Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

 

“He told me that this Heart was to be honored under the form of a heart of flesh, the picture of which He wished to be exposed and worn by me on my heart, in order to impress its love upon my heart, and fill it with all the gifts with which His Heart is full …”

In honor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on this, her feast day, we present a few excerpts from a delightful collection of essays by the late Solange Strong Hertz. It is available in Kindle Edition, and titled: “The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary.

"I will reveal My love to them more and more."
“I will reveal My love to them more and more.”

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

The history of devotion to the Sacred Heart is in a very real sense a gradual revelation of the secret life of the Church. Its prologue, written in the heart of St. John as he reclined against the Lord’s breast at the Last Supper, broadcasts its first rhythms to the world, setting the tempo for the dramatic rending on Calvary. Veneration for the wound inflicted there seems to have been the initial form of the cult among the faithful. From this wound, the “door in the ark,” there gradually issued the proliferation of grace we now know as Sacred Heart devotion, ramifying and increasing through time, space and circumstance to fit all the needs and conditions of worshippers truly seeking intimacy with their Lord.

It elicited tears of repentance, prompted praise, encouraged confident petition and proffered earth’s reparation to heaven for its sins against Love. For centuries the movement developed quietly in the privacy of religious houses and the souls of gifted individuals until it permeated the whole Church in ranks both clerical and lay. In addition to the saints already mentioned, among its devotees must be numbered St. Anselm, St. Frances of Rome, St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Joan of Valois, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, St. Antoninus, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis de Sales— to list but a few of those canonized. Others who spread its benefits are legion. Carthusians, Franciscans, Benedictines, Dominicans, each produced its particular “school” of spirituality based on affection for the wounded Heart of the Savior. The wealth of art, literature, and liturgy both canonical and popular which has come down to us on the subject attests to its vigor and sanctifying power.

Not surprisingly, it was St. John Eudes, the apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who was instrumental in directing modern piety towards the Heart of her Son. Called by Pope St. Pius X “initiator, teacher and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Heart,” he had begun by drawing heavily on the writings of the old Cologne Carthusians so as to establish the cult on solid theological ground. By 1672 he had succeeded in obtaining ecclesiastical approval for a Mass of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated in the communities of his own Order, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

The very next year, on the feast of St. John the Apostle, December 27, 1673, the torrents of private revelations converged explosively in the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial in France. It was there that our Lord, appearing to the humble young nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, chose to set the seal of divine approval on what had until then been a most salutary practice in the Church, but which nevertheless remained a private affair— a kind of “inside track” for fleeter spirits. Our Lord had once told St. Gertrude:

Whenever you desire to obtain anything from Me, offer Me My Heart, which I have so often given you as a token of our mutual friendship, in union with the love which made Me become man for the salvation of men; and I give you this special mark of friendship, …

After four great apparitions in Paray from 1673 to 1675, … devotion to the Sacred Heart was soon to be enjoined upon all. If we are to believe the words of St. John the Apostle and the ancient prophets concerning the Heart of God, we who are living three hundred years later must be about to witness nothing less than the last moments of the world. “In the latter days you shall understand these things,” promised Jeremiah. “The THOUGHTS of HIS HEART to all generations: to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine” (Introit, Mass of the Sacred Heart).

Continue reading “Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque”

Father Davide Pagliarani Interview

 

Recent interview with SSPX Superior General, Very Reverend Father Davide Pagliarani, from FSSPX News. (Link)

The following is merely a sampling from the interview which is well worth taking the time to read!

Q.: How do you regard the Society of Saint Pius X which you will have to supervise for twelve years?

The Society holds a treasure in its hands. Some have emphasized repeatedly that this treasure belongs to the Church, but I think that we can say that it belongs to us also by full right. It belongs to us, and this is why the Society is perfectly a work of the Church. Even now!

Tradition is a treasure, but in order to preserve it faithfully we must be aware that we are vessels of clay. The key to our future is found here: in the awareness of our weakness and of the need to watch over ourselves vigilantly. It is not enough to profess the faith in its entirety, if our lives do not express this integral faith regularly and concretely. To live Tradition means to defend it, to struggle for it, to fight so that it triumphs first in ourselves and in our families, so that then it can triumph throughout the whole Church.

Our fondest wish is that the official Church will stop considering Tradition as a burden or a set of outmoded old things, but rather as the only possible way to regenerate herself. However, major doctrinal discussions will not be enough to bring this work to completion: first we have to have souls ready for all sorts of sacrifices. This is true both for consecrated persons and for the lay faithful.

We ourselves must always renew our view of Tradition, not in a purely theoretical way, but in a truly supernatural manner, in light of the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. This will protect us from two contrasting dangers that often reinforce each other, namely: a pessimistic or defeatist lethargy and a kind of arid intellectualism.

I am convinced that we have here the key with which to confront the various difficulties that we may encounter.

Q.: Including the major problem of the crisis in the Church?

What are the important topics today? Vocations, the sanctification of priests, the care of souls. The tragic situation in the Church must not have such a great psychological impact on our minds that we are no longer capable of performing our duties. Our clear-sightedness must not paralyze us; if it does, it turns into darkness. Considering the crisis in the light of the Cross allows us to keep our serenity and to stand back, since serenity and objectivity are both indispensable if we are to have a sure judgment.

The present situation of the Church is a state of tragic decline: a sharp decrease in vocations, in the number of priests, in the practice of the faith, the disappearance of Christian customs, of the most elementary sense of God, which are manifested today—alas!— in the destruction of natural morality….

Now the Society has all the necessary means to lead the movement of the return to Tradition. More precisely, we have to confront two demands:

– on the one hand, to preserve our identity by recalling the truth and denouncing error: “Praedica verbum: insta opportune, importune: argue, obsecra, increpa.” “Preach the word: be instant [persistent] in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke” (2 Tim 4:2);

– on the other hand: “in omni patientia, et doctrina,” “in all patience and doctrine” (ibid.): attract to Tradition those who are walking in that direction, encourage them, introduce them little by little to the battle and to an increasingly courageous attitude. There still are authentically Catholic souls who thirst for the truth, and we have no right to refuse them the cup of cold water that is the Gospel by an indifferent or haughty attitude. These souls often end up encouraging us by their own courage and determination.

These two demands are complementary: we cannot separate one from the other, by focusing exclusively either on the denunciation of the errors resulting from Vatican II, or on the assistance that we owe to those who are becoming aware of the crisis and need to be enlightened. This twofold demand is profoundly one, since it is the manifestation of the sole charity of truth.

Q.: How does this aid to souls thirsting for the truth take concrete form?

I think that we must not set limits on Providence, which will give us on a case-by-case basis the means suited to the different situations. Each soul is a world in herself, she has a personal journey behind her, and it is necessary to know the soul individually so as to be in a position to come to her aid effectively. This is all about a fundamental attitude that we must cultivate in ourselves, a prior disposition to come to the aid of others, and not about an illusory concern with establishing the universal user’s manual that would apply to everyone.

To give some concrete examples, our seminaries presently are welcoming several priests from outside of the Society—three in Zaitzkofen and two in La Reja—who want to see clearly in the situation of the Church and who above all wish to live out their priesthood in its entirety.

The influence of the priesthood is the sole means by which the Church will be brought back to Tradition. We categorically must revive this conviction. The Society of Saint Pius X will soon be forty-eight years old. By God’s grace, it has experienced a prodigious expansion throughout the whole world; it has works that are growing everywhere, numerous priests, districts, priories, schools…. The downside of this expansion is that the spirit of initial conquest has inevitably weakened. Without meaning to be, we are increasingly absorbed by the management of everyday problems resulting from this development; the apostolic spirit can pale as a result; the risk is that the great ideals will fade away. We are in the third generation of priests since the foundation of the Society in 1970…. It is necessary to rediscover the missionary fervor that our founder inspired in us.

 

On Our Relations with Rome

Q.: Concerning our relations with Rome, what are the real facts?

Ever since the doctrinal discussions with the Roman theologians, you can say that we are confronted with two sources of communication, two types of relations that are established on levels that must be carefully distinguished:

  1. one public, official, clear source, which still imposes on us statements with essentially the same doctrinal contents;
  2. the other one that emanates from one or another member of the Curia, with interesting private exchanges containing new elements about the relative value of the Council, about this or that point of doctrine…. These are new and interesting discussions, which certainly should be pursued, yet nevertheless remain informal, unofficial, private discussions, whereas on the official level—despite a certain evolution of language—the same demands are always repeated.

Certainly we carefully note what is said positively in private, but here it is not really Rome speaking; these are well-meaning, timid Nicodemuses, and they are not the official hierarchy. Therefore it is necessary to stick strictly to the official documents, and to explain why we cannot accept them.

