Friday, 30 May 2014

St. Joan of Arc

At Domremy, on the Upper Meuse, was born on 6th January, 1412, of pious parentage, the illustrious heroine of all time, St. Joan of Arc.

Taught by her mother from earliest years to pray each night, "O God, save France," she could not help but conceive that ardent love for her country which later consumed her life.

Whilst the English were overrunning the north of France, their future conquerer, untutored in worldly wisdom, was peacefully tending her flock, and learning the wisdom of God at a wayside shrine.

But hearing Voices from Heaven and bidden by St. Michael, who appeared to her, to deliver her country from the enemy, she hastened to the king and convinced him of her divine mission.

Scarcely did her banner, inscribed "Jesus, Mary," appear on the battlefield than she raised the siege of Orleans and led Charles VII to be crowned at Rheims.

Later, abandoned by her king, she fell into the hands of the English, who gave her a mock trial and burned her as a heretic.

But the Maid of Orleans has at last come into her own, for with greater pomp than ever a king was crowned, and amid the acclamations of the whole world, on 13th May, 1920, Pope Benedict XV proclaimed her St. Joan of Arc.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Venerable Bede

Venerable Bede, the illustrious ornament of the Anglo-Saxon Church and the first English historian, was consecrated to God at the age of seven, and entrusted to the care of St. Benedict Biscop at Wearmouth. He became a monk in the sister-house of Jarrow, and there trained no less than six hundred scholars, whom his piety, learning, and sweet disposition had gathered round him.

To the toils of teaching and the exact observance of his rule he added long hours of private prayer, and the study of every branch of science and literature then known. He was familiar with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.

In the treatise which he compiled for his scholars, still extant, he threw together all that the world had then stored in history, chronology, physics, music, philosophy, poetry, arithmetic and medicine. In his Ecclesiastical History he has left us beautiful lives of Anglo-Saxon saints and holy Fathers, whilst his commentaries on the Holy Scriptures are still in use by the Church.

It was to the study of the Divine Word that he devoted the whole energy of his soul, and at times his compunction was so overpowering that his voice would break with weeping whilst the tears of his scholars mingled with his own.

He had little aid from others, and during his later years suffered from constant illness; yet he worked and prayed up to his last hour.

The saint was employed in translating the Gospel of St. John from the Greek up to the hour of his death, which took place on Ascension Day, 735.

"He spent that day joyfully," writes one of his scholars. And in the evening the boy who attended him said, "Dear master, there is yet one sentence unwritten". He answered, "write it quickly". Presently the youth said, "Now it is written". He replied, "Good! Thou hast said the truth - consummatum est; take my head into thy hands, for it is very pleasant to me to sit facing my old praying place, and there to call upon my Father".

And so on the floor of his cell he sang, "Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," and just as he said "Holy Ghost," he breathed his last, and went to the realms above.

Monday, 26 May 2014

St. Philip Neri

Philip was one of the noble line of saints raised up by God in the sixteenth century to console and bless His Church.

After a childhood of angelic beauty the Holy Ghost drew him away from Florence, the place of his birth, showed him the world, that he might freely renounce it, led him to Rome, modelled him in mind and heart and will, and then, as by a second Pentecost, came down in visible form and filled his soul with light and peace and joy.

He would have gone to India, but God reserved him for Rome. There he went on simply from day to day, drawing souls to Jesus, exercising them in mortification and charity, and binding them together by cheerful devotions; thus, unconsciously to himself, under the hands of Mary, as he said, the Oratory grew up, and all Rome was pervaded and transformed by its spirit.

His life was a continuous miracle, his habitual state an ecstasy. He read the hearts of men, foretold their future, knew their eternal destiny. His touch gave health of body; his very look calmed souls in trouble and drove away temptations. He was gay, genial, and irresistibly winning; neither insult nor wrong could dim the brightness of his joy.

