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Sunday, August 21, 2016
Help Casey Study for the Priesthood
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In your generosity, please consider financially supporting (but at least prayerfully supporting) Casey who is preparing to enter the seminary for the Institute of Christ the King.


Since being confirmed into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in 2014, I have felt called to the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ.  After seriously discerning for more than two years, I sought to continue following Our Lord's path and thus have been accepted into the pre-formation program of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.  Because this religious congregation lacks a significant income for supporting its seminarians, it is important to raise this tuition on my own. 

Most importantly, I beg for your prayers to Our Lord and Our Lady as I seek to do His Holy Will in my life.  I would also ask for you to prayerfully consider sponsoring this journey of mine through a donation of any monetary amount.  My first year as a candidate will cost approximately $9,200 (including health insurance).

May the Infant King, through the intercession of Our Lady of Confidence and St. Gerard Majella, reign forever in your heart.

-Casey Grant Gerard Burns JMJ
You can learn more and donate at https://www.youcaring.com/casey-burns-594607 
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Saturday, August 20, 2016
Rite for Foreigners Marrying in Poland (1892 Version)
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Recently a friend of mine received the Sacrament of Matrimony in Poland. As a US citizen marrying abroad in the Traditional Rite of the Church, he used the Rite for Foreigners Marrying in Poland, established in 1892.  The text for this fascinating ritual are shared below.  Please keep Michael and his wife in your prayers, and may God grace them with many children.
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Sunday, August 14, 2016
German Bishops Hail Arch-Heretic Luther as "Teacher of the Faith"
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Guest Article By David Martin

The Catholic bishops of Germany are praising Martin Luther, calling him a "Gospel witness and teacher of the Faith" and lamenting that the Church hasn't given him an "adequate hearing."

In a report released August 9th by the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Gerhard Feige, chairman of the German Bishops' Ecumenical Commission, says the "history of the Reformation has encountered a changeable reception in the Catholic Church, where its event and protagonists were long seen in a negative, derogatory light." The report asserts that theological differences have been "re-evaluated," and that "the Catholic Church may recognize today what was important in the Reformation."

Are the German bishops daring to question the Church's denunciation of Martin Luther? Are they accusing the Council of Trent of having been "derogatory" after it rightfully refuted Luther's errors for the greater liberty of God's people? If there is one person of history who could be called derogatory, it is Martin Luther. Consider his own words about the Catholic Church:

"We too were formerly stuck in the behind of this hellish whore, the new church of the pope... so that we regret having spent so much time and energy in that vile h***. But God be praised and thanked that he rescued us from the scarlet whore." (Luther's Works, Vol. 41, p. 206)

Again Luther says: "I can with good conscience consider the pope a fart-ass and an enemy of God. He cannot consider me an ass, for he knows that I am more learned in the Scriptures than he and all his asses are." (p. 344) "The papal ass wants to be lord of the church, although he is not a Christian, believes nothing, and can no longer do anything but fart like an ass." (p. 358)

We seem to forget that Luther was a raving heretic who was driven by the devil to tear the Faith asunder in Europe. His definition of "repentance" was to reject Catholicism, evidenced by his hateful words against the Mass: "It is indeed upon the Mass as on a rock that the whole papal system is built, with its monasteries, its bishoprics, its collegiate churches, its altars, its ministries, its doctrine, i.e., with all its guts. All these cannot fail to crumble once their sacrilegious and abominable Mass falls." (Martin Luther, Against Henry, King of England, 1522, Werke, Vol. X, p. 220.)

Luther also contributed mightily to the mass murder of 70,000-100,000 peasants during the German Peasant War (1524-1525), which his Reformation helped to spark. Consider the following from Luther: "To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Therefore let whoever can, smite, slay, and stab them secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel…. On the obstinate, hardened, blinded peasants let no one have mercy, but let whoever is able, hew, stab, and slay them like mad dogs." (Erlangen Edition of Luther’s Works, Vol. 24)

In 1526 Luther justified his killing of the peasants, saying, "I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain all the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead." (Erlangen LW, Vol. 59, p. 284)

Luther furthermore blasphemed Christ, thus revealing his deficit of faith. For instance he said, "Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well… Secondly with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery." (Luther’s Works, American Edition, Volume 54, p. 154, Concordia Publishing House)

As for his teaching on salvation and justification, the man was a theological crackpot who called humble contrition "hypocrisy" and who insisted that Jesus died on the cross so that we may sin freely without the fear of eternal punishment. Consider Luther’s own words:

“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly... No sin will separate us from the Christ, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” (From Luther’s letter to Philip Melanchthon, August 1, 1521, LW Vol. 48, pp. 281-282)

Each one of Luther’s charges against the Catholic Church were irrational and false. For instance he accused the clergy of "selling indulgences" in the confessional, which is not true. When penitents came to confession it was common at that time for priests to administer a penance in the form of having them place money in the Church’s treasury, because funds were needed to complete the Basilica of St. Peters in Rome. We might say a Peter’s pence was being raised, which should have excited praise, but this infuriated Luther because he couldn’t tolerate the idea of funding the "papal pig" and his palace.

If Luther had all the classic markings of a Freemason, it was precisely because he was an honorary member of the Rosicrucian Freemasons, which would explain why he rejected six books of the Bible and why he spearheaded his heinous revolt against Christ which led half of Europe away from the Christian Faith.
     
Had it not occurred to the German bishops that Luther was possessed by Satan? Certainly he was Lucifer's pawn, tearing and breaking, and ripping the Church to pieces, because he disagreed with Christ. It was for reason that Pope Leo X dubbed Luther "the wild boar loose in the vineyard." He was the classic hypocrite and Pharisee, constantly "justifying" himself and accusing everyone of what he himself was guilty of. What could be said of the worst pagans and infidels of history would especially apply to Luther: he had no "faith" or "grace."

The Catholic Church committed no fault in its response to the so-called Reformation five centuries ago, which means there must be no apologies made. The papal condemnation of Luther in 1521 was truly the work of the Holy Spirit, and remains binding upon the faithful to this day. Any attempts to exonerate or "reevaluate" Martin Luther incurs the guilt of serious sin. Shall we exonerate Hitler too?

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/german-catholic-bishops-praise-arch-heretic-martin-luther
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Thursday, August 11, 2016
Ss. Tiburtius and Susanna
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Simple (1955 Calendar): August 11

August 11th, besides the Feast of St. Philomena in some places, is the Feast of Ss. Tiburtius and Susanna on the Universal Calendar.

St. Tiburtius was the son of the prefect of Rome, who was a convert to the Faith. Shortly after being ordained a subdeacon, the young man was betrayed to his persecutors by an apostate. Like St. Lawrence whose feast we celebrated yesterday, Tiburtius was tortured by fire. He was then beheaded, about A.D. 288. and gained the crown of martyrdom.

On the same day, a noble Christian virgin by the name of Susanna suffered a similar death. Because of her vow of virginity she had refused to marry the son of Emperor Diocletian, so she was beheaded in her own home by that ruler's orders.

Ss. Tiburtius and Susanna, martyrs for Christ, pray for us!