The latest official documents—for example, the letter from Cardinal Müller dated June 2017—always express the same demand: the Council must be accepted as a precondition, and after that it will be possible to keep discussing what is not clear to the Society; in doing so, they reduce our objections to a subjective difficulty in reading and comprehension, and they promise to help us to understand correctly what the Council really meant. The Roman authorities turn this prior acceptance into a question of faith and of principle; they say this explicitly. Their demands today are the same as they were thirty years ago. The Second Vatican Council must be accepted in the continuity of ecclesial Tradition, as a part to be integrated into that Tradition. They concede our point that there may be reservations on the part of the Society that deserve explanations, but in no case a rejection of the teachings of the Council as such: [for them] this is purely and simply Magisterial teaching!

Now the problem is right here, always at the same place, and we cannot shift it to somewhere else: what is the dogmatic authority of a Council that intended to be pastoral? What is the value of these new principles taught by the Council, which have been applied systematically, consistently and in perfect continuity with what had been taught by the hierarchy that was responsible both for the Council and for the post-conciliar period? This real Council is the Council of religious liberty, or collegiality, of ecumenism, of the “living tradition”…, and unfortunately it is not the result of a wrong interpretation. The proof of this is that this real Council has never been rectified or corrected by the competent authority. It conveys a spirit, a teaching, a way of thinking about the Church which are an obstacle to the sanctification of souls, and its tragic results are right before the eyes of all intellectually honest men, of all people of good will. This real Council corresponds at the same time to a doctrinal teaching and a lived-out practice that have been imposed on the “People of God”; we refuse to accept this as just another council like the others. This is why we discuss its authority, but always in a spirit of charity, for we want nothing but the good of the Church and the salvation of souls. Our discussion is not a mere theological joust and, in fact, it has bearing on subjects that are not “debatable”: the life of the Church is at stake here, indubitably. And that is what God will judge us on.

This, then, is the perspective in which we stick to the official documents from Rome, with respect but also with realism; it is not about being on the right or the left, hard-line or lax: it is simply about being realistic.

Q.: What should be done while waiting?

I can answer only by mentioning a few priorities. First, trust in Providence, which cannot abandon us and which has always given us signs of its protection and its benevolence. To doubt, to hesitate, to ask for other guarantees from Providence would constitute a serious lack of gratitude. Our stability and strength depend on our trust in God: I think that all of us ought to examine our conscience on their subject.

Moreover, it is necessary to rediscover each day the treasure that we hold in our hands, to remember that this treasure comes to us from Our Lord Himself and that it cost Him His Blood. By regularly placing ourselves again in the presence of these sublime realities in all their grandeur, our souls will habitually remain in adoration and will be strengthened as needed for the day of trial.

We must also have a growing concern for the education of children. It is necessary to keep clearly in mind the goal that we wish to achieve and not be afraid to speak to them about the Cross, about the passion of Our Lord, about His love for the little ones, about sacrifice. It is absolutely necessary for the souls of children to be captured already at a very tender age by the love of Our Lord, before the spirit of the world can seduce and ravish them. This question absolutely has priority, and if we do not manage to transmit what we have received, that is the sign that we are not sufficiently convinced of it.

Finally, we must struggle against a certain intellectual laziness: doctrine indeed is what gives our battle for the Church and for souls its reason for being. It is necessary to make an effort to update our analysis of major current events, in the light of the perennial doctrine, without being content with the lazy “copy-and-paste” which the Internet—again—unfortunately promotes. Wisdom sets and resets things in order, at every moment, and each thing finds its exact place.

The Mass Crusade Archbishop Lefebvre

Q.: What can the faithful do, more particularly?

At Mass, the faithful discover the echo of the ephpheta, “be opened”, pronounced by the priest at Baptism. Their soul is opened once more to the grace of the Holy Sacrifice. Even when they are very little, children who attend Mass are sensitive to the sacred meaning that the Traditional liturgy expresses. Above all, attending Mass makes fruitful the life of married couples, with all its trials, and gives it a profoundly supernatural meaning, for the graces of the Sacrament of Matrimony flow from Our Lord’s sacrifice. Attending Mass is what reminds them that God wants to make use of them as cooperators in the most beautiful of His works: sanctifying and protecting the souls of their children.

During his jubilee in 1979, Abp. Lefebvre had invited us to a Mass crusade, for God wants to renew the priesthood and, through it, the family, which is attacked today from every side. His vision then was prophetic; nowadays it has become an observation that anyone can make. What he foresaw, we now have before our eyes:

“What is left, then, for us to do, my dear brethren? If we deepen our understanding of the great mystery which is the Mass, I think I can say that we should have a crusade, emphasizing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ; emphasizing that invincible rock and that inexhaustible source of grace which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And we see this every day. You are here because you love the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. These young seminarians who are studying in Ecône, the United States and Germany, came to our seminaries for the Holy Mass, the Mass of All Time, which is the source of graces, the source of the Holy Ghost, the source of Christian civilization. That is what the priest is. Well, then, we must make a crusade, a crusade that emphasizes this idea of immutability, of sacrifice, in order to recreate Christendom, to re-establish a Christendom such as the Church desired, such as she has always done, with the same principles, the same Sacrifice of the Mass, the same sacraments, the same catechism, the same Sacred Scripture” (Sermon of Abp. Lefebvre on the occasion of his priestly jubilee, September 23, 1979, in Paris, Porte de Versailles).

This Christendom must be remade in everyday life, through the faithful performance of the duties of our state in life, right where the good Lord has placed us. Some rightly deplore the fact that the Church and the Society are not what they ought to be. They forget that they have the means to remedy this defect, in their place, through their personal sanctification. There, everyone is Superior General…. No need for a Chapter in order to be elected; each day it is necessary to sanctify that portion of the Church of which one is the absolute master: his soul!

Abp. Lefebvre continued: “We must recreate this Christendom, and you, my dear brethren, you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt 5:13-14); you are the ones whom Our Lord Jesus Christ addressed when He said to you: ‘Do not waste the spiritual fruit of My Blood, do not abandon My Calvary, do not abandon My Sacrifice.’ And the Virgin Mary who stands beneath the Cross, tells you this as well; She, whose heart is pierced, full of sufferings and sorrows, yet at the same time filled with the joy of uniting herself to the Sacrifice of her Divine Son, tells you this as well: ‘Let us be Christians, let us be Catholics!’ Let us not be carried away by all these worldly ideas, by all these currents of thought in the world which draw us to sin and to hell. If we want to go to Heaven, we must follow Our Lord Jesus Christ; we must carry our cross and follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, imitating Him in His Cross, in His suffering, and in His Sacrifice.”

And the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X launched a crusade for young people, for Christian families, for heads of families, for priests. He insisted with an eloquence that moves us today, forty years later, for we see how much this remedy applies to the present evils:

“The inheritance which Jesus Christ gave to us is His sacrifice, it is His Blood, it is His Cross. And that is the leaven of all Christian civilization and of all that is supposed to bring us to Heaven…. Keep this testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Mass of All time! And you will see Christian civilization flourish again.”

Forty years later we cannot shirk the responsibility of this crusade: it requires an even more demanding ardor and an even more enthusiastic service to the Church and to souls. As I said at the beginning of this interview, Tradition is ours, completely, but this honor creates a serious responsibility: we will be judged by our fidelity in transmitting what we have received.

Q.: Father General, before concluding, allow us to ask a more personal question. Didn’t the responsibility that fell on your shoulders on July 11 of this year frighten you?

Yes, I must admit that I was somewhat afraid, and I even hesitated in my heart before accepting it. We are all vessels of clay, and that is true also of the man who is elected Superior General: even though it is a somewhat more visible and somewhat larger vessel, it is nonetheless fragile.

The thought of the Most Blessed Virgin is the only thing that enabled me to overcome the fear: I place my trust in her alone, and I do so totally. She is not made of clay because she is of ivory; she is not a fragile vessel because she is an impregnable tower: turris eburnea [as it says in the Litany of Loreto]. She is like an army set in battle array, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata [Canticle of Canticles 6:3], which knows in advance that victory is the only possible outcome of all its battles: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

Saint Teresa of Jesus, wisdom and strength for today

 

“Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest.
Save us, my Lord, for we perish.”

It is a great temptation to believe that we are alone today, abandoned as we are by our own Pope and hierarchy. But we have Angels and we have saints, among them the mighty Carmelite, Teresa of Jesus, who is an especially great help for us now when we need her the most. Let’s seek her aid today on her feast day.

St. Teresa of Avila is one of the greatest saints, and yet, like St. Joseph to whom she was devoted, one of the most approachable saints. Like all our greatest saints,we often find in her writings and life practical wisdom to help us understand the challenges we face in these times; though centuries pass, her words ring just as clear today, her wisdom fresh and appropriate as always.

"Lord, calm this sea, no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us O Lord, for we perish!"
“Lord, calm this sea, no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us O Lord, for we perish!”

