent inclyta.
Apostolos confortasti, uti trophaeum Christi per totum mundum veherent.
Quando machinam per Verbum suum fecit Deus caeli, terrae, marium,
Tu super aquas, foturus eas, numen tuum expandisti, Spiritus.
Tu animabus vivificandis aquas fecundas,
Tu aspirando das spiritales esse homines.
Tu divisum per linguas mundum et ritus adunasti Domine,
Idolatras ad cultum Dei revocas, magistrorum optime.
Ergo nos supplicantes tibi exaudi propitius sancte Spiritus,
Sine quo preces omnes cassae creduntur et indignae Dei auribus.
Tu qui omnium saeculorum sanctos tui numinis docuisti instinctu, amplexando, Spiritus.
Ipse hodie Apostolos Christi donans munere insolito et cunctis inaudito saeculis,
Hunc diem gloriosam fecisti. Alleluia.

Englished by John Mason Neale:

The grace of the Holy Ghost be present with us;
And make our hearts a dwelling place to itself;
And expel from them all spiritual wickedness.
Merciful Spirit, Illuminator of men,
Purge the fearful shades of our mind.
O holy Lover of thoughts that are ever wise,
Of Thy mercy pour forth Thine Anointing into our senses.
Thou purifier of all iniquities, O Spirit,
Purify the eye of our inner man,
To the end that the Father of all things may be seen by us,
He, Whom the eyes of none save the pure in heart can behold.
Thou didst inspire the Prophets to chant aforehand their glorious heralding of Christ.
Thou didst confirm the Apostles, so that they shall bear Christ's glorious trophy through the whole world.
When, by His Word, God made the system of heaven, earth, seas,
Thou didst stretch out Thy Godhead over the waters, and didst cherish them, O Spirit!
Thou dost give virtue to the waters to quicken souls;
Thou, by Thine Inspiration, grantest to men to be spiritual.
Thou didst unite the world, divided both in tongues and rites, O Lord!
Thou recallest idolaters to the worship of God, best of Masters!
Wherefore of Thy mercy hear us who call upon Thee, Holy Ghost:
Without Whom, as the fait teaches, all our prayers are in vain, and unworthy of the ears of God.
Thou, O Spirit, Who by embracing the Saints of all ages, dost teach them by the impulse of Thy Divinity;
Thyself, by bestowing on the Apostles of Christ a gift immortal, and unheard of from all ages,
Hast made this day glorious. Alleluia.

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