A Prayer to the Holy Martyrs to obtain their Protection by St. Alphonsus de Liguori:

O ye blessed Princes of the heavenly kingdom! ye who sacrificed to the Almighty God the honors, the riches, and possessions of this life, and have received in return the unfading glory and never-ending joys of heaven! ye who are secure in the everlasting possession of the brilliant crown of glory which your sufferings have obtained! Look with compassionate regards upon our wretched state in this valley of tears, where we groan in the uncertainty of what may be our eternal destiny. And form that divine Savior, for Whom you suffered so many torments, and Who now repays you with so unspeakable glory, obtain for us that we may love Him with all our heart, and receive in return the grace of perfect resignation under the trials of this life, fortitude under the temptations of the enemy, and perseverance to the end. May your powerful intercession obtain for us that we may one day in your blessed company sing the praises of the Eternal, and even as you now do, face to face, enjoy the beatitude of His vision! Amen

Collect:

Almighty and merciful God, it is through Your grace that the faithful are able to serve You fittingly and laudably. Grant that we may hurry, without faltering, toward the rewards You have promised to us. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Monday, August 8, 2016
The Transfiguration to the Holy Cross: The Forgotten 40 Days
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On the Feast of the Transfiguration, I attended a solemn Vespers service as sung by the Brothers of the Holy Cross at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Chicago.  If you have never attended Solemn Vespers sung here, these beautiful Latin prayers will uplift your soul and bring much needed spiritual relief.  The Solemn Vespers are part of the Monastery's Schola Laudis program, and I encourage you to read more on it through their website.

The abbot, Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, wrote the following piece for the Vespers Service.  His insightful commentary is certainly worth spreading, especially as it concerns the forgotten 40 Day Period of the Transfiguration to the Feast of the Holy Cross.  For us Catholics, 40 Days is especially important (e.g. the length of Lent, the number of days from Easter til the Ascension, the number of days from Christmas til the Purification).
In His Transfiguration, the Lord Jesus Christ reveals the glory of the Uncreated Light, His own by His Divine Nature.  The Lord revealed this to his closest disciples so that they might be strengthened for the coming trial of His arrest and crucifixion.  Jesus is not taken unwillingly, but voluntarily, "lays down His life for His sheep." 
The connection between the Transfiguration and the Cross is one that is already present in the Gospel accounts.  In the liturgical calendar, it is represented by the significant period of forty days between this feast and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14. 
For historical reasons not easy to decipher, these two feasts have not received a lot of attention since the Renaissance.  Even so, with the calendric reforms after Vatican II, the Transfiguration underwent a slight demotion, being downgraded to the ranking of a "feast" from former being a Class I "solemnity" (The Exaltation previously held the rank of a Class II). Both feasts have maintained great prominence in the Churches of the East. 
One suspects that the Transfiguration is less interesting to a "theology from below," the effort to understand Christ first from His human nature.  There have been some genuine fruits from this shift in emphasis, but it also suffers from some serious limitations, as we see from the inclusion of Moses and Elijah in the Transfiguration.  They are alive, and illuminated from within, not by their own nature, but by the fulfilling presence of the divine as a gift.  We see, in all three figures the final goal of the human person, the transfiguration into a child of God. 
We live in a curious time when many have lost all sight of the goal of humanity.  And where the goal is lost, the nature of the thing is also lost.  When we forget what a knife is for, we are welcome to use it in all kinds of activities, to turn screws, pry open a package, or reflect light.  But a knife is "happiest" when it is performing the task for which it was made, cutting things. 
The human heart is restless until it rests in God.  This is so precisely because we are most human when we experience the transforming power of God in our minds and hearts.  A knife is for cutting, a human being is for knowing God.  We of all creatures are capable of this, and when we put ourselves to other uses, if they are not directed toward this knowledge, we suffer alienation, loss of direction, loss of purpose. 
So the demotion of the Transfiguration would seem to be connected with the banishment of God from the cosmos in order to focus on a purely scientific vision of the physical world, imagined as somehow apart from God.  The good news is that the Church continues to proclaim the truth about the human person, and the Transfiguration is a celebration that beckons us back to our true home, to faith in God the Father, to trust in the saving words spoken by the Son, and to love with the Spirit that is poured into our hearts.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Dormition Fast for Catholics
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Yesterday the Eastern Rites of the Church began the observance of the Dormition Fast.  What is the Dormition Fast?  What is a Latin Rite Catholic to think of this custom?  To start, some sufficient background is available online.  This is taken from Aquinas and More's website:
The Eastern churches (both Catholic and Orthodox) traditionally observe a period of fasting prior to the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos - one of the four great fasts that are part of the Church year in the East, the others being the Nativity Fast, the Great Lent Fast and the Apostles Fast. This fast is also called "Our Lady's Fast" or the "Assumption Fast.” For those on the new calendar (Gregorian), this fast begins just before the Vespers of the Feast of the Procession of the Holy Cross (1 August) on 31 July evening. This fast ends just before Vespers for the Great Feast of the Dormition of The Theotokos (15 August) on 14 August evening. For those on the old calendar (Julian) , this fast begins on August 14 and ends on August 28. 
The Dormition Fast is short, but is stricter than all the other fasting periods except Great Lent. One should fast on all days from the usual non-lenten foods, such as all animal products (meat, poultry, milk, cheese, etc.) and olive oil and wine. In addition, one also traditionally abstains from fish on all days of the fast, including weekends, except for the feast of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord, when fasting may be eased by having fish, wine and olive oil. On the two weekends which fall during the fast (Saturday and Sunday), the fast is also relaxed a little bit, and one may have wine and olive oil, but no fish. Please check with your priest or with your eparchial (diocesan) offices for specific information, of course. Actually fasting practice can and does vary between the particular Eastern churches. 
The Scriptural foundation for the practice of Fasting is found in the Synoptic Gospels, when the Pharisees criticized the Apostles for not fasting, Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Our Lord, in this passage, was referring to his being taken to be crucified; but in the larger sense these words of the Lord are understood in terms of his Ascension into heaven, and his command to preach the Gospel, which can only be accomplished with prayer and fasting. The New Testament mentions the practice of fasting many times. 
According to Eastern Christian teaching, by fasting we observe this time-honored Apostolic practice. We can also unite our lives more closely to the Mother of God through the Dormition Fast. By fasting, we can join in and show our appreciation for the sacrifices of the the Theotokos. The Theotokos sacrificed much to give birth to Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity - Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, to raise Him, and to be with Him during His ministry, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. 
The Dormition of the Theotokos is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of the Theotokos (Mary, the mother of Jesus; literally translated as God-bearer). It is celebrated on August 15 (August 28 for those following the Julian Calendar) as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. 
In the Eastern churches, as in the language of Sacred Scripture, death is often called a "sleeping" or "falling asleep.” A prominent example of this is the name of this feast; another is the Dormition of Anna, Mary's mother. According to the ancient tradition of the East, the Orthodox and Eastern Catholics believe that Mary, having spent her life after Pentecost supporting and serving the nascent Church, was living in the house of the Apostle John when the Archangel Gabriel revealed to her that her repose would occur three days later. The Holy Apostles, scattered throughout the world, are said to have been miraculously transported to be at her side when she died. The sole exception was the Apostle Thomas, who was characteristically late. He is said to have arrived three days after her death, grief-striken, and asked to see her grave so that he could bid her goodbye. Mary had already been laid to rest. When they arrived at the grave, her body was gone, leaving a sweet fragrance. An angel is said to have appeared and confirmed to the Apostles that Christ had taken her body to heaven after her soul.
As a result, the Dormition Fast is a period of preparation for the celebration of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady into Heaven on August 15th.  It is wise for us - even Latin Rite Catholics - to adopt this time as a time of prayer and preparation.  While we are not canonically bound under pain of sin to observe this period of fasting, it is certainly a wise practice for us to willingly fast at this time in order to better prepare for the Assumption.  And moreover, offering our fasting and added sacrifices for the intentions of our Lady would be a most salutary effort indeed.
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Saturday, July 30, 2016
Our Lady Mother of Mercy (Saturday after the 4th Sunday of July)
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As part of the Traditional Missal, the Feast of our Lady under the title Mother of Mercy occurs each year as part of the Mass in Some Places on the 4th Sunday of July.  This Feastday is kept by various religious orders in the Church.