 

In her work, “The Way of Perfection”, she discusses the ‘Our Father’, Our Lord’s own prayer. She especially recommends it as part of thanksgiving after Communion. In Chapter 35, St. Teresa remarks on the evils of the protestant attacks on the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass that were even then occurring. One portion of this strikes us as most appropriate to these times in which we suffer with Christ the Passion of His Church. St. Teresa, remarking of the Lord’s Prayer,

“Let us rely on Our Lord’s command to us to pray to Him, and in fulfillment of our obedience to Him, let us beseech His Majesty, in the name of the good Jesus, … that He prevent Him from being so ill-treated. Since His Holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let’s make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as is paid in many places to this Most Holy Sacrament.

“For as those Lutherans seem to want to drive Him out of the world again: they destroy churches, cause the loss of many priests and abolish the sacraments. And there is something of this even among Christians, who sometimes go to church meaning to offend Him rather than to worship Him.”

She then goes on to importune the Heavenly Father to spare Our Lord the offenses He suffers against His Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, begging Him, although she is unworthy,

“indeed, it may perhaps be for my sins, and because I have so greatly offended Thee, that so many evils come. What then can I do, my Creator, but present to Thee this most Holy Bread which, though Thou gavest it to us, I return to Thee, beseeching Thee, by the merits of Thy Son, to grant me this favor, which on so many counts, He has merited. Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.” (Way of Perfection, p. 234-236).

In today’s Gospel, taken from St. Matthew 25, 1-13, the Church in her timeless wisom recalls the parable of the five wise virgins and the five foolish ones. The foolish ones did not take oil for their lamps and after they belatedly obtained the oil, the time for them to enter the feast had passed, When they begged, “Lord, Lord, open to us”; Our Lord tells us that the Master responds, “Amen, I know you not.” He then warns us, “Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day or the hour.”

Thus we receive many merciful warnings. 

More than ever, in this year of Our Lord, 2018, we need to recall the prayer of the great Saint Teresa of Avila:  “Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.”

~ ~ ~

Here in closing, is a treasured poem of hers:

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.
O sovereign Lord, of majesty supreme!
O Wisdom, that existed from all time!
Bounty, showing pity on my soul!
God, one sole Being, merciful, sublime.

Behold this basest of created things.
As thus, with hardihood its love it sings.
And tell me, Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!
Lo, I am Thine ! Thou hast created me.
And I am Thine, Thou hast redeemed me.
And I am Thine, for Thou dost bear with me.
And Thine, for Thou hast called me to Thee,
And Thine, Who dost preserve me at Thy cost,
Nor leavest me to perish ‘mid the lost.

Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost will of me.
Declare what dost decree, O Master kind!
If serf so vile have any fitting task,
And tell what office by Thy will ordained
Is work that from so base a slave dost ask!
Behold, sweet Love, I wait for Thy command,
Behold me. Lord, before Whose face I stand!
Do Thou reveal what Thou dost will of me?

Behold my heart, which here I bring, and in
Thine hand as glad entire free-offering lay,
Together with my body, life, and soul,
The love, the longings that my being sway!
To Thee, Redeemer and most gentle Spouse,
In willing holocaust I pledge my vows.
What is there. Lord, that I may do for Thee?

Bestow long life, or straightway bid me die;
Let health be mine, or pain and sickness send,
With honour or dishonour ; be my path
Beset by war, or peaceful till the end.
My strength or weakness be as Thou shalt choose.
For naught Thou askest shall I e’er refuse,
I only wish what Thou wilt have of me.

Assign me riches, keep in poverty,
And let me cherished or neglected dwell,
In joy or mourning as Thou wilt, upraised
To highest heaven, or hurled down to hell!
Whether the sky be bright, from cloudlets free,
It matters not, I leave the choice to Thee,
What lot, Lord, wilt Thou decide for me?

Give contemplation if Thou wilt, or let
My lonely soul in dryness ever pine;
Abundance and devotion be the gift
Thou choosest, or a sterile soul be mine!
Majesty supreme, in naught apart
From Thy decree can I find peace of heart!
Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost wish of me?

Lord, give me wisdom, or, if love demand.
Leave me in ignorance ; it matters naught
If mine be years of plenty, or beset
With famine direful and with parching drought!
Be darkness over all or daylight clear.
Despatch me hither, keep me stationed here,
Say what it is, Lord, Thou wilt have of me?

If Thou shouldst destine me for happiness,
For Love’s sake, joy and happiness I greet;
Bid me endure and labour till I die.
Resigned, in work and pain my death I’ll meet,
Reveal the how, the where, the when; for this
Is the sole boon, O Love, I crave of Thee,
That thou declare what Thou wouldst have of me!

Let Calvary or Thabor be my fate,
A desert or a fertile land of rest;
Like Job, in sorrow let me mourning weep,
Or lie, like John, in peace upon Thy breast;
Bear fruit and flourish, or, a withered vine
I’ll perish fruitless, so the choice be Thine!
Reveal, O Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!

Like Joseph as he lay in shackles bound.
Or holding over Egypt first command;
David chastised, atoning for his sins,
Or David crowned as ruler o’er the land;
With Jonas struggling, ‘mid the raging sea
Submerged, or set from ills and tempests free
Declare, O Lord, what Thou wilt have of me!

Then bid me speak or bid me silence keep,
Make me a fecund or a barren land;
Expose my wounds by the stern Law’s decree
Or comfort me by Gospel message bland.
Let me in torture lie or comfort give,
I crave alone that Thou within me live,
And shouldst reveal what Thou wilt have of me!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.

by St. Teresa of Avila

(I am indebted for this poem to Rorate Caeli)

To the inevitable criticism that I am ignoring the horridly scandalous canonization of the destructive Pope Paul VI, for those who read carefully, I have been commenting on just these things…

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

 St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us! Pray for the Pope!

 Remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan and all who serve him.

~ by evensong, for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin. Give me strength against thine enemies.

 

Twelve Points of the Humility of Mary

Note: Yet another hurricane is threatening, this time it is the Gulf Coast of Florida, but likely coming up to the Carolinas with a great deal of rainfall. Please pray for those in the path of the storm. We offer again our Family Prayer for Protection in Storms.

† . † . † 

In this precious month of the Holy Rosary, we offer this brief snippet from a very worthwhile book, “The Admirable Heart of Mary“, in the hope that thinking on these aspects of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will aid your Rosary meditations. I am not able to write more as I would have preferred to do, but hope that by now, you readers will “fill in the blanks” possibly better than I could!

Abyss of Humility

Deep calleth upon deep,
Thy billows are passed o’er me.

In the abyss of my heart,
nothingness beckons to Thee, my love
Look upon my nothingness
And fill my darkness with Thy Light.

The following is from Part 8, Chapter 5

The Humility of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Consider the words of the Holy Ghost: “Deep calleth on deep” (Ps. 41, 8). What do they mean? They mean that the Holy Ghost sets before us the image of a twofold or dual abyss.

The first is the humble heart immersed by profound humility in the realization of its own nothingness, an abyss that engulfs the humble man, preventing him from seeing in himself anything but nothingness and making him love the lowliness and abjection of such nothingness.

The second is the abyss of graces and celestial blessings that every, where surround and accompany the truly humble heart. The first depth calls for the second: “Deep called on deep,” because the prayer of the humble heart has such power with God, that it is always heard. Divine Goodness can refuse it nothing.

It is the profundity that summons and attracts all the graces of Heaven; God showers them into the lowly soul with open hand and without reserve. Humility is the guardian of all other graces and virtues, and they are safe where it abides, according to the words of St. Basil: “Humility is the safe treasury of all virtues.”

All the greatness of the Blessed Virgin was accomplished by the humility of her most holy Heart. From the first to the last moment of her life, her humility never ceased to invoke and draw upon her grace after grace, perfection after perfection, holiness upon holiness, until it brought her to the summit of the grace and holiness that next to that of Christ ever was or shall be greatest among men.

Humility is our Savior’s own spiritual virtue, which He constantly preached by His example and earnestly recommended with the words: “Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart” (Matt. 11, 29), so can we say that humility is also the most beloved virtue of His dearest Mother. She urges us to practice it by her example.

On its twelve principal manifestations.

The first manifestation was the complete self-annihilation with which she adored God from the very beginning of her life as her Creator and Sovereign Lord.

The second manifestation … was the uneasiness she felt on hearing the salutation of the Angel Gabriel.
“She was troubled at his saying” (Luke 1, 29), because he greeted her as full of grace, as one having the Lord with her in a special manner, and as being blessed among all women. That salutation is what troubles her most humble Heart, which cannot listen to such exalted praises without trembling. (Eudes quotes St. Thomas Aquinas)

The third effect … was that, after hearing St. Gabriel’s proclamation, she answered: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” Instead of taking pride, she humbled herself, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”

St. Bonaventure exclaims: “How wonderfully deep is Mary’s humility! An archangel salutes her; she is called full of grace; she is told the Holy Ghost will overshadow her; she becomes the Mother of God Himself; she is raised above all creatures; she is appointed sovereign Lady of Heaven and earth; and yet instead of becoming filled with pride, she humbles herself most deeply, saying, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord.’