Philip lived in an atmosphere of sunshine and gladness which brightened all who came near him. "When I met him in the street," says one, "he would pat my cheek and say, 'Well, how is Don Pellegrino?' and leave me so full of joy that I could not tell which way I was going". Others said that when he playfully pulled their hair or their ears, their hearts would bound with joy. Marcio Altieri felt such overflowing gladness in his presence that he said Philip's room was a paradise on earth. Fabrizio de Massimi would go in sadness or perplexity and stand at Philip's door; he said it was enough to see him, to be near him. And long after his death it was enough for many, when troubled, to go into his room to find their hearts lightened and gladdened.

He inspired a boundless confidence and love, and was the common refuge and consoler of all. A gentle jest would convey his rebukes and veil his miracles. The highest honours sought him out, but he put them from him

He died in his eightieth year, in 1595, and bears the grand title of 'Apostle of Rome'.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Secret Still Hidden

On June 26, 2000 the Vatican published the enigmatic vision of "the Bishop dressed in white" and claimed it was the entirety of the Third Secret of Fatima. Since then, a growing number of Catholics have become convinced that something is missing.

What is missing are the words of the Virgin Mary which would explain how the pope in the vision comes to be executed by soldiers outside a ruined city filled with corpses. In this book, lawyer and Catholic commentator Christopher A. Ferrara conducts a meticulous examination of a mass of evidence - including many recent admissions, inadvertent disclosures, inconsistencies and sudden about-faces on the part of the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone - to arrive at the inescapable conclusion that a text of the Virgin's words in the Third Secret has yet to be revealed.

This book was the first full-length examination of the grounds for rejecting Cardinal Bertone's version of the facts in the Third Secret controversy. The Cardinal's own statements, including his book and radio and television broadcasts in 2007, are shown to demonstrate beyond any doubt that a text of the Secret has been suppressed, evidently under an unjustifiable mental reservation that the text is not "authentic".

Antonio Socci, a well-known, mainstream, Italian author and television reporter, not associated with any 'traditionalist' group began his own investigation into the Third Secret of Fatima convinced that the Vatican had released the entire Secret on June 26, 2000.

Yet the more he investigated, the more he became convinced that the entire Secret was not revealed.

An extraordinary investigation into this on-going mystery, a clear indictment of the Modern(ist) Vatican, and firm evidence of a cover-up.

Heaven's Key to Peace

St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor

St. Robert Bellarmine, of whom Pope Clement VIII said: "The Church of God had not his equal in learning", was born of a noble family at Montepulciano in Tuscany in 1542. He lived until 1621 and it was a very full life conspicuous for exemplary piety.

Brilliant and unusually devout as a young man he attended the Jesuit College in the town. Later he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Rome, but his course here was shortened partly because of his delicate health, which lasted all his days. Having passed through the course of philosophy at the Roman College, he was sent to Florence, then to Monreale, later to Padua to teach sacred theology, and afterwards to Louvain.

Before his ordination, whilst still a student at Louvain University, he was appointed to preach against heretical doctrines. With consummate skill, he used the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas to offset heresies on grace, free will and papal authority. Probably on account of this rare success, he was recalled to Rome at the wish of Pope Gregory XIII and appointed to a new chair of controversial theology at the Roman College, of which he later became rector.

There, as spiritual director, he guided the angelic youth Aloysius in the paths of holiness. It was also during his eleven years at this college that he managed to write his Disputations, a work so great that it was difficult to believe it was the labour of one man. A catechism composed by him at this time is said to have gone into more translations than any book except the Bible and the Imitation of Christ. It is still used in Italy.

He was elevated to the Cardinalate by Pope Clement VIII, who publicly declared that he did not have his equal amongst theologians in the Church of God at the time. Some years later the same pope consecrated him bishop and appointed him Archbishop of Capua, which office he resigned after three years. he continued his life of penance at Rome and devoted himself utterly to the service of the poor.