The following is taken from the Seasonal Devotions Page of Salve Maria Regina:
After the fall, man became subject to sin, misery, disease and death. God, Who is rich in mercy, gave us two persons animated with tenderest sentiments of compassion and mercy: Jesus and Mary. Jesus willed to become like one of us and chose to know the profoundest depths of sorrow. Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, became the loving Mother of mankind beneath the Cross. She is full of compassionate mercy. Let us entreat her help for suffering mankind. Let us especially show this consideration for those commended to us in a particular way by Our Divine Lord: the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the outcasts. Let us always show mercy, and the Immaculate Mother of God will show herself a Mother of mercy to us.

"And His mercy is from generation unto generation, to those who fear Him." (Luke 1:50)

O noblest Queen of the world, Mary ever Virgin, who didst bring forth Christ the Lord, the Savior of all, pray in our name for peace and salvation.
Hail Mary...

Mary speaks: "Come over to me, all you who long for me, and be filled with my fruits, for my spirit is sweeter than honey, and my spirit is sweeter than honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb." (Ecclus. 24:26-27)

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we sigh, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy towards, and show unto us the blessed Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Let us Pray. O God, Whose compassion is without limit, show us thy mercy on earth through the most holy intercession of Mary, the Mother of Thy Son, that we may merit to attain eternal glory. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
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Thursday, July 28, 2016
Pope Francis: "The World is At War." But With Whom?
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Guest Article by David Martin

The pope said Wednesday that the "world is at war," but denied that religion is to blame. Does he not realize that the war within the Church is what has incited a spirit of war throughout the world? If the Church is "attacking itself" from within (Pope Paul VI), how do we expect the world to be at peace from without?

If the world is at war, it's because of the war against tradition that rages within the Church. If the world is in darkness, it is because the Church is in darkness, fulfilling the prophecy of Our Lady at La Salette: "The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay." (1846)

Hence, the pope holds a measure of responsibility. The present papal administration has served to divide the Universal Church, while strengthening the unity of the global synagogue—the fomenter of all the wars. While Francis sets up barriers against ecclesial unity by forbidding religious of one country to take up residence in another, he declares it a sin to set up barriers against the jihad refugees that want to break into our western countries. The bloodshed in Europe, including the beheading of the good priest in France, is in fact a religious war. Fr. Hamel was martyred by one who deliberately sought to defame the name of the Catholic Church, yet the pope exonerates the Muslims by saying the attacks are not "a war of religion."

Let us pray for Pope Francis, but with true purpose. 

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/07/27/fr-hamel-was-martyred-in-odium-fidei-says-archbishop-fisher/
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Ss Nazarius & Celsus
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SemiDouble (1955 Calendar): July 28

Today the Holy Church celebrates the feast of the holy martyrs Ss. Nazarius & Celsus.  The following is an account of their life:
SAINT NAZARIUS'S father was a heathen, and held a considerable post in the Roman army. His mother, Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, and was instructed by St. Peter, or his disciples, in the most perfect maxims of our holy faith. Nazarius  embraced it with so much ardor that he copied in his life all the great virtues he saw in his teachers; and out of zeal for the salvation of others, he left Rome, his native city, and preached the faith in many places with a fervor and disinterestedness becoming a  disciple of the Apostles. Arriving at Milan, he was there beheaded for the faith, together with CELSUS, a youth whom he carried with him to assist him in his travels. These martyrs suffered soon after Nero had raised the first persecution. Their bodies were buried separately in a garden without the city, where they were discovered and taken up by St. Ambrose, in 395.  In the tomb of St. Nazarius, a vial of the Saint's blood was found as fresh and red as if it had been spilt that day. The faithful stained handkerchiefs with some drops, and also formed a certain paste with it, a portion of which St. Ambrose sent to St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia. St. Ambrose conveyed the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church of the apostles, which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. St. Ambrose sent some of these relics to St. Paulinus of Nola, who received them, with great respect, as a most valuable present, as he testifies. 
REFLECTION.—The martyrs died as the outcasts of the world, but are crowned by God with immortal honor. The glory of the world is false and transitory, and an empty bubble or shadow, but that of virtue is true, solid, and permanent, even in the eyes of men.
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Sunday, July 24, 2016
Vigil of St. James the Greater
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In the Tridentine Calendar, July 24th is the Vigil of St. James the Greater.  Even though today is a Sunday and this Vigil is superseded, we can still call to mind St. James the Greater today as his feastday is tomorrow.

Collect:
Sanctify and protect Your people, O Lord. Let the assistance of Your apostle James strengthen them that they may serve You with confidence and please You by their conduct. Through our Lord . . .
The following is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book on the 12 Apostles written by Frances Spilman of CatechismClass.com.  This can serve as a meditation as we prepare for the Feast of St. James the Greater

Catholics know that death is not the end but the beginning of a new life and so it proved with St. James.   His tomb in Spain is a place of religious pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of people every year.  In the past, the Spanish people were inspired by St. James as they reconquered their country from the Muslims.

In 711, General Tariq Ibn-Ziyad led a force of Islamic Moors of Arab and Berber descent to conquer most of Iberia.  Fortunately, the Islamic force was halted by Charles Martel and his army at the Battle of Tours in 732.  Yet most of Spain was still under foreign rule and, according to legend, Charlemagne (742-814) was recruited to rectify this situation.
“Charlemagne saw a path of stars in the sky, beginning in the Frisian Sea and extending through Germany and Italy, Gaul and Aquitaine, passing directly over Gascony, Vasconia, Navarre and Spain to Galicia, where the body of Saint James lay buried and undiscovered.  Looking upon this stellar path several times every night, he began to mediate its meaning.  A knight of splendid appearance, more handsome than words can describe, appeared to Charlemagne one evening in a vision as he sat in deep meditation.
“What are you doing, my son?” the knight asked.

“To which the king responded, “Who are you, sir?”

“I am Saint James the Apostle, disciple of Christ…and whose body lies forgotten in Galicia, a place still shamefully oppressed by the Saracens.  I am deeply disturbed by the fact that you, who have conquered so many cities and nations, have not liberated my lands from the Saracens…  The path of stars that you have contemplated in the sky is the sign indicating that you must take a great army from here to Galicia to do battle with those perfidious pagans, to free my path and my lands and to visit my basilica and my tomb.  After you, all peoples from sea to sea will walk there as pilgrims, begging forgiveness for their sins and proclaiming the greatness of the Lord…”
(Kevin R. Poole, editor and translator of The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin, Book IV of the Liber Sancti Jacobi (New York: Italica Press, 2014) pgs. 5-6)
The historical Charlemagne was forced to retreat from the Muslims in Spain and then tragically, the Basques attacked his baggage train and killed Roland, the warden of the Breton March.  The incident inspired the Song of Roland but brought the Spanish people no closer to freedom.  However, the Reconquista had already begun in 718 when Pelagius defeated an Islamic Umayyad patrol in the Battle of Covadonga in Galencia.  Although there were occasional forays into Galencia, the Muslims never controlled this part of Spain.   Galencia was incorporated into Asturias, a Christian kingdom in the northwest of Spain. 