The fourth manifestation of her humility: Her stupendous silence at the Incarnation of the Son of God within her immaculate womb. After she had conceived the Only-begotten Son of God in her blessed womb, she revealed to no one, not even to her spouse St. Joseph, the tremendous mystery which exalted her to the highest pinnacle.

Then, quoting St. Thomas of Villanova, St. John Eudes writes: “The greatest mystery, the most incomparable marvel, has been wrought in thee by the divine power, and thou dost tell no one. No human being knows the vital miracle, so jealously dost thou guard thy secret! Thou dost remain in profound silence, until, in the house of thy cousin Elizabeth, beholding that God Himself has revealed this miracle of miracles, then only dost thou breathe thy blessed silence, and raise to Heaven the sublime canticle of praise and adoration for the author of all these marvels: “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” (Luke 1, 46)

The fifth effect of Mary’s humility was accomplished during her visit to her cousin St. Elizabeth, concerning SL John the Baptist. (Note: This fifth effect seems to have been glossed over by St. John Eudes, but when we consider his words here, immediately following the fourth point, seems to indicate not the Magnificat, which was covered in point four, but the Holy Virgin’s excellent submission to the will of God as she brought Our Lord to St. John, each of them enclosed within their Mothers’ wombs, thus allowing Our Lord to baptize the baptizer himself!  In this action Mary demonstrates the action of the priest who allows himself to be the vehicle for Christ’s saving grace as he administers the sacraments.

The sixth effect was manifested in her relationship with St. Joseph, whom she regarded and honored as her husband, not disdaining to serve him, and be subject to his will. What exalts her humility above all admiration is that she prefers to endure an unspeakable humiliation rather than reveal to Joseph the admirable mystery wrought in her by God, and her newly received rank of Mother of the promised Messias.

The seventh effect of the humility of the royal Heart of Mary was revealed at the birth of Her Divine Son in a stable at Bethlehem. . . . being turned away from every house, was obliged to seek the lowly abode of animals. There she brought forth the only Son of God the Father, the King of Glory, the sovereign Lord of all things. And she sustained these humiliations without a complaint and with most perfect humility.

The eighth effect of the admirable humility of the Mother of God became apparent when she subjected herself to the Hebrew law of Purification. (Note: again, St. John Eudes is rather terse, which leaves space for us to turn to Our Lady herself to tell us the rest by means of her Holy Rosary. I also recommend the excellent writings available at The Rosary to the Interior; for the Purification of the Church. I also have written of the Mystery of the Purification in these pages.)

The ninth effect of the humility of the blessed Heart of Our Savior’s Mother was the virtue she practiced during the forty days’ penance of her Divine Son in the desert. Remember what we have said above; namely, that our Savior’s incomparable love for His Blessed Mother made Him desire her to resemble Him as closely as possible, and caused Him to engrave in her Heart a perfect image of all the states and mysteries of His most holy life.

The tenth effect of the humility of Mary’s all-pure Heart became manifest at the wedding of Cana in Galilee, where she obtained from her beloved Son the miracle whereby He changed water into wine. But how did she induce Him to perform that miracle? Was it by exerting her authority as His Mother? By no means. . .  she did not even presume to entreat Him, but merely made plain to Him, with the greatest modesty and humility, the need for additional wine. Mary left it entirely to His divine will to act as He thought best.

The eleventh effect of the humility of the admirable Heart of the Mother of Jesus was that she suffered with her beloved Son all the contempt and insults He endured during His public ministry from His enemies. . . She likewise endured with her Son all the indignities and ignominies of His passion when He was treated as a criminal, bound and throttled like a thief, torn with whips, crowned with thorns, reviled by the shocking preference of the mob for Barabbas, and nailed to a Cross between two bandits.

Yes, my Jesus, Thy most worthy Mother bore with Thee all this shame and humiliation! As Thy glory is now her glory, so were Thy ignominies her very own, which she bore with such humility that she never uttered a complaint to God or man. 0 prodigious humility! Most humble Mary, pray to thy dear Son that He may grant us the grace to learn from Himself and from thee how to suffer insults and humiliations patiently and with humility, and never to complain.

The twelfth effect of the humility of the Admirable Heart of Mary is recorded in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles where it is written that, after the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, St. Peter, St. John and the other disciples withdrew to the Cenacle of Jerusalem.

There they remained until the coming of the Holy Ghost, united in prayer with the holy women and Mary, Mother of Jesus, whom St. Luke the Evangelist mentions last, not only after the holy Apostles, but even after the sinner from whom our Savior had driven seven devils. How can it be that she who is the first in dignity, in merit, and in sanctity should be put in the last place?

It is that her most profound humility compelled her scribe, St. Luke, to name her thus in the last place, according to the lowliness of her self- estimation, considering and treating herself as the least and most unworthy of creatures. What peerless humility!  (. . . )

0 Queen of the humble, thou seest how remote we are from the practice of true and perfect humility. Obtain from thy beloved Son the pardon of all the sins we have committed against this great virtue; offer to Him thy very humble Heart in reparation and satisfaction for our misdeeds; and entreat Our Lord to grant us the graces we need to enable us to imitate carefully and faithfully the most holy humility of the amiable Heart of Jesus and Mary.

Eudes, St. John. The Admirable Heart of Mary. KIC. Kindle Edition.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

An Open Letter from Father Vernoy

Breaking news from Vox Catholica.

Fr. Marc Vernoy: An Open Letter To My Brother Priests

 

 

On the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, August 29th, 2018, Fr. Marc Vernoy, Prior of St. Thomas More Church in Sanford, Florida wrote a letter to his brother priests in Florida. This letter is wide ranging in scope, and deals with the current crisis in the Catholic Church, and what priests can do to fight back against the overwhelming wave of corruption that is consuming God’s Holy Church.

Father’s suggested remedies (attending the Mass, praying our daily Rosary, adoration and contemplation, and sincere prayers to the Mother of God) are all things we can also do as lay Catholics to beg God for an end to the crisis, and a restoration of our Holy Mother Church.

Please share this video (especially to priests who aren’t in a Traditional order), and subscribe to the YouTube channel. This will be a great help to continue building this new apostolate.

† . † . † 

Dear Brother Priest,

Greetings in the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary. My name is Marc Vernoy, I was ordained a Catholic priest for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X on June 29, 1995. After having been sent to Asia, Europe and Africa. I was assigned in Sanford, Florida, eight years ago to establish our Priory.

We are “a priestly society of common life without vows, after the example of the Societies of Foreign Missions.”[1] Our “purpose is the priesthood and all that pertains to it and nothing but what concerns it; i.e., the priesthood as Our Lord Jesus Christ willed it when He said, “Do this for a commemoration of me.”[2]

Before founding our Society, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre led the largest Catholic missionary congregation, the Holy Ghost Fathers and was the Apostolic Delegate for West Africa. His experience showed him the necessity of a real common life to preserve and strengthen our priestly life against the challenges and dangers of modern life in this world.

As our Lord suffered His terrible Passion, so His Mystical Body, holy Mother the Church is atrociously suffering today through so many victims, children and young adults and in her immaculate and divine dignity. Some of her beloved sons, consecrated in the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, have appallingly betrayed her and have sorely defiled their persons with horrible crimes. Their unnatural depravation is so evil that Holy Scripture[3] places it among the four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. In their sacrilegious abuses, they crucify the whole Church, they desecrate their holy Unction and even give up their fatherhood and their human dignity, as there is no dignity anymore when you depart so sinfully from God, our Creator and Redeemer.

As poor sinners, we all know that human nature is weak and wounded, always ready to fall into sin. Thus, our Lord Jesus Christ is alerting us, “watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”[4]. He constantly admonishes us against the perils of the world, whose Prince is Satan[5], and has no positive or “optimistic attitude” towards them. “The world does hate me, because I denounce it for its evil doings.”[6] “If you belonged to the world, the world would know you for its own and love you; it is because you do not belong to the world, because I have singled you out from the midst of the world, that the world hates you.”[7] “Have you never been told that the world’s friendship means enmity with God, and the man who would have the world for his friend makes himself God’s enemy?”[8]

However, after the Second Vatican Council and through the liturgical reform as well, these evangelical exhortations have been silenced in the Church. In the General Audience of July 3, 1974, Pope Paul VI explained this change as follows: “We have certainly heard of the severity of the saints for the evils of the world. Many are still familiar with the books of asceticism, which have a generally negative judgment on earthly corruption. But it is also certain that we live in a different spiritual climate, being invited, especially by the recent council, to take an optimistic look at the modern world, its values, its conquests.”[9] He then continues his speech praising modern materialism, comfort and technology and gave this advice: “We must maintain a line of demarcation between Christian life and secular life. Between the spiritual and the temporal there cannot exist this communion – or rather this confusion – of interests and ways of life that the old unitary conception of Christianity made easier and more habitual.”[10]

We Catholics, faithful to the Word of our Lord and to the holy Tradition of His Church have always been aware of the distinction between the spiritual and the temporal worlds, but not a separation, “a line of demarcation”, as we believe in the social Kingship of the Son of God. We are for a communion coming from subsidiarity, but certainly not for any confusion. We want divine Love to be known in this world, to spread and to be loved.