During his last years he became librarian of the Vatican Library and counsellor to the Supreme Pontiff. he evidently kept his heart and mind attuned to the Lord's summons at death. His "Art of Dying" is witness to this fact. Almost 80 years old, he fell into his last illness at St. Andrew's on the Quirinal hill and in it he showed his usual radiant virtue. he died in 1621.

Pope Pius XI canonised him in 1930 and made him a Doctor of the Church the following year. A contemporary cardinal declared that Robert was sent by God for the instruction of Catholics, for the guidance of the good, and for the confusion of heretics. St. Francis de Sales regarded him as a fountain of learning. Pope Benedict XIV called him the hammer of heretics, and Pope Benedict XV proclaimed him the model of promoters and defenders of the Catholic religion.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Mass Destruction

"... Despite its brevity, the study shows quite clearly that the Novus Ordo Missae - considering the new elements susceptible to widely different interpretations which are implied or taken for granted - represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass...

... The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all is of perennial value finds only a minor place - if it subsists at all - could well turn into a certainty the suspicion, already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic Faith is bound forever".

Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, Antonio Cardinal Bacci, and a group of Roman Theologians
   -   Extract from the Accompanying Letter of the Cardinals to Paul VI presented with A Short Critical Study of the New Order of Mass25th September, 1969.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel

It is manifest, from the Holy Scriptures, that God is pleased to make frequent use of the ministry of the Heavenly spirits in the dispensations of His providence in this world, and especially towards man. Hence the name of Angel (which is not properly a denomination of nature, but office) has been appropriated to them.

The angels are all pure spirits; they are, by a property of their nature, immortal, as every spirit is. They have the power of moving or conveying themselves from place to place, and such is their activity that it is not easy for us to conceive it.

Amongst the holy archangels, there are particularly distinguished in Holy Writ Ss. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

St. Michael, whom the Church honours this day, is the prince of the faithful angels who opposed Lucifer and his associates in their revolt against God. As the Devil is the sworn enemy of God's holy Church, st. Michael is its special protector against his assaults and strategems.

This holy archangel has ever been honoured in the Christian Church as her guardian under God, and as the protector of the faithful; for God is pleased to employ the zeal and charity of the good angels and their leader against the malice of the Devil.

To thank His adorable goodness for this benefit of His merciful providence is this festival instituted by the Church in honour of the good angels, in which devotion she has been encouraged by several apparitions of this glorious archangel.

Amongst others, it is recorded that St. Michael, in a vision, admonished the Bishop of Siponto to build a church in his honour on Mount Gargano, near Manfredonia, in the kingdom of Naples. When the Emperor Otho III had, contrary to his word, put to death, for rebellion, Crescentius, a Roman senator, being touched with remorse he cast himself at the feet of St. Romuald, who, in satisfaction for his crime, enjoined him to walk barefoot, on a penitential pilgrimage, to St. Michael's on Mt. Gargano, which penance he performed in 1002.

It is mentioned in particular of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, in the persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully stand up in her defence: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people".

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

St Benedict Medal keyring - new stock

One of the greatest protectors against the assaults of the Devil is the St. Benedict's Medal.

In order for it to have this power over the devil, it needs to be exorcised and blessed. The Exorcism and Blessing is as follows:

V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.

R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.