In 812, Bishop Teodomiro, Bishop of Iria Flavia in Galencia, Spain, was visited by a group of men in his diocese.  They told him that the anchorite Palagio with other devote men had seen a bright star over the hill of Libredon.  Not only this, but they had seen lights moving among the forest while unseen voices sang religious chants.  Stirred by this miracle, the Bishop determined to investigate the area with his canons and some prominent citizens on July 25th.  After clearing away the underbrush, the men discovered a cave.  Inside of the cave were three stone coffins.  The largest of the coffins was in the middle with its occupant identified as Saint James – “Here lies Santiago, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of St. John, whom Herod beheaded in Jerusalem.  He came by sea borne by his disciples to Iria Flavia of Galicia…”  

King Afonso II of Asturias, with the nobles of his court, journeyed to the shrine and ordered that a church be built to honor Saint James.   Pope Leo III informed the Archbishops and the Bishops of the discovery.  A small town grew up near the cave called Santiago de Compostela and the body of Saint James was moved there in 829.  A beautiful Church was constructed during the reign of Afonso III in 893. (Catherine Gasquoine Hartley The Story of Santiago de Compostela (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1912) pgs. 22-27)

The pilgrimage of St. James became very popular – third in popularity after Jerusalem and Rome.   Even a Moorish ambassador was astonished at the crowds:
“When Ali-ben-Yussuf, the Almoravide, sent an embassy to Dona Urraca about 1121, the ambassadors were amazed at the throngs of pilgrims who choked the road.  They asked the subaltern detailed to escort and assist them, the Centurion Peter..: ‘Who is it the Christians so revered, for whom so great a multitude comes and goes, from this side and the other of the Pyrenees, so that the road is scarcely cleared for us?’  And Peter answered with a fine gesture: ‘He who deserves such reverence is St. James whose body there is buried…’” (Georgiana Goddard King, The Way of Saint James, Volume 1 (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920) pg. 107)
In 1122, Pope Calixrus II granted a Holy Year to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela when July 25th (Saint James’ feast day) falls on a Sunday.  On that year, the Holy Door is open from January 1st to December 31st and pilgrims are granted special indulgencies.  The years 2004, 2010, 2021 and 2027 were or will be Holy Years and there are usually more pilgrims during these years.  The Codex Calixtinus, an illustrated manuscript of the 12th century, is a description of the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and includes music, stories of St. James, miracles and advice about the route.  Despite its name, it was not written by Pope Calixrus II but by unknown authors and organized by Aymeric Picaud, a French scholar. 

St. Francis of Assisi, like many others, went to Santiago de Compostela with a few of his companions:
“A the beginning and commencement of the Order, when as yet there were few brothers and the Houses had not been taken into possession, Saint Francis for his devotion went to Saint James’s of Galicia… Having won thither, while he was spending the night in prayer in the church of St. James, it was revealed by God unto Saint Francis, that it behooved him to take possession of many places throughout the world, because his Order must needs grow and increase into a vast multitude of brothers” (The Little Flowers of Saint Francis translated by T.W. Arnold (London: J. M. Dent and Co., 1907) pg. 11)
Throughout the ages, pilgrims have had different reasons to visit the tomb of St. James.  Some came to worship, others to fulfil a vow, still others petitioned the saint to alleviate their or other’s distress.  Fray Miguel Capeller and Fray Leonardo de Gratia, for instance, were sent to ask St. James to stop the plague in Barcelona in 1465 (The Way of Saint James, pg. 123). 

Church authorities sometimes required penitents to make the pilgrimage to atone for their sins.  There were several official roads to Santiago – the one from France being one of the most popular.  Most pilgrims purchase a credencial - a small book which is marked by the local church or town hall with an official St. James stamp as the pilgrim progresses on his or her journey.  The pilgrim must travel at least 100 km by foot or 200 km by bicycle (about 62 and 127 miles respectively) to receive the compostela.  The compostela is a certificate of achievement given by the Pilgrim’s Office to those who arrive at Santiago de Compostela after traveling the required distance.  According to the Confraternity of Saint James, the pilgrimage is still popular with 272,135 receiving the compostela in 2010 (a Holy Year) and 262,469 in 2015.

St. James is often shown with a seashell and a pilgrim’s hat and staff to emphasize his protection over the pilgrims who visit Santiago.  However, St. James represents more than a protector of pilgrims.  As we saw above, St. James appeared to Charlemagne as a great knight.  St. James was an inspiration to the Spanish as they attempted to reconquer their land from the Moors.  The great warrior El Cid invokes St. James as his army of four thousand prepares to fight the Moorish force of fifty thousand:
“Our bishop, good Don Jerom, an early mass shall say, And give us absolution before the dawn of day. Then we shall sally forth and assault them in the names Of the Lord and His Apostle our worthy good St. James”
There are legends of St. James on his white horse leading the Spanish to victory against the Moors.  The Spanish achieved their final victory in 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella defeated the last Moorish army and Spain was finally free.
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Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola
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Today is the beginning of the Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola

V. In the Name (✠) of the Father...
R. Amen.

Suscipe (Prayer by St. Ignatius)

V. Take, O Lord, and receive all my liberty,
R. My memory, my understanding * and my entire will * All I have and call my own. * Thou hast given all to me, * To Thee, O Lord, I return it. * Everything belongs to Thee; * do with it as Thou wilt. * Give me only Thy love and Thy grace, * That is enough for me. Amen.

Anima Christi (Prayer by St. Ignatius) 

V. Soul of Christ, R. Sanctify me.
V. Body of Christ, R. Save me.
V. Blood of Christ, R. Inebriate me.
V. Water from the side of Christ, R. Wash me.
V. Passion of Christ, R. Strengthen me.
V. O Good Jesus (☨), R. Hear me.
V. Within Thy wounds, R. Shelter me.
V. Separated from Thee, R. Let me never be.
V. From the evil one, R. Protect me.
V. At the hour of my death, R. Call me.
V. Into Thy presence, R. Lead me.
V. That I may praise Thee, R. With all Thy angels and saints, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Generosity (by St. Ignatius)

V. Lord, do Thou teach me to be generous.
R. Teach me to serve Thee as Thou deserves: * To give and not to count the cost, * To fight and not to heed the wounds, * to toil and not to seek for rest, * to labor and not to ask for reward, * save that of knowing * that I do Thy divine and holy Will. Amen. *

Novena Prayer

V. O glorious Patriarch, St. Ignatius of Loyola,
R. We humbly beseech thee to obtain for us from Almighty God, * above all things else, * deliverance from sin, * which is the greatest of evils, * and next, from those scourges * wherewith the Lord chastises the sins of His people.

V. And by thy glorious merits we beseech thy benevolent intercession before the throne of Almighty God, that He may grant us: (Pause and state your intentions)

V. May thine example, O Loyal Knight of Our Lady, enkindle in our hearts an effectual desire,
R. To employ ourselves continually in laboring for the greater glory of God * and the good of our fellowmen; * obtain for us, likewise, from the loving Heart of Jesus (☨) Our Lord, * that grace which is the crown of all graces, * that is to say, the grace of final perseverance and everlasting happiness. * Amen.

V. Laudetur Jesus (☨) Christus! (Praise be Jesus Christ)
R. Nunc et in æternum. Amen. (Now and forever)

V. In the Name (✠) of the Father...
R. Amen.
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Monday, July 18, 2016
St. Camillus of Lellis
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Today is the Feast of St. Camillus of Lellis (1550 - 1614), the renowned founder of the Camillians, an order dedicated to the care of the sick.

The life of St. Camillus should serve as an inspiration to us - he was not born perfect.  After his mother died, he was virtually abandoned by his father.  He fought against the Turks as a young man but after an addiction to gambling, he was completely destitute.

Inspired to become a Capuchin, he was unable to be professed in the area due to a disease of his leg which he contracted from the war which progressively became work.  St. Camillus dedicated himself to caring for the sick and he became director of a hospital in Rome.  His spiritual director was the illustrious St. Philip Neri.  With St. Neri's consent, St. Camillus was ordained a priest and founded a congregation with two others.

St. Camillus, Founder of the Ministers of the Sick (Camellians), ministered initially to the sick of Holy Ghost Hospital in Rome.  In 1588, they moved to a new house in Naples and worked to care for the many stricken by the plague.  In 1591, Pope Gregory XIV made the Congregation into an order to serve the sick.  That year, members of the order were sent to Hungary and Croatia to minister to wounded troops - this was the first field medical unit.