These words of Paul VI along with many others regarding a new “spiritual” attitude towards the “world” are very disturbing and confusing, as they frankly depart from divine doctrine and from the constant teaching and practice of the Catholic Church. The absence of God the Father in any society is at the root of all evils we may witness today. How could Paul VI open the gates of the Church to the fetid and evil spirit of the world, promoting a liberal and godless attitude with the world? This invitation has unfortunately been observed in what was called the aggiornamento of our Church. The holy Father, instead promoting the salvific influence of the Church in our world and caring for the spiritual good of his flock, exposed both to the sinful contamination of the world for their own ruin. At the first rank of this contamination have been the consecrated persons. 120,000 priests left the priesthood for the world and its corruption and many who stayed in their position have greatly suffered. Also, the changes in the liturgy contributed to a confusion regarding the identity of the Priest and even to a desecration of Priesthood. Every day of our life we need to be reminded about our sacred identity and divine vocation.

Paul VI concluded the Second Vatican Council with these words: “Indeed, an immense love for men profoundly permeated it. Human needs examined and considered in detail… have absorbed the attention of our Synod. You worshipers of humanity (cultores humanitatis) who renounce transcendental truths ought to pay tribute to the Council for at least this and acknowledge our new Humanism. For we also, and we more than anyone, are worshipers of man.”[11]

This new horizontal attitude, worldly and man-centered, forgetting the primal and preliminary vertical attitude towards God Almighty altered completely the meaning of Christian life and had enormous effects on Catholic doctrine and liturgy.

Nevertheless, the Apostle admonished the Romans regarding this very attitude leading to all perversions and abuses. “For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man… Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, that prompts them to disgraceful acts. They are versed in every kind of injustice, knavery, impurity, avarice, and ill-will; spiteful, murderous, contentious, deceitful, depraved, backbiters, slanderers, God’s enemies; insolent, haughty, vainglorious; inventive in wickedness, disobedient to their parents; without prudence, without honor, without love, without loyalty, without pity. Yet, with the just decree of God before their minds, they never grasped the truth that those who so live are deserving of death; not only those who commit such acts, but they also that consent to them that do them.”[12]

Let us keep in mind that Saint Paul is not targeting only abusers, but also those who cover for and promote this kind of behavior. As a consequence, it is quite clear that this new “optimistic look at the modern world” deprives the flock from any spiritual protection and abandon them to pride, idolatry, adultery, egotism, narcissism, “selfism”, blindness, contraception and abortion, addiction, practical atheism, abuse of power, irresponsibility, revolutionary feminism, social chaos, homosexuality and many other evils that we do better not to name.

In a society as large as the Church, there is a force of inertia that can still give the illusion of its strength, and cohesion for a certain time after a serious and disabling event. The Church is partially unplugged for half a century, as God did not fully abandon her. Confused and without a clear supernatural goal, her human side simply continued to roll thanks to the strength it had accumulated until those years and thanks to an intense and overwhelming emphasis on administration. Many societies deprived of fatherhood, a loving authority that gives a vision, have forgotten the “why” of their lives to focus on the “how” of their organization.

Today, we are witnessing the result of a disconnection with God the Father, the batteries are very low and the spectacle of the fall in shameful convulsions is lamentable. While Pope Paul VI approved and promoted the disconnection, some Roman Pontiffs tried to fix things, especially the moral life with cosmetic measures, which are worthless, as the only effective medicine, which is in the truth of our Faith in the Word of God and in His mystical Body. Very few in the Catholic Church are those who really believe in this article of Faith that She in union with Her Head Who is Christ, is the only One Who provides the necessary means of salvation to human beings[13].

The true Church and chaste celibacy cannot be the cause of today’s scandals. The crime comes from a carelessness for spiritual good, from an invasive anti-Catholic subculture and from the absence of true Shepherds and Fathers. The new collegial way of governing the Church deprived the Fathers of their full authority, responsibility and accountability and finally of their paternal heart.

The Second Vatican Council and its consequences were supposed to revivify the Church with a reformation, but it obviously favored a dreadful deformation. Never has a true Catholic reformation ever been liberal and confusing in its teaching, lax and permissive in its practice, as it clearly was in the last Council.

We know that a fish rots from the head, but we also know that the good outcome always comes from Peter and we must pray for the Pope. “Thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”[14]

However, in his Letter to the People of God[15], Pope Francis unfortunately avoids the deep causes of so many heartbreaking scandals. Three key words are missing: “homosexual”, “bishop” and “sacrilege”. We do not hear Peter warning us and taking any concrete measure against the liberal and homosexual subculture, corrupting from the highest prelates to the simple assistant priest. We know for years that many in the hierarchy are covering up for and even promoting this evil subculture, liberal in its theory and confusing and perverting in its latest practical consequences. We unfortunately know today that Peter is apparently tainted with this subcultural influence[16]. In the Letter to the People of God Pope Francis gives no concrete direction. Being accountable and responsible for whatever happens under their authority to the flock, Pope Francis is not asking his brother bishops to investigate, to inquire, to thoroughly and canonically visit their diocese. Where is the sense of Fatherhood? Though, “no man can serve two masters!”[17] and we expect our Holy Father to set a clear example, as the Vicar of our Lord and to act as a true Father in order to confirm His Brothers under the authority our only Master, Christ our Lord.

Background checks are a cosmetic measure. We need the help of God the Father, we need to beg the Holy Ghost for the grace to keep the Faith, the grace to persevere in His Charity and Love, the grace to be led by His Hope and to live in His Peace. This requires remaining in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. The very minimum we must do is to pray faithfully our Breviary, our Rosary, to reserve a quiet time of contemplation, another to savor Holy Scripture, to entertain a deep love for the sacrament of Penance and its frequent use and finally a supreme devotion for the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the summit of our lives and reminds us who we are. We must also ask for prayers. Traditionally, first Thursdays are dedicated to pray for priests, at masses, adoration, holy hour, etc. Our brother priests need our presence and comfort to avoid the curse of loneliness that affects many, which is a deadly danger and for some a foretaste of Hell. “Woe to him that is alone, for when he falls, he has none to lift him up.”[18]

We, first sons of our Immaculate Blessed Lady, need to ask her intercession to live a holy and chaste life. It is a gift that we must daily beg through prayer, fasting, corporal penance and ascetic life. “They that are Christ’s have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences.”[19] Our Lord warns us, “unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish”[20]. The first move of a worldly life is to abandon the ascetic life and the splendid and radiating virtue of chastity. The gift of this delicate virtue is a fruit of our constant understanding, renewal and love of our consecration.

We have been set apart and we shall not take back what we have sacrificed and given to God Almighty. The holy sacrifice of the Mass is at the core of our fidelity and a necessity to continue to grow in the dedication of our own “fiat”. “Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood. Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all. Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.”[21] Our identity is a divine gift and we must have a vivid sense of it to live it wholly.

We, priests of our Lord Jesus Christ are expected to preach fully, courageously and without any ambiguity the mysteries of God and all the means He gives us to live these mysteries.

The doctrine regarding sin and the last ends are extremely efficient. “Sin is the one and only evil in the world. We mortals are accustomed to regard the sufferings and contradictions of this life as evils, whereas they are graces in reality; since, far from separating us from God, they bring us nearer to Him. Through sin man becomes worthless in God’s sight; through sin, he, who is made of nothing, returns to his original nothingness. St. John Chrysostom says: ‘Many consider eternal damnation to be the greatest of all evils; but for my part, I always assert that to offend Jesus Christ is a far greater evil’. Sin is a greater evil than the annihilation of the world, nay, of a million worlds, with their countless inhabitants. Sin is the only real disgrace.”[22]

We, priests and sinners, united with the Passion and Crucifixion of our Redeemer, alter Christus, must fulfil our duty of reparation and expiation for the sin of the world, the sin of our fallen brothers and set a good example for this purpose. In these troubled and confused times, we have the great duty to remind ourselves and the faithful about the evil of the practice of homosexuality and seriously fight against its unnatural contamination.