Exorcizo vos, numismata, per Deum + Patrem omnipotentem, qui fecit caelum et terram, mare et omnia, quae in eis sunt. Omnis virtus adversarii, omnis exercitus diaboli, et omnis incursus, omne phantasma satanae, eradicare et effugare, ab his numismatibus: ut fiant omnibus, qui eis usuri sunt, salus mentis et corporis: in nomine Patris + omnipotentis, et Jesu + Christi Filii ejus, Domini nostri, et Spiritus + Sancti Paracliti, et in caritate ejusdem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem. R.Amen.
V.Domine exaudi orationem meam.
R.Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
V.Dominus vobiscum.
R.Et cum spiritu tuo.
OremusDeus omnipotens, bonorum omnium largitor, supplices te rogamus, ut per intercessionem sancti Benedicti his sacris numismatibus tuam beneditionem + infundas, ut omnes qui ea gestaverint ac bonis operibus intenti fuerint, sanitatem mentis et corporis, et gratiam sanctificationis, atque indulgentias (nobis) concessas consequi mereantur, omnesque diaboli insidias et fraudes, per auxilium misericordiae tuae, studeant devitare et in conspectu tuo sancti et immaculati valeant apparere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R.Amen.
Then the medal is sprinkled with Holy Water.
If the medal is set in a crucifix, the crucifix has to be blessed too. Here is the blessing:
V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus: Rogamus te, Domine sancte, pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: ut digneris benedicere + hoc signum Crucis, ut sit remedium salutare generi humano; sit soliditas fidei, profectus bonorum operum, redemptio animarum; sit solamen, et protectio, ac tutela contra saeva jacula inimicorum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.
Oremus: Benedic, + Domine Jesu Christe, hanc Crucem, per quam eripuisti mundum a potestate daemonum, et superasti passione tua suggestorem peccati, qui gaudebat in praevaricatione primi hominis per ligni vetiti sumptionem. (Hic aspergatur aqua benedicta). Santificetur hoc signum Crucis in nomine Patris + et Filii + et Spiritus + Sancti; ut orantes, inclinantesque se propter Dominum ante istam Crucem, inveniant corporis et animae sanitatem. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

St. John Before the Latin Gate

In the year 95, St. John, who was the only surviving Apostle, and governed all the churches of Asia, was apprehended at Ephesus, and sent prisoner to Rome.

The Emperor Domitian did not relent at the sight of the venerable old man, but condemned him to be cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. The martyr doubtless heard, with great joy, this barbarous sentence; the most cruel torments seemed to him light and most agreeable, because they would, he hoped, unite him forever to his Divine Master and Saviour.

But God accepted his will and crowned his desire; He conferred on him the honour and merit of martyrdom, but suspended the operation of the fire, as He had formerly preserved the three children from hurt in the Babylonian furnace. The seething oil was changed in his regard into an invigorating bath, and the saint came out more refreshed than when he had entered the cauldron.

Domitian saw this miracle without drawing from it the least advantage, but remained hardened in his iniquity. However, he contented himself after this with banishing the holy Apostle into the little island of Patmos.

St. John returned to Ephesus, in the reign of Nerva, who by mildness, during his short reign of one year and four months, laboured to restore the faded lustre of the Roman Empire.

This glorious triumph of St. John happened without the gate of Rome called Latina. A church which since has always borne this title was consecrated in the same place in memory of this miracle, under the first Christian emperors.

Pope St. Pius V

5th May - A Dominican friar from his fifteenth year, Michael Ghislieri, as a simple religious, as inquisitor, as bishop, and as cardinal, was famous for his intrepid defence of the Faith and the Church's discipline, and for the spotless purity of his own life.

His first care as pope was to reform the Roman court and capital by the strict example of his household and
the severe punishment of all offenders. He next endeavoured to obtain from the Catholic powers the recognition of the Tridentine decrees, two of which he urgently enforced - the residence of bishops, and the establishment of diocesan seminaries. He revised the Missal and Breviary, and reformed the ecclesiastical music.

Nor was he less active in protecting the Church without. We see him at the same time supporting the Catholic King of France against the Huguenot rebels, and encouraging Mary, Queen of Scots, in the bitterness of her captivity, and excommunicating her rival, the usurper Elizabeth, when the best blood of England had flowed upon the scaffold, and the measure of her crimes were full.

But it was at Lepanto that the saint's power was most manifest; there, in October, 1571, by the Holy League which he had formed, but still more by his prayers to the great Mother of God, the aged pontiff crushed the Ottoman forces, and saved Christendom from the Turk.

Six months later, St. Pius died, having reigned but six years.