In 1607, after a long battle with illness, St. Camillus resigned as Superior of his order and died on July 25 of that year.  He was canonized in 1746 and, along with St. John of God, was declared patron saint of the sick as well as patron saint of nurses and nursing groups.

The body of this saint is today preserved in Rome in the altar of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, along with several of his relics. Also on display is the Cross which spoke to Camillus, and asked him, "Why are you afraid? Do you not realize that this is not your work but mine?"

O holy saint of God, pray for us! Pray for the sick and for our doctors and physicians to serve the True God and fight against the evils of the culture of death.

The Scapular of Help of the Sick
In the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Rome, there is a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is specially venerated under the title of Help of the Sick. This picture is said to have been painted by the celebrated Dominican painter, Blessed Fra Angelico and before it Pope St Pius V is said to have prayed for the victory of the Christian fleet during the Battle of Lepanto (1571). This picture suggested to a brother of the Order of Saint Camillus de Lellis, Ferdinand Vicari, the idea of founding a confraternity under the invocation of the Virgin Mary for the poor sick. The confraternity was canonically erected in the above-mentioned church in 1860.  The scapular is black and the front has an image of the above picture of the Virgin Mary and at her feet St. Joseph and St. Camillus, the two other patrons of the sick and of the confraternity. The other side has a little red cloth cross. Indulgences were granted by Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII in 1860 and 1883; these were last ratified by the Congregation of Indulgences, 21 July 1883.
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Saturday, July 16, 2016
Why is The Church in a Crisis? And How Can Religious Education Be the Cure?
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This is a Guest Article by the President of CatechismClass.com

What is the Greatest Issue Facing Your Parish?

To all involved in religious education (priests, DREs, teachers): We know you are busy.  You are fighting against a wealth of issues including:

•    Lack of volunteers
•    Limited Time
•    Lack of Parental Involvement
•    Budget Cuts and Finances
•    Lack of Commitment by Students
•    Creating Lesson Plans
•    Grading
•    Students with learning disabilities
•    Etc

Why Religious Education is in a Crisis

•    Since 1970, the number of children in primary school in religious education has dropped 60%
•    Since 1970, the number of secondary school students in religious education has dropped 55%
•    Since 1960, the number of annual adult baptisms has fallen 68%
•    Since 1975, the number of annual infant baptisms has fallen 18%
•    Nearly 80 percent of cradle Catholics are no longer Catholic by the age of 23
•    Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing
•    10 percent of all adults in America are ex-Catholics

Why This Is Very Serious

•    What if I told you, “Only 20% of the students that graduate from University XYZ acquire employment.” You would think that this is a worthless university. In fact, it’s accreditation should probably be re-investigated.

•    Well that is exactly what’s happening in the Catholic Church in the United States. Only 20% of Catholics that go through our system later apply that faith to their lives when they reach the age of 23. The other 80% drop out!

•    Religious Education has not been effectively stopping the decline in the Church. Catholics have the most ex-members out of any religious group in the United States. Why are we losing so many adherents? Why are so many ignorant to basic Catholic principles like the Real Presence? What can you do about this?

Your Mission

•    Despite all of the issues pressing us (lack of volunteers or time or finances), we have a responsibility to God to help pass down the Faith
•    It is God’s very desire that none be lost and that the Faith grow: “Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day” (John 6:39)

Religious Education Must Improve

•    Children want to learn and be challenged.  The discipline in a secular classroom should carry over to religious education
•    Children want to be part of something bigger than themselves.  They want to feel connected and a part of something
•    Now, more than ever before, we need to provide the highest quality religious education programs to our children
•    And more than ever before, we must do it with the technology they are using to make it relevant and meaningful to them
•    Catholics – like everyone – are relying upon modern technology conveniences, like cell phones, tablets, and computers to help them live their lives 

The Solution is Here

What if there was a way to improve your parish’s religious education, reach students using their interests, and better educate both the students and the parents?

http://www.catechismclass.com

CatechismClass.com Is the Solution

CatechismClass.com uses New Media Technology in order to meet students where they are at.  Founded in 2004 by Fr. James D. Zatalava of Altoona, PA, our organization has provided Sacramental Preparation and enrichment programs to adults and children for over a decade.  Over 5,000 students have taken our godparent preparation program alone. CatechismClass.com operates with the singular goal of being the best online Catholic catechesis program in the world.

CatechismClass.com Offers the Best in Online Education with best-selling programs including:

•    An Online GodParent Preparation Program
•    A Best-Selling Adult RCIA Program
•    An Equivalent Young Adult RCIA Program
•    Adult Faith Formation Enrichment Programs
•    Children’s Sacramental and Faith Formation Programs

Through our extensive surveys and market research, our students leave our programs knowing more on the Faith and remaining committed to the Catholic Church in the ensuing years.

We handle the planning, the material gathering, and much of the teaching. You have no more need for expensive book purchases and the evaluating and grading. All you have to do is login and you're ready to go! We don't require expensive books. Everything is done online.

Our Mission

As a result of our programs, it is our goal for parents, pastors and bishops to possess the capacity to educate the students in their care with the highest quality, most authentic catechetical product possible, with the ability to utilize it in the most convenient, state of the art, and fully accountable manner available.

Don’t Wait! Visit us today at CatechismClass.com and browse our course offerings today.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Third Anniversary of Fatima - A Vision of Hell
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Today is the 99th Anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary's appearance in Fatima and the Vision of Hell.  You can read a more thorough account of the apparition by clicking here.

The following is from today's newsletter of American Needs Fatima:

I have a rather controversial topic to share with you today – hell.  It’s not very popular these days. Some even doubt its existence or, saying it does exist, they say no one is actually sent there.

Well, Our Lady was never concerned about being popular, and she certainly believes hell exists. What’s more, the Mother of Mercy knew she had to show hell to us all – through the three shepherd children – in order to save souls from going there.

Because, regardless of the latest opinion poll – souls do go there. Our Lady said so. But, you may ask, did she really have to show hell and all its horrors to three little children?  Would she really scare them like that?

Sadly, yes, she did have to show them and, yes, it did scare them, big time! Here is a little of what Lucia, only 10 years old at the time wrote about it:
“Plunged in this fire were … souls in human form … amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair.” 
Had it not been for Mary’s promise to the children that they would indeed go to heaven, Lucia said: “we would have died of fear and terror.”
The Old Testament speaks of hell; Our Lord Jesus Christ referred to it often; and the Catholic Church has been teaching about its existence – and how to avoid it – for over 2,000 years. But Mother Mary knows her children – those in 1917 and those in 2016 – and she also knew that a picture is worth a thousand words… and this case a million. In the third Apparition of Fatima, hell was not just spoken of, it was made into a reality that those children saw with their own eyes.

All you have to do is look at their faces, and you know that hell is for real. Fortunately, that is not the end of our story. It would have been cruel for Our Lady to show them hell, but then not teach us how to avoid it. Mary just wouldn’t do that!
 
Our Lady of Fatima asks when we pray our rosary, to add this prayer after every “Glory Be”:  Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

I know you love Holy Mary. If you’re not praying this prayer already, maybe you could start today – 99 years after she showed the children hell, and most importantly, gave us all the Fatima solution.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016
St. John Gualbert, Model of Forgiveness
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Double (1955 Calendar): July 12

This painting of St. John Gualbert by the Italian Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1753, oil on canvas), showcases the extraordinary spiritual awakening of this Florentine saint.

Saint John Gualbert was born in Florence during the eleventh century. He had a younger brother who had been murdered; Gualbert pursued the murderer and was about to slay him, when the assassin extended his arms in the shape of a cross and asked for mercy in the name of Jesus Christ.  Fittingly, it was on Good Friday that the solder, John Gualbert, encountered the assassin. 
 