We pray to Mary Immaculate, who prophesized this crisis at Akita, Fatima, La Salette, Quito, etc. We pray to her for the Church and for you my dear brother priest, who are expected, after our necessary and certainly sorrowful purification, to be a key instrument in the absolutely needed conversion and reformation to return to the Love of Christ.

Sources:

[1] F.S.S.P.X Statutes (I:1) “approved by a decree of the Bishop of Fribourg, November 1, 1970, and praised in a letter from the Sacred Congregation of the Clergy, dated February 18, 1971”.

[2] Idem (II:1)

[3] Gn 18:20-21

[4] Mk 14:38

[5] Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Ap 12:9; etc.

[6] Jn 7:7

[7] Jn 15:19

[8] Js 4:4

[9] https://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/it/audiences/1974/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19740703.html

[10] Idem

[11] Paul VI, Homily of the closing Mass of the Second Vatican Council on December 7, 1965, from the original Latin version: http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/la/speeches/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19651207_epilogo-concilio.html

[12] Rm 1:22-32

[13] Salus extra ecclesiam non est, St Cyprian Ep 4:4; Ep 73:21,2. Extraordinary Magisterium: Innocent III, 4th Lateran Council. Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam. Eugene IV, Cantate Domino. All Popes taught this dogma, especially from Leo XII to Pius XII.

[14] Mt 16:18-19

[15] http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2018/documents/papa-francesco_20180820_lettera-popolo-didio.html

[16] https://s3.amazonaws.com/lifesite/TESTIMONYXCMVX-XENGLISH-CORRECTED-FINAL_VERSION_-_G-2.pdf : TESTIMONY by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana Apostolic Nuncio.

[17] Mt 6:24

[18] Eccles 4:10

[19] Gal 5:24-25

[20] Lk 13:3

[21] 1Tim 4:14-16

[22] The Catechism explained, Spirago, III Sin 2:3

 

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Our Lady of the Rosary, Victorious in Battle

 

During this October, the month of Our Lady’s Holy Rosary, we honor her as Our Lady of Victory, for it is by this very Rosary that she will triumph over the enemies of the faith .

When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd children of Fatima, she identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary. As we know, everything she says is significant. In this case, by claiming the title of Our Lady of the Rosary,  the title of Our Lady of Victory was implied. For history is replete with her victories through her most Holy Rosary. (Here and here).

By the Rosary, She shall crush the head of satan!

We have explained in previous posts that the Feast of the Holy Rosary is celebrated on October 7th because of Our Lady’s Victory at the Battle of Lepanto where the murderous hordes of Mohammed were driven from Christendom on that day in 1571. Today, the Church is beset by enemies from within who are just as determined as the muslims of four centuries ago. This month, it is good to dwell on Our Lady’s Rosary as the means by which she will be victorious in the ongoing battle with the forces of satan in the world and within the Church itself.

We know Our Lady has already given us the keys to victory – her Rosary and devotion to her Immaculate Heart. The evil within the heart of our Church can only be defeated by Our Lady of the Rosary, Victorious in Battle. To help illustrate this we recently posted a little known vision of St. John Bosco, which we share with you again:

“It was a dark night. Men could no longer tell which way to take in order to return to their homes. Suddenly there appeared in the heavens a very bright light that illuminated the steps of the travelers as though it were mid-day. At that moment there was seen a host of men and women, of young and old, of nuns, monks and priests with the Holy Father at the head. They were going out from the Vatican and were arranging themselves in line for a procession. “Then there came a furious storm which clouded that light somewhat and made it appear that light and darkness were engaged in battle. In the meantime, they arrived at a little square covered with dead and wounded, some of whom cried aloud and asked for help.

“Very many were dropping out of the line of procession. After having walked for a time that would correspond to two hundred risings of the sun (200 days) they all realized that they were no longer in Rome. Struck with fear they all ran to the Holy Father to defend him personally and to attend his wants. Instantly two angels were seen carrying a banner, going they presented it to the Holy Father and said: ‘Receive the banner of He Who fights and scatters the strongest armies of the world. Your enemies are dispersed. Your children with tears and sighs beg you to return.’ “Looking at the banner one could see written on one side, ‘Queen conceived without sin,’ and on the other side, ‘Help of Christians.’

In this, as in his prophecy of the Two Pillars, St. John Bosco affirms that Christ the King prefers to conquer through means of His Most Blessed Mother. The banner of Christ the King bears two of her titles: The first, “conceived without sin” is of course, the Immaculate Conception and the second title is also very informative, Mary Help of Christians, that is, Our Lady of Victory. That is her title for vanquishing the Muslims, which will be accomplished at her last (seventh) apparition at Fatima to end the Islamist war on Christians with the conversion of muslims to the true faith. It is obvious as well, that this Queen will also vanquish the heresies which have thrown the Church into such darkness and disarray. She has promised us, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

The following Novena prayer is for a Novena of Rosaries, that is, nine days of praying the 15 decade, complete Rosary. For those unable to complete the entire Rosary each day, it can also be prayed as a 27 day novena, by saying one five-decade rosary daily, which makes a complete 15 decade rosary each 3 days. For that longer Novena it is good to mark each day on the calendar as it’s completed. There is another lovely tradition, which has worked many miracles, of praying yet another 27 day novena following the first, in thanksgiving for the favor requested. The willingness to pray with faith and gratitude for a favor perhaps not yet granted, is said to be very pleasing to Our Lady. On a personal note, I have made use of this as a 54 day novena of Rosaries on several occasions and have been astounded at Our Lady’s generosity. She truly never fails us when we pray for the salvation of others with this novena of rosaries.

Continue reading “Our Lady of the Rosary, Victorious in Battle”

For Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Today, to honor Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on her feast day, we offer some quotes and prayers of hers, with which we hope to gain insight into her spirituality.

Among my treasures is a small book called “Thoughts of the Servant of God Thérèse of the Child Jesus”.  The little book may still be available through archive.org, but they are quickly purging the most truly Catholic works from their archives. It seems they find a problem with the content and so must remove them. Hmmm …

And so, today we offer a bit of beauty and wisdom from the Little Flower.

On Faith
He whose Heart ever watches, taught me that while for a soul whose faith equals but a tiny grain of mustard seed, He works miracles, in order that this faith which is so weak may be fortified; yet for His intimate friends, for His Mother, He did not work miracles until He had put their faith to the test.

Did He not let Lazarus die though Martha and Mary had sent to tell Him that he was sick? At the marriage at Cana, the Blessed Virgin having asked Him to come to the assistance of the Master of the house, did He not reply that His hour was not yet come?  But after the trial, what a recompense! Water changed to wine, Lazarus restored to life. . . (Hist. d’une ame, Ch. VI)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

The Lowest Place
The only thing not subject to be envied is the lowest place. It is therefore this lowest place alone which is without vanity and affliction of spirit. Still, the way of a man is not always in his power and sometimes we are surprised by a desire for that which glitters.  Then, let us take our place humbly amongst the imperfect, deeming ourselves little souls whom the good God must sustain at each moment.

As soon as He sees us truly convinced of our nothingness and we say to Him:  ‘My foot hath slipped: Thy mercy, O Lord, hath held me up.’ He stretches out His Hand to us; but if we will attempt to do something grand, even under pretext of zeal, He leaves us alone. It is enough therefore that we humble ourselves, and bear our imperfections with sweetness: there, for us, lies true sanctity.  (Counsels and Reminiscences)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

In a Strange Land
Life is passing, eternity draws nigh; soon shall we live the very life of God.  After having drunk deep at the fount of bitterness, our thirst will be quenched at the very source of all sweetness.

Yes, the figure of this world passes away,  soon shall we see new heavens; a more radiant sun will brighten with its splendours ethereal seas and infinite horizons …  We shall no longer be prisoners in a land of exile;  all will be at an end and with our Heavenly Spouse we shall sail o’er boundless waters: now our harps are hung upon the willows that border the rivers of Babylon,  but in the day of our deliverance what harmonies will then be heard!  With what joy shall we not make every chord of our instruments to vibrate!  Today, we weep remembering Sion . . . how shall we sing the songs of the Lord in a strange land?  (V Letter to her sister Celine)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

Of Humility, a Peach
The most eloquent discourses would be incapable of inspiring one act of love without the grace that moves the heart.

See a beautiful, rose-tinted peach, of so sweet a savour that no craft of confectioner could produce nectar like it. Is it for the peach itself that God has created this lovely colour and delicate velvety surface?  Is it for the sake of the peach that He has given it so delicious a flavour? No, it is for us; what alone belongs to it and forms the essence of its existence is its stone. It possesses nothing more.

