“You are a slave of the devil because you have a false faith, you’re not Catholic! And I will not receive Holy Communion from sacrilegious hands!”
St. Hermenegild was a Visigoth Prince matyred for the faith in 585. He was put to death by his father, the Arian King Leovigild for holding firm to the Catholic faith. His father cast him into a dungeon and after several months, sent an Arian Bishop to him on Easter Sunday to offer him a pardon if he would accept Communion from him. By his firm refusal to yield his faith to heresy, even to his father’s heresy, he earned a martyr’s crown. His story has a particular relevance to this unique and tragic time in the Church.
A few years ago, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais gave a sermon on St. Hermenegild:
“I spoke this morning to the children about Saint Hermenegild. He was a young martyr, seventeen years old, who lived in the sixth century. He was Catholic, but his father was a heretic, an Arian. He was supposed to inherit the throne of Spain, but his father, furious that his son was a Catholic, forbade him the throne and sentenced him to prison.
“Hermenegild – whom we celebrate on April 13th, was in prison for several months as Easter approached. He wanted to receive Communion, Holy Communion for Easter. His father was thinking the same thing and sent him a bishop carrying Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! What a joy for Hermenegild to be able to make his Easter communion! Except that when the bishop entered the prison cell, he presented himself thus: “I am the Bishop of Huesca, I am an Arian and I bring you Holy Communion!” “I am Arian,” that is to say “I am a heretic, I’m not Catholic.”
“It was a bishop who was not Catholic, dear faithful, who brought Holy Communion to Hermenegild. What did Hermenegild do? What would you have done in his place? Would you still have accepted to receive Holy Communion? In order to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, is it not worth making some compromises, receiving even from unworthy hands the Lord Jesus? This bishop celebrated Mass validly though he did not believe that Jesus is God, because that was the Arian religion. He did not even believe that Jesus was God! But we do think he could validly celebrate Mass and he was bringing Jesus in the Eucharist!
“Well, in the twinkling of an eye, inspired by one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost – whom we are celebrating today − the gift of Counsel, he said: “No. I will not receive communion from your sacrilegious hands! As for me, I am in chains but I am free to work my salvation. You, my lord, are free but you are a slave of the devil because you have a false faith, you’re not Catholic! And I will not receive Holy Communion from sacrilegious hands!”
“What an example for us, my dear faithful! All the beautiful gifts coming from Rome, we are not prepared to accept them without examination, without considering the circumstances in which this gift would be made. We demand to be able to maintain our public and entire profession of the Catholic Faith. We cannot receive poisoned gifts that would condemn us to compromise with Modernism. This is the example of Saint Hermenegild, inspired by the Holy Ghost.”
When the Arian heresy swept throughout Christendom, and nearly destroyed the Church, the remnant remained steadfast, even to martyrdom and their prayers and sacrifices eventually achieved the extirpation of the evil heresy of Arianism.
Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies is the current counterpart to the ancient evil of Arianism; and now under the grim assault of our arch-modernist pope, we are facing an even greater threat to the faith in his promotion of relativism and situation ethics in a magisterial document. Unlike past times, today’s Church is not only beset by a pernicious heresy, it is permeated with a debilitating corruption in both the laity and the consecrated life. Now, the Church is so constituted that those who are blessed with the faith are charged with helping those who are failing in their faith.
Therefore, we are responsible for our wayward priests, prelates and even our Pope. We owe them our prayers and penances, but we also owe them the truth. We are responsible for recalling to the faith those who have fallen into error.
With his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, our Pope has achieved what was previously unthinkable: he has introduced heresy into a magisterial document, against the clear and firm teaching of the Faith proclaimed by Our Lord Jesus Christ and the constant teaching and practice of the faith for over 2,000 years. And the silence of our brave “Princes of the Church” is stunning! Who will defend the Bride of Christ?
We are fast approaching a time, when after our prayers and penances, after our remonstrations, we must do as St. Hermenegild did. Soon, we may be called to leave our comfortable places in the institutional Church; we may yet have to say with Athanasius, “They have the churches, but we have the faith.” With the Holy Family, we may yet have to withdraw to the desert, until this onslaught of heresy plays out and God once again restores the Church.
St. Joseph was forced to take his Family and leave the visible structure of his faith in order to save the faith. Let us pray to him, as Guardian of the Holy Family and Protector of the Church to protect us now from those in our own hierarchy who seek to destroy the Faith and murder souls in the name of a perversion of mercy.
“ Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?
 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing:  And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor, 6, 14-18)
Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!
Queen of the Holy Rosary, crush the head of satan and restore the Church!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
St. Joseph, protect our families, protect our priests!
Note: Thank you all for your kind wishes and most of all, your prayers.
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculata!
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!