Instead of exacting revenge, Gualbert embraced his brother’s killer. Afterward Gualbert entered a nearby church to give thanks for having resisted the impulse to commit murder. As he prayed, the image of Christ on the crucifix appeared to incline his head toward him. Gualbert was moved to forsake the world and enter a Benedictine monastery, and later founded the Vallombrosan monastic order.  His Order helped spread a revival of faith and morals throughout Italy.

The exaple of St. Gualbert shows us the extraordinary gift of God's grace in our lives to forgive others, as He has forgiven us by crucifying his Son by our sins, offenses, and ingratitudes. 

Collect:

Let the blessed Abbot John intercede for us, O Lord. may his prayers win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Sunday, July 10, 2016
A Prayer for the Forgotten Dead
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O merciful God, take pity on those souls who have no particular friends and intercessors to recommend them to Thee, who, either through the negligence of those who are alive, or through length of time are forgotten by their friends and by all. Spare them, O Lord, and remember Thine own mercy, when others forget to appeal to it. Let not the souls which Thou hast created be parted from thee, their Creator.May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
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SSPX Launches a New Rosary Crusade
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Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X announced another Rosary Crusade as a spiritual preparation for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.

At the priestly ordinations in Zaitzkofen (Germany) on July 2, 2016, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X announced another Rosary Crusade as a spiritual preparation for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (May to October 1917).

This crusade will be held from August 15, 2016 to August 22, 2017.

It follows the intentions indicated by the Blessed Virgin herself: (I) Jesus wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In order to do so, all the faithful are invited:
  1.     to recite the rosary daily, alone or as a family;
  2.     to accomplish the devotion of the reparatory communion on five first Saturdays, and to multiply their daily sacrifices in a spirit of reparation for the outrages against Mary;
  3.     to wear the miraculous medal themselves and to diffuse it around them;
  4.     to consecrate their homes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Besides the propagation of this devotion, we will also pray (II) for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and (III) for the pope and all the bishops of the Catholic world to consecrate Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And as a special intention we will add (IV) the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Society of St. Pius X and all its members in addition to all the religious communities of Tradition.

The goal set by Bishop Bernard Fellay is a bouquet of 12 million rosaries and 50 million sacrifices for Our Lady of Fatima.

Source: SSPX.ORG
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Friday, July 8, 2016
Fr. Peter Carota (RIP)
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Today at 7 AM, Fr. Peter Carota, the great traditional Catholic priest who was behind the blog Traditional Catholic Priest has died.  Please join me in praying for his soul and having Masses said for his behalf.  Please pray for his family and those spiritual children who he has left behind.

DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths, I have cried to Thee, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice. Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark my iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord
My soul hath relied on His word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord. From the morning watch even until night; let Israel hope in the Lord. Because with the Lord there is mercy; and with Him plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them: May they rest in peace Amen.

Most gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the souls of the Faithful Departed. Be not severe in Thy Judgments, but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames and do Thou, O merciful Savior, send Thy angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.
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Thursday, July 7, 2016
Feast of Ss Cyril & Methodius
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Double (1955 Calendar): July 7

Today is the Feast of Ss Cyril and Methodius.  The Roman Martyrology entry of April 6th says of them:

In Moravia, the birthday of St. Methodius, bishop and confessor. Together with his brother, the bishop St. Cyril, whose birthday was the 14th of February, he converted many of the Slav races and their rulers to the faith of Christ. Their feast is celebrated on the 7th day of July.
The website of Nobility.org has a fitting article on these two holy brothers:
These brothers, the Apostles of the Slavs, were born in Thessalonica, in 827 and 826 respectively. Though belonging to a senatorial family they renounced secular honors and became priests. They were living in a monastery on the Bosphorus, when the Khazars sent to Constantinople for a Christian teacher. Cyril was selected and was accompanied by his brother. They learned the Khazar language and converted many of the people. Soon after the Khazar mission there was a request from the Moravians for a preacher of the Gospel. German missionaries had already labored among them, but without success.

The Moravians wished a teacher who could instruct them and conduct Divine service in the Slavonic tongue. On account of their acquaintance with the language, Cyril and Methodius were chosen for their work. In preparation for it Cyril invented an alphabet and, with the help of Methodius, translated the Gospels and the necessary liturgical books into Slavonic. They went to Moravia in 863, and labored for four and a half years. Despite their success, they were regarded by the Germans with distrust, first because they had come from Constantinople where schism was rife, and again because they held the Church services in the Slavonic language.

On this account the brothers were summoned to Rome by Nicholas I, who died, however, before their arrival. His successor, Adrian II, received them kindly. Convinced of their orthodoxy, he commended their missionary activity, sanctioned the Slavonic Liturgy, and ordained Cyril and Methodius bishops. Cyril, however, was not to return to Moravia. He died in Rome, 4 Feb., 869.
Continue Reading...

The fruit of  Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius led to the conversion of the family of Vratislav I, Duke of Bohemia.  Vratislav's son would become St. Wenceslaus of Bohemia.  And there were other canonized saints in his family.  May the holy example and good works of these two holy brothers bring about many more saints.  Kyrie eleison!
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Sunday, July 3, 2016
Francis Open to Women Deacons?
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Guest Article by David Martin

In an interview with journalists on June 26, Pope Francis feigned anger and surprise over two-month-old reports that he has opened the door to allowing women deacons in the Catholic Church.

"The first to be surprised by this news was me," the Pope said on June 26 during an in-flight press briefing en route to Rome following his three-day visit to Armenia. "They said: 'The Church opens the door to deaconesses.' Really? I am a bit angry because this is not telling the truth of things."

Nice try, but his speech in fact indicates he is open to the idea, since he admitted to journalists that he agreed to study the question of women deacons. "We had heard that in the first centuries there were deaconesses, the pope said. "One could study this and one could make a commission. Nothing more has been requested."

Herein we see applied the typical modernist ploy of pretending a theological question is open for discussion when in fact it has already been decided by the Church for centuries. If Francis is open to studying the question of women deacons, then clearly he is open to allowing them. If he was truly against women deacons and was resolved never to allow such a thing, he would never consider a commission to study this.

Nor would he be open to feminists that are proposing this. It was their clamor for women deacons this past spring that led him to study this question. In a special audience on May 12, the pope addressed 800 members of the International Union of Superiors General (USIG) which largely focuses on the role of women in the Church, and obstacles "hindering" it. The question was raised as to whether or not there were ordained women deacons in the early Church, at which time one of the sisters asked the pope: "Why not construct an official commission that might study the question" of opening the diaconate to women.

"I believe yes," the pope said. "It would do good for the Church to clarify this point. I am in agreement. I will speak to do something like this," adding later that "it seems useful to me to have a commission that would clarify this well."
The pope's action indeed has opened the door to women deacons, which in turn has been a spur for feminists.

Of such women Francis said on June 26, "Woman's thought is important." Noting how women think differently from men, he said, "One cannot make a good decision without listening to women." Oh Really? Adam listened to Eve, and look what happened to the human race! Is Francis advocating that the clergy should do the same?

His aberration of seeing women as authorities is seen in his General Audience of April 15, 2015, in which he said that "more weight and more authority must be given to women," emphasizing that women should not only be heard, but be given a "recognized authority."

With this same frame of reference, the pope earlier this year sanctioned a special section of L'Osservatore Romano entitled "Women-Church-World," in which three writers have been calling for a reexamination of Church policy. Since March 1 the Vatican's official newspaper has been publishing essays suggesting that women now be allowed to give homilies at Mass.

Sister Catherine Aubin, a Dominican theologian, argues that women should be allowed to lead spiritual retreats and do homilies at Mass. She asks, "Why can’t women also preach in front of everyone during the celebration of Mass?"