St. Pius was accustomed to kiss the feet of his crucifix on leaving or entering his room. One day the feet moved away from his lips. Sorrow filled his heart, and he made acts of contrition, fearing that he must have committed some secret offence, but still he could not kiss the feet. It was afterwards found that they had been poisoned by an enemy.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Medjugorje: Not the Madonna... But the Devil !

Recently translated and published in English is Fr. Luigi Villa's Medjugorje: It's not the Madonna... But the Devil! - issue number 398 of his Chiesa viva magazine, published in October 2007.

Don Luigi was given a special task by Christ - revealed by Christ Himself to Padre Pio and then related to Don Luigi by the holy stigmatist - to dedicate his life to expose and fight Ecclesiastical Masonry. The story of his incredible assignment is told in Who is Fr. Luigi Villa?

This is Don Luigi's investigation and judgement of the events and people intimately connected to Medjugorje.


*   Position of the Holy See on the "apparitions" of Medjugorje

*   Excerpts from the sermon of the Bishop of Mostar, Mgr. Ratko Peric

*   "Apparitions' announced and managed by charismatics

*   The forgetful 'Madonna' of Medjugorje

*   Cardinal Leo Suenens 'Godfather' of the Charismatic Movement and a Mason

*   Mgr. Frane Franic Archbishop of Split - a Mason?

*   The first 'apparitions'

*   Rebel Friars... and rich

*   The case of Medjugorje

*   All equal before my Son

*   Masonry: synthesis of all religions?

First Saturday Reminder

Friday, 2 May 2014

St. Athanasius

Athanasius was born in Egypt towards the end of the third century, and was from his youth pious, learned, and deeply versed in the sacred writings, as befitted one whom God had chosen to be the champion and defender of His Church against  the Arian heresy.

Though only a deacon, he was chosen by his bishop to go with him to the Council of Nicaea, in 325, and attracted the attention of all by the learning and ability with which he defended the Faith.

A few months later, he became Patriarch of Alexandria, and for forty-six years he bore, often well-nigh alone, the whole brunt of the Arian assault. On the refusal of the saint to restore Arius to Catholic communion, the emperor ordered the Patriarch of Constantinople to do so. The wretched heresiarch took an oath that he had always believed as the Church believes; and the patriarch, after vainly using every effort to move the emperor, had recourse to fasting and prayer, that God would avert from the Church the frightful sacrilege.

The day came for the solemn entrance of Arius into the great church of Sancta Sophia. The heresiarch and his party set out gladly and in triumph. But before he reached the church, death smote him swiftly and awfully, and the dreaded sacrilege was averted.

St. Athanasius stood unmoved against four Roman emperors; was banished five times; was the butt of every insult, calumny, and wrong the Arians could devise, and lived in constant peril of death.

Though firm and adamant in defence of the Faith, he was meek and humble, pleasant and winning in converse, beloved by his flock, unwearied in labours, in prayer, in mortifications, and in zeal for souls.

In the year 373 his stormy life closed in peace, rather that his people would have it so than that his enemies were weary of persecuting him. He left to the Church the whole and ancient Faith, defended and explained in writings rich in thought and learning, clear, keen, and stately in expression. He is honoured as one of the greatest of the Doctors of the Church.

First Friday Reminder

Thursday, 1 May 2014

St. Joseph the Worker

Beyond Capitalism and Socialism 

A must-read for Catholics interested in socio-economic questions, this book offers answers that may surprise and will certainly intrigue those seeking to acquaint themselves with the Church's traditional social doctrine and its spirit.

Distributist Perspectives - 2 volumes

A collection of essays by leading thinkers of the school of English Distributists that in the 1920's and 1930's articulated a humane vision of social and economic life based upon the Social Doctrine of the Church.

The Guild State

G.R.S. Taylor's Guild State is at once an inspiring vindication of the social principles of the Middle Ages as found in the guild system and a clarion call for their implementation in our society. Capturing  the essence of guild organisation as it existed centuries ago and as it can be profitably applied today, Taylor also highlights the key features of the guilds, which offer the modern world both a credible economic alternative to the failures of Left and Right, and an unparalleled tool for social regeneration.