Sister Madeleine Fredell who preaches to various ecumenical congregations including the Lutheran Church, says, "I believe that listening to the voice of women at the time of the homily would enrich our Catholic worship."

These are the very people—these and others like them—that have been clamoring for a commission to examine the question of women deacons. Unfortunately, the idea of women deacons, as with women homilists, lectors, speakers, and Eucharistic ministers, is a closed book, as it completely breaks with the Church's 2000 year tradition. According to Christ, His Apostles, and the saints, women have no business on the altar, nor is it their place to lecture in the Church.

St. Paul is to the point. "Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be subject, as also the law saith... For it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church." (1 Corinthians 14:34,35)

Francis should close his ears to feminists and be open only to the Holy Spirit. Has feminism not brought with it enough promiscuity, abuse, and abortion for the pope to not know it is sinful? Does he not realize that in the same way sin entered the world through Eve, it is now entering upon his church through the brazen followers of Eve? If Pope Pius XI rightfully condemned women's participation in ministry as "a grave disorder to eliminate at all cost" (Quadragesima Anno), why would Francis now applaud such a thing?

What we're seeing today in Rome is a distrust and contempt for the eternal ordinance which God in His goodness had established for His Church in the beginning. Somehow our "theologians" of today feel that tradition is outdated and is no longer effective in saving souls, despite the fact that it has so beautifully stood the test of time.

St. Paul offers the cure for this ill that would have us cast off the continuous guidance of the Holy Spirit. "Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)

Sources:
  • http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-angry-over-media-slant-on-women-deacons-55348/
  • http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-says-hes-open-to-studying-the-female-diaconate-94916/

1st Photo Source: Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation), 2013
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
St. Bernard of Clairvaux: How to Fight Despair with Ss Peter and Paul as Guides
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One of the favorite tricks of the devil to stop fervent souls from advancing on the way to sanctity, or at least slow them down, is discouragement. This trick also has the wonderful advantage, from his standpoint, to be able as well, if it works, to lead these souls to despair and thus deprive them of heaven forever.

This is why Saint Bernard of Clairvaux so often addresses this subject in his sermons to his monks. For this feast of Saints Peter and Paul we send you some passages of two of his sermons for this feast which contain a consoling antidote to this particularly dangerous poison which the enemy of our souls tries to inject in them to deprive them of eternal life.

St. Bernard: Sermon I for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul

1. A glorious feast dawns upon us which splendid martyrs, the leaders of the martyrs, the princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their renowned deaths. I speak of Peter and Paul, two great lamps which God placed in the body of His Church like eyes giving a twin light. They have been given me as teachers and mediators to whom I might securely confide myself : for they have made known to me the ways of life and through them I will be able to ascend to that Mediator who came to pacify all things in heaven and on earth (…) How will I dare approach Him, I who am a sinner who has sinned exceedingly, who has sins whose number exceed that of the sand of the sea, when He cannot be purer and I cannot be more impure ? I fear lest I fall into the hands of the living God if I presume to approach Him from whom I differ as much as evil differs from good. 

That is why God gave me these men who are at the same time men and sinners and very great sinners, who thus have learned in themselves and from their own experience how they ought to be merciful towards others. For those who are guilty of great crimes will easily pardon great crimes, and in the measure that has been measured to them they will grant remission to us. Peter the Apostle sinned greatly and perhaps committed the greatest sin there ever was : and his pardon was as quick as it was easy, and in such a way that he lost nothing of the singularity of his primacy. However Paul as well, who ravaged the very entrails of the Church in a manner that was as unique as it was incomparable, is led to the faith by the voice of the Son of God Himself, and in exchange for such great evils was filled with so many goods that He became a chosen vessel to carry His name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel. He was a worthy vessel, filled with celestial victuals, from which the healthy might receive food and the infirm medicine.

2. Thus it behoved that pastors and doctors be constituted who would be gentle and powerful and nonetheless wise (…)

Sermon III “These are men of mercy” (Eccl. XLIV : 10)

1. Rightly, dear brethren, Holy Mother the Church attributes to the holy apostles the text :“But these are men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed:: good things continue with their seed.” (Eccl. XLIV : 10-11) For they are clearly men of mercy, because they have received mercy (…) Question Paul about himself, or rather hear him declaring spontaneously : “I was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and contumelious. But I obtained the mercy of God” (I Tim 1 : 10). 

For who has not heard how much evil he did to the saints in Jerusalem ? And not only in Jerusalem, but the bridle of his frenzy drew him through all of Judea, lacerating the members of Christ on the earth. He was going around, impelled by this madness, but grace came to meet him. As he was going, breathing threats and murder against the disciples of Christ, he became a disciple of Christ, and it was shown to him how much he would have to suffer for His name. He was going around, exhaling from his whole body a fearful stench, and suddenly he was changed into a chosen vessel, so that his heart enounced this good and holy word : “Lord, what wouldst thou have me do ?” (Acts IV).(…) Thus he rightly said later : “A faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief” (I Tim 1 : 15). 

Receive then this confidence and consolation from Saint Paul, brethren, so that having been converted to the Lord, the consciousness of your past sins not excessively torment but only humble you as it did him. “I am the least of the apostles”, he says, “who am not worthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God” (I Co XV : 9). Thus may we also humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and have confidence, for we also have obtained mercy, we have been washed, we have been sanctified. And this applies to all of us, for we have all sinned and do need the glory of God (Rm III : 23).

2. But with regard to Peter I have something to bring forth which is all the more precious that it is more rare, and all the more unique that it is more sublime. For Paul sinned, but he did it ignorantly in unbelief : when Peter fell, he has his eyes open. Thus where sin abounded, grace also superabounded. It is certainly abundant, the redemption of those who sinned before they knew God, before they had experienced His mercies, before they had borne His sweet yoke and light burden, before they had received the grace of devotion and the consolations of the Holy Ghost. And all of us were such. But of those who, after their conversion, become caught up in sins and vices, ungrateful for the grace they had received, who, become tepid and carnal, turn back after having put their hand to the plough, who, after having known the way of truth go back and become manifest apostates, of these, I say, you will find very few who after these things come back to their pristine state, but rather placed in filth, they become filthier still (Apo XXII : 11). It is these that the prophet deplores, saying : “How is the gold become dim, the finest colour changed !” and “They that were fed delicately have died in the streets ; they that were brought up in scarlet have embraced the dung” (Lam. IV : 1, 5).

3. Nonetheless, if someone is in this state, let us not despair for him, but let him will to rise quickly. For the longer he remains like this, the more difficult will it be for him to change. May blessed be he who takes hold of the little ones of Babylon and dashes them against the stone : for if they grow up, they will hardly let themselves be overcome. Little sons, I say these things that you might not sin. But is someone has sinned, we have an Advocate who is before the Father who can do what we cannot do at all : only may he who has fallen not add to the evil by falling deeper, but rather may he rise, having confidence that neither will pardon be denied to him, if, nevertheless, he confess from his heart his sins. For is this Peter, of whom we speak, came back, after such a grave fall, to such an eminent sanctity, who else should ever despair, if only he wishes to come out of his sins ? 

Hear what is written: “Going out, he wept bitterly” (Mt XVI : 75). The going out is the confession of the mouth, the bitter weeping is the compunction of the heart. And note that then he first remembers the words that Jesus had said : then first penetrate his heart the words by which his weakness had been predicted, when his temerity has vanished. But woe to you who, after your fall, show yourself to be stronger than us. Why are you so hard, unto your own destruction ? Incline yourself, rather, that you might the better be raised, and don’t refuse to let what is crooked be broken so that it might better become whole. Why do you become indignant at the cock that crows ? Be indignant rather at yourself. (…) 

4. You have now heard what mercy our apostles obtained, so that no one among you might be confounded more than necessary by his past sins, full of compunction in the chamber of his conscience. What then ? perhaps you have sinned in the world, but more than Paul ? Or perhaps even in religious life, but more than Peter ? Nonetheless, repenting with their whole hearts, they not only obtained salvation, but attained sanctity ; more, they even became ministers of salvation and doctors of sanctity. You then do likewise, because it is for your sake that Scripture says that these are men of mercy because of the great mercy that they obtained. (…)

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Sunday, June 26, 2016
Make an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart this June
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O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.

Amen.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
St. Paulinus of Nola
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Double (1955 Calendar): June 22

St. Paulinus, whose feastday we celebrate today, was born in 354 to a wealthy Roman family in Gaul.  His father was the praetorian prefer of Gaul, and as such, his status helped ensure that Paulinus received a complete education.  St. Paulinus eventually became a lawyer and then the prefer of Rome.  He married a Spanish noblewoman and lived a life of luxury.

In 390, tragedy struck in the death of Paulinus' son.  Immediately following, he retreated from his earthly affairs and was baptized by St. Delphinus in Aquitaine.  Along with his wife, he gave away all of his earthly possessions to the poor and the Church.  Together, they lived a life of penance and sought true Christian perfection.

In 393 AD, St. Paulinus was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Barcelona, who nearly forced the duty on the saint.  After his ordination, he moved to an estate near the tomb of St. Nola in Naples.  Along with his wife (as this was back before the days of obligatory priestly celebacy), they established a community of monks and continued their austere life.  He went so far as to sell all of his estates in Gaul and divide the money to the poor.  He was not lacking in charitable works - helping to build hospitals, aqueducts, and basilicas.

In 409 AD, he was elected as Bishop of Nola, serving in that holy office until his death in 431.  He was a friend of Ss Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, and the others of that era.  He was also a gifted poet and the author of more than 51 letters, 32 poems, and several pieces of prose.

Collect:

O God, You promised a hundredfold reward and eternal life to those who forsake the world for Your sake. May we walk in the footsteps of Your holy bishop Paulinus, despising the things of the earth and desiring only those of heaven; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Friday, June 10, 2016
Collegial Papacy Undermining Primacy of Pope
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Guest Article By David Martin

In the wake of all the turmoil and confusion that has plagued the papacy since Benedict XVI resigned in February 2013, a Vatican Archbishop has inadvertently shed light on the situation, saying there was already a plan in the works to expand the Petrine ministry to something new.

In a revealing speech at a May 20 book launch in Rome, Archbishop Georg Gänswein who serves as prefect of the Pontifical Household reflected on what he saw as a new development of the papacy, and offered comments on Benedict’s resignation. "Before and after his resignation, Pope Benedict has viewed his task as participation in the papal ministry," Gänswein said.

News media quoted the archbishop as saying that Benedict never abandoned the Petrine ministry, but has now "built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry." Gänswein explained the reformed papacy, saying there are "not two popes but de facto an expanded ministry, with an active member and a contemplative member."

Obviously this was never Pope Benedict's idea of the papacy before his election, nor did he ever show signs of wanting to abdicate the Papal Throne. Credible reports in the past year in fact indicate that Benedict XVI was coerced into resigning, and it appears his persecutors pressured him into accepting this idea of an "expanded" papacy, which now provides him with a skillful means of smoothing over what otherwise could be a very humiliating situation when asked why he fled the cross.

The scenario was already foreshadowed in the Holy Father's inaugural speech of April 24, 2005, when he said: "Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves." Apparently not enough prayers were offered for the Holy Father, because Benedict XVI did flee for fear of the wolves.

We know from Cardinal Danneels of Brussels that he was part of a radical "mafia" reformist group opposed to Benedict XVI. Danneels, known for his support of abortion, LGBT rights, gay-marriage, and pornography said in a taped interview last September that he and several cardinals were part of this "mafia" club which bore the name of St. Gallen. He said the group was calling for drastic changes in the Church, to make it "much more modern," and that the plan all along was to have Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio [Francis] head it. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal-danneels-part-of-mafia-club-opposed-to-benedict-xvi/#ixzz4ArrcdGGE

This infamous clique which is documented in Austen Ivereigh's biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer, comprised the key members of the Vatican "gay-lobby" which held the reigns and created so much chaos at the October 2014-2015 Synods on the Family. According to some reports, lobby members threatened Pope Benedict with extortion prior to his resignation.

Benedict now denies this conspiracy, because it's too embarrassing to speak of and he feels it will scandalize the Church, but clearly there was this plan in the works to "expand" the papacy to communal dimensions. Unfortunately, Gänswein sidesteps the conspiratorial element of the plan by presenting it as Benedict's design, and this unfortunately maximizes its credibility before the Church.  

With a "two-headed" papacy established, it opens the door to a four-headed papacy, and then a collegial papacy where the enemies of the Church can collectively be "pope." What we are seeing is the plan of the Freemasons to undermine the Primacy of Peter, a thread that started at Vatican II. There is no such thing as an "expanded" or "collegial" papacy with a "synodal dimension." Such a thing has never existed in the 2000-year history of the Church, nor is there any "God of surprises" who will come along to start such a heresy.

There have been anti-popes of the past when more than one claimant contended over the Chair of Peter, yes, but there was never a mutual consensus to a collegial papacy. There can only be one human representative of the Petrine Office, because Christ has only one Vicar upon earth, not two. (Matthew 16:18)  What we have today is a "pope of surprises" who has opened the door to this ecclesial twilight zone, but if Francis be the pope, what is Benedict XVI? Consider Pope Benedict's answer.

"Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005. The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. Always – anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church. In a manner of speaking, the private dimension of his life is completely eliminated." ... "The 'always' is also a "forever" – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this." (Pope Benedict XVI at the General Audience of February 27, 2013, on the eve of his resignation)

According to Benedict XVI, he is still pope. And whereas he assumes a "contemplative" and not "active" role in the Petrine ministry, he has not renounced his Petrine character, nor is that character diminished. He is still pope, wholly and entirely. Yet, there can only be one pope. So what is Francis? Has God through some mysterious decree deigned to momentarily sanction a two-headed pope in order to prevent the reign of an anti-pope?

In hindsight we can understand why lighting struck twice on the dome of St. Peter's Basilica just hours after Benedict XVI announced his resignation on February 10, 2013. Was God angry or what? Should the Lord be happy that His Palace on earth is being turned into a sodomite merry-go-round in the name of mercy? Benedict's resignation opened a can of toxic worms, so what can he do now to repair this?

There is one thing that Pope Benedict can do to repair for the damage. He can disclose the Third Secret of Fatima in its entirety and admit openly, as he admitted privately in summer 2000, that the Secret was never released in June 2000. According to Fr. Ingo Dollinger, who was a personal acquaintance of the late St. Padre Pio, Cardinal Ratzinger [now Benedict XVI] told him in summer 2000 that the Third Secret mentioned "a bad council and a bad Mass."

The Vatican press office now denies this, but this only testifies to the truth of the Fatima Secret that the "father of liars" would reign in the Eternal City. The Blessed Virgin herself stated in her Secret at La Salette: "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of Antichrist." (1846)

It behooves Benedict XVI to release the Third Secret in full, for this will alert the Church Militant to what it's truly up against. It will serve as a spiritual call to arms, whereby remiss Catholics can finally take the golden calf of Vatican II by the horns, and reject without scruple the idol of change that has meddled in the Church's affairs since the late-sixties. The pope has push-button power to blow-up the conciliar idol. Let us pray that he use it.

https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2016/06/04/communal-papacy-may-baby-step-toward-democracy/

Image Source: Photo (c) Matthew Plese, 2016
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