Nazareth or Social Chaos

This short collection of essays drawn from the common sense of Catholic Social Doctrine distills the wisdom of Father Vincent McNabb's years of preaching in London's Hyde Park into short tidbits of wisdom, as entertaining to read as they are challenging and thought-provoking.
Examining the insanity (and that was in 1933!) of urbanized and industrialized life, and its deleterious effects on nature, community, family, and the spirit, Fr. McNabb offers a challenge to his readers to "flee to the fields" and seek a life not dominated by technology and artificial schedules but by Our Blessed Lord and His natural creation.

Sts. Philip & James, Apostles

Philip was one of the first chosen disciples of Christ. On the way from Judea to Galilee Our Lord found Philip, and said,  "Follow Me".

Philip straightaway obeyed; and then in his zeal and charity sought to win Nathaniel also, saying, "We have found Him of Whom Moses and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth"; and when Nathaniel in wonder asked, "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Philip simply answered "Come and see" and brought him to Jesus.

Another characteristic saying of this apostle is preserved for us by St. John. Christ, in his last discourse, had spoken of His Father; and Philip exclaimed, in the fervour of his thirst for God, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough".

St. James the Less, the author of an inspired epistle, was also one of the Twelve. St. Paul tells us that he was favoured by a special apparition of Christ after the Resurrection. On the dispersion of the Apostles amongst the nations, St. James was left as Bishop of Jerusalem; and even the Jews held in such high veneration his purity, mortification and prayer, that they named him The Just.

The earliest of Church historians has handed down many traditions of St. James' sanctity. He was always a virgin, says Hegesippus, and consecrated to God. He drank no wine, wore no sandals on his feet, and but a single garment on his body. He prostrated himself so much in prayer that the skin of his knees was hardened like a camel's hoof.

The Jews, it is said, used out of respect to touch the hem of his garment. He was indeed a living proof of his own words, "The wisdom that is from above first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, full of mercy and good fruits".

He sat beside St. Peter and St. Paul at the Council of Jerusalem; and when St. Paul at a later time escaped the fury of the Jews by appealing to Caesar, the Jews took vengeance on James, and crying, "The Just one hath erred," stoned him to death.

St. Catherine of Siena

Catherine, the daughter of a humble tradesman, was raised up to be the guide and guardian of the Church in one of the darkest periods of its history, the fourteenth century.

As a child, prayer was her delight. she would say the 'Hail Mary' on each step as she mounted the stairs, and was granted in reward a vision of Christ in glory. When but seven years old, she made a vow of virginity, and afterwards endured bitter persecution for refusing to marry.

Our Lord gave her His Heart in exchange for her own, communicated her with His own hands, and stamped on her body the print of His wounds.

At the age of fifteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic, but continued to reside in her father's shop, where she united a life of active charity with the prayer of a contemplative saint. from this obscure home the seraphic virgin was summoned to defend the Church's cause.

Armed with papal authority, and accompanied by three confessors, she travelled through Italy reducing rebellious cities to the obedience of the Holy See, and winning hardened souls to God. In the face, well-nigh of the whole world, she sought out Gregory XI at Avignon, brought him back to Rome, and by her letters to the kings and queens of Europe made good the papal cause.

She was the counsellor of Urban VI, and sternly rebuked the disloyal cardinals who had part in electing an antipope.

Long had the holy virgin foretold the terrible schism which began ere she died. Day and night she wept and prayed for unity and peace. But the devil excited the Roman people against the pope, so that some sought the life of Christ's vicar. With intense earnestness did St. Catherine beg Our Lord to prevent this enormous crime. In spirit she saw the whole city full of demons tempting the people to resist and even slay the pope. The seditious temper was subdued by Catherine's prayer; but the devils vented their malice by scourging the saint herself, who gladly endured all for God and His Church.

She died at Rome, in 1380, at the age of thirty-three.