Thus is Jesus pleased to lavish His gifts on some of His creatures, that through them,  He may draw to Himself other souls. But in His mercy He humiliates them interiorly, and gently constrains them to recognize their nothingness and His Omnipotence. These sentiments form in them, as it were,  a kernel of grace, which Jesus hastens to develop for that blessed day when clothed with a beauty immortal, imperishable, they shall without danger have place at the Celestial banquet. (xvi Letter to her sister Celine.)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

We have taken nothing
The Apostles, without Jesus, laboured long– a whole night– without taking any fish.  Their toil was pleasing to Him but He wished to show that He alone can give anything. He asked only an act of humility:  “Children, have you any meat?   And St. Peter confesses his helplessness:  “Lord we have laboured all night and have taken nothing.”

It is enough! The Heart of Jesus is touched. … Perhaps if the Apostle had taken a few little fishes the Divine Master would not have worked a miracle; but he had nothing, and so through God’s power and goodness his nets were soon filled with great fishes. That is just our Lord’s way.  He gives as God, but He will have humility of heart.  (XVII Letter to her sister Celine)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

Discouragement
A novice confided to her that she made no progress and felt quite discouraged.
“Till the age of fourteen,” said Thérèse, “I practised virtue without feeling its sweetness. I wished for suffering but had no thought of finding my joy therein; that is a grace which has been granted me later. My soul was like a beautiful tree whose blossoms no sooner opened than they fell.

“Offer to the good God the sacrifice of never gathering the fruits of your labours. If He so will that during your whole life you feel a repugnance to suffer and to be humiliated, if He permit that all the flowers of your desires and of your good-will fall to earth without fruit, be not troubled.  At the moment of your death. He will know well how to bring to perfection,  in the twinkling of an eye, beautiful fruits on the tree of your soul.

“We read in the Book of Ecclesiasticus: “There is an inactive man that wanteth help, is very weak in ability, and full of poverty: yet the eye of God hath looked upon him for good, and hath lifted him up from his low estate,  and hath exalted his head;  and many have wondered at him and have glorified God.  Trust in God, and stay in thy place. For it is easy in the eyes of God, on a sudden to make the poor man rich. The blessing of God maketh haste to reward the just, and in a swift hour His blessing beareth fruit!”  (Counsels and Reminiscences.)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

On Pride
“To avoid this calamity I have but to say humbly from the depths of my heart: ‘O my God, I implore of Thee, suffer me not to be unfaithful!’

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

On Humility – The Valley
“Oh when I think of all I have to acquire!” exclaimed a novice.
“Say, rather, ‘to lose’. Jesus it is who charges Himself with the care of filling your soul according as you free it from its imperfections. I plainly see that you are taking the wrong road; you will never arrive at the end of your journey.

You wish to scale a mountain and the good God wants to make you descend: He is waiting for you down in the fertile valley of humility.” (Counsels and Reminiscences).

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

Of Criticism and Praise
In a moment of temptation and combat a novice received this note (from St. Thérèse :  “The just man shall correct me in mercy and reprove me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head.” I cannot be corrected or tried except by the just, inasmuch as all my Sisters are pleasing to God. It is less bitter to be reproved by a sinner than by the just; but through compassion for sinners, to obtain their conversion, I pray Thee, O my God, that I may be bruised by the just souls who are roundabout me.

Again, I beg that the oil of praise, so sweet to nature, anoint not my head, that is to say, enervate not my mind, by making me believe that I possess virtues which I have only with difficulty practised several times.

“O my Jesus! Thy Name is as oil poured out, it is in this divine perfume that I wish to be wholly bathed, far away from the notice of creatures.”  (Counsels and Reminiscences)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

The following prayer of Oblation was found in the copy of the Gospels which she carried always close to her heart. We have included a few other of her personal prayers.  The citation for the source is at the end of the post.

AN ACT OF OBLATION AS A VICTIM OF DIVINE LOVE 

O my God, O Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to love Thee and to make Thee loved–to labour for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls here upon earth and by delivering those suffering in Purgatory. I desire to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, and to reach the degree of glory Thou hast prepared for me in Thy Kingdom. In a word, I wish to be holy, but, knowing how helpless I am, I beseech Thee, my God, to be Thyself my holiness.

Since Thou hast loved me so much as to give me Thy Only-Begotten Son to be my Saviour and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. Gladly do I offer them to Thee, and I beg of Thee to behold me only through the Eyes of Jesus, and in His Heart aflame with love. Moreover, I offer Thee all the merits of the Saints both of Heaven and of earth, together with their acts of love, and those of the holy Angels. Lastly, I offer Thee, O Blessed Trinity, the love and the merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dearest Mother–to her I commit this Oblation, praying her to present it to Thee.

During the days of His life on earth her Divine Son, my sweet Spouse, spake these words: “If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it you.” Therefore I am certain Thou wilt fulfill my longing. O my God, I know that the more Thou wishest to bestow, the more Thou dost make us desire. In my heart I feel boundless desires, and I confidently beseech Thee to take possession of my soul. I cannot receive Thee in Holy Communion as often as I should wish; but, O Lord, art Thou not all powerful?

Abide in me as Thou dost in the Tabernacle–never abandon Thy Little Victim. I long to console Thee for ungrateful sinners, and I implore Thee to take from me all liberty to sin. If through weakness I should chance to fall, may a glance from Thine Eyes straightway cleanse my soul, and consume all my imperfections–as fire transforms all things into itself. I thank Thee, O my God, for all the graces Thou hast granted me: especially for having purified me in the crucible of suffering.

At the Day of Judgment I shall gaze on Thee with joy, as Thou bearest Thy sceptre of the Cross. And since Thou hast deigned to give me this precious Cross as my portion, I hope to be like unto Thee in Paradise and to behold the Sacred Wounds of Thy Passion shine on my glorified body.

After earth’s exile I trust to possess Thee in the Home of our Father; but I do not seek to lay up treasures in Heaven. I wish to labour for Thy Love alone–with the sole aim of pleasing Thee, of consoling Thy Sacred Heart, and of saving souls who will love Thee through eternity. When comes the evening of life, I shall stand before Thee with empty hands, because I do not ask Thee, my God, to take account of my works. All our works of justice are blemished in Thine Eyes. I wish therefore to be robed with Thine own Justice, and to receive from Thy Love the everlasting gift of Thyself. I desire no other Throne, no other Crown but Thee, O my Beloved! In Thy sight time is naught – “one day is a thousand years.”

Thou canst in a single instant prepare me to appear before Thee. In order that my life may be one Act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a Victim of Holocaust to Thy Merciful Love, imploring Thee to consume me unceasingly, and to allow the floods of infinite tenderness gathered up in Thee to overflow into my soul, that so I may become a very martyr of Thy Love, O my God!

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear in Thy Presence, free me from this life at the last, and may my soul take its flight without delay into the eternal embrace of Thy Merciful Love! O my Beloved, I desire at every beat of my heart to renew this Oblation an infinite number of times, “till the shadows retire,” and everlastingly I can tell Thee my love face to face. Amen.

A MORNING PRAYER

O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in Heaven for all Eternity. Amen.

PRAYER  TO  OBTAIN  HUMILITY
(Written for a Novice)

O JESUS! When Thou wast a wayfarer upon earth, Thou didst say:–“Learn of Me, for I am Meek and Humble of Heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.” O Almighty King of Heaven! my soul indeed finds rest in seeing Thee condescend to wash the feet of Thy Apostles – “having taken the form of a slave.”

I recall the words Thou didst utter to teach me the practice of humility: “I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also. The servant is not greater than his Lord. If you know these things, you shall be blessed if you do them.” I understand, dear Lord, these words which come from Thy Meek and Humble Heart, and I wish to put them in practice with the help of Thy grace. I desire to humble myself in all sincerity, and to submit my will to that of my Sisters, without ever contradicting them, and without questioning whether they have the right to command.

No one, O my Beloved! had that right over Thee, and yet Thou didst obey not only the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, but even Thy executioners. And now, in the Holy Eucharist, I see Thee complete Thy self-abasement. O Divine King of Glory, with wondrous humility, Thou dost submit Thyself to all Thy Priests, without any distinction between those who love Thee and those who, alas! are lukewarm or cold in Thy service. They may advance or delay the hour of the Holy Sacrifice: Thou art always ready to come down from Heaven at their call.

O my Beloved, under the white Eucharistic Veil Thou dost indeed appear to me Meek and Humble of Heart! To teach me humility, Thou canst not further abase Thyself, and so I wish to respond to Thy Love, by putting myself in the lowest place, by sharing Thy humiliations, so that I may “have part with Thee” in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I implore Thee, dear Jesus, to send me a humiliation whensoever I try to set myself above others. And yet, dear Lord, Thou knowest my weakness. Each morning I resolve to be humble, and in the evening I recognise that I have often been guilty of pride. The sight of these faults tempts me to discouragement; yet I know that discouragement is itself but a form of pride. I wish, therefore, O my God, to build all my trust upon Thee. As Thou canst do all things, deign to implant in my soul this virtue which I desire, and to obtain it from Thy Infinite Mercy, I will often say to Thee: “Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.” Amen.

(Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. The Story of a Soul (L’Histoire d’une Âme): The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (Link)

 

. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
. St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

 

 

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Pope Francis Recognises the Value of Rosaries – At Last!

In his initial response to the very credible charges made by Archbishop Viganò, Pope Francis promised, “I will not say a single word.” And yet he does, daily it seems, utter veiled invective against “the Great Accuser”, a not-so-subtle slur against his own accuser, Archbishop Viganò.

But on the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, September 29, Pope Francis outdid his own appalling hubris when he called for all the faithful to pray the Rosary daily through October, “asking the Holy Mother of God and St. Michael the Archangel” to protect the Church from attacks of the devil — the “Great Accuser” — and to make her members more aware “of the sins, errors, and abuses committed in the present and in the past.”

Lifesite News reported that the Pope asked the faithful  “to pray that the Holy Mother of God will place the Church under her protective mantle: to protect her from the attacks of the evil one, the great accuser, and at the same time make her ever more aware of the sins, errors, and abuses committed in the present and in the past, and committed to fighting without hesitation so that evil does not prevail.”

As I read that, it took a moment or two to recover my composure, but then I began to see the possibilities. Readers, we all know and have known ever since at least March 13, 2013 that satan is attacking the Church most effectively. And this unfortunate man is the exquisite proof of it.

Do you recall the Pope’s remarks in Apericida, Brazil, May, 2013:

“…When I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: “Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries.” Why don’t they say, ‘we pray for you, we ask…’, but this thing of counting…”

And now, he asks us for daily Rosaries! Whatever has prompted this, let’s make the most of it!

And so, let’s obey Pope Francis and pray the Rosary every day in the month of the Most Holy Rosary, asking Our Lady of the Rosary to, (in the words of Pope Francis himself), place the Church (and her Pontiff!) under her protective mantle, to protect them from the attacks of satan, and to make the Pope “ever more aware of the sins, errors, and abuses committed in the present and in the past, and committed to fighting without hesitation so that evil does not prevail.”

To really get into the spirit of it, I offer Pope Francis this penitential prayer, “Lamentation” in the hope that it will help him achieve the peace of true repentance and restore him to friendship with Our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Head of the Church.

Lamentation

A new penitential psalm for the Pope and episcopacy of the universal Church.

O all ye faithful! Weep over us, miserable souls given over to the dregs of impurity; we are to be lamented with a whole fountain of tears.

We mourn the noble souls, made in the image and likeness of God and united with the most precious blood of Christ, more glorious than many episcopal mansions and vast tax-free properties. Therefore we lament the fall of our “Excellent” and “Eminent” souls and the destruction of so many immortal souls of our trusting flock.

May our eyes fail from weeping, may they pour out abundant streams of tears, and may they water sad and mournful expressions with continuous crying. May our eyes spring forth tears with the prophet day and night, and may they not cease because the Church, the beautiful Bride of Christ has been crushed with the worst of blows, the holy Church has been cruelly injured with the dart of impurity by the enemy of the human race, and she is now seen lying rigid and swollen in the sulfurous embers of Gomorrah, pestilently corrupted by the poison of unnatural lust.

O Lord, have mercy on us! For we have become a lethal wound festering in the body of the church!

The iniquity of the hierarchy of the Church is made greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment. Indeed, the evil of our consecrated souls surpasses the sin of the Sodomites, because it has spurned the sacred priesthood to which it is solemnly consecrated and is thereby vehemently reprimanded by its own knowledge of the divine law and its indifference to the profusion of graces offered by our loving and merciful Savior.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are weak: heal us, O Lord, for our souls are troubled exceedingly: but Thou, O Lord, how long?

Consider our wretchedness, how much the darkness oppresses our souls. Take note how densely the fog of blindness envelops us. We have become the prey of demons, the plunder of the cruel, the booty of the impious. For we have turned a blind eye to the sins of our priests which we were obliged to correct and our silence has granted them permission to sin against innocent children entrusted to them.

Our sores are become putrified and corrupted, because of our foolishness and iniquities.

Our vice has been the death of bodies, the destruction of souls; it has polluted the flesh, extinguished the light of the intellect, and has expelled the Holy Ghost from the temple of the hearts of our victims, and has sought to remove the truth completely from the minds it has deceived.

We are become miserable, and bowed down even to the end: We walk in  sorrows all the day long. For our loins are filled with illusions; and there is no health in our flesh.

The plague of our iniquities has removed the foundation of faith, enervated the strength of hope, broken the tie of charity, and it has destroyed justice, undermined fortitude, banished temperance, and introduced every barbarity of vice.

We are ready for scourges: and our sorrows are continually before us. Therefore we will declare our iniquity: and will think on our sins.

We have fallen into this abyss of most extreme perdition, we deserve to be exiled from the heavenly homeland, separated from the body of Christ, confounded by the authority of the whole Church, condemned by the judgment of all of the holy Fathers, despised among men on earth, and rejected from the fellowship of heavenly citizenry.

Forsake us not, O Lord our God: do not Thou depart from us. Attend unto our help, O Lord, the God of our salvation. Turn away Thy face from our sins, and blot out all our iniquities.

Deeply aware of our unhappy state, we now come before Thee, Lord to implore Thy pardon. O Sweet Savior, look not on our sins but see our great need of Thy mercy! We trust in Thy mercy, O Lord, let us not be confounded forever!

By the help of Thy grace, we promise to repent of our past ingratitude every day and firmly resolve never to offend Thee again, and to avoid the occasions of sin. Through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary we will from henceforth make reparation for our sins, and the sins of the Church, and unfailingly beg the conversion of all poor sinners that the reign of Thy Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary be established throughout the Church and the world. Amen.

 

The above Lamentation was composed from excerpts from sacred scripture and from “The Book of Gomorrah” and other Catholic sources, notably, St. Peter Damian’s  “The Book of Gomorrah and St. Peter Damian’s Struggle Against Ecclesiastical Corruption (Kindle Locations 2117-2121). Ite ad Thomam Books and Media. Kindle Edition. (LINK)

 

Note: The Pope also requested the recitation of the venerable old prayer, which is, itself a kind of exorcism, “Sub tuum praesidium”. The text is: 

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen.

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

 

There can be no greater danger than to lose one’s soul to satan, and so we pray for the Pope to be freed from the great deceiver, the “Father of Lies”. 

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

 

St. Michael and the Power of Darkness

 

Today we honor the great angelic Saint, Michael the Archangel, he of the flaming sword who is also, as he assures us, “The Angel of Peace”.  How can this be? St. Michael explained this:

‘Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.’

Thus, sacrifice and reparation are called for. OK, you regular readers saw that coming  didn’t you? Forgive me, but this is such a grand time to be a Catholic and to do what true Christians do best – take up our crosses and follow the Man! In this way, we obey the great Saint Michael, the Angel who promises peace to us – the peace of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

The year before Our Lady of the Rosary appeared at Fatima, St. Michael prepared for her visits by his own apparitions to the children.  As the Angel of Peace, St. Michael visited Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta in 1916 to prepare  them for the work of the Blessed Virgin and through them, to prepare us for our work in this present crisis as the prophecy of Fatima draws to its calamitous close.

The following is compiled from a variety of Fatima resources, especially from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité’s ‘The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I’ (Link).

 

"Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console Our Lord."
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men.
Make reparation for their crimes and console Our Lord.”

 

The Angelic apparitions took place in spring, summer and fall, 1916, when Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were nine, eight and six, respectively. On a spring day, they shepherded their flocks on the east side of the Cabeço. After lunch and the Rosary, they began to play when,

” … a strong wind began to shake the trees. We looked up, startled, to see what was happening, for the day was unusually calm. Then we saw coming towards us, above the olive trees, the figure I have already spoken about. Jacinta and Francisco had never seen it before, nor had I ever mentioned it to them. As it drew closer, we were able to distinguish its features. It was a young man, about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty.”

“We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement. On reaching us, he said:

“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”

Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead reached the ground. Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same, and repeated the words which we heard him say:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”

Having repeated these words three times, he rose and said:

“Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”

Then he disappeared.

Frère Michel remarks on the apparition, as at Horeb, when it was given to Elijah to enter into the presence of God, as at the Cenacle at the moment when the divine Spirit descended on the Apostles, or finally at Massabielle, when the Immaculate Conception came to visit Bernadette, it is by a sudden and mysterious wind that the Angel of Fatima announced his approach. ‘Who makest the clouds thy chariot: who walkest upon the wings of the winds.’ (Ps. 103:3)

And the words of the Angel echo the words of the Angels in other Biblical apparitions, ‘Fear not! I am the angel of peace.’ The presence of the Angel always fills the witnesses with astonishment, and he must first reassure them. ‘Fear not!’ he says to Zachary and to the Blessed Virgin, to the shepherds on the night of the Nativity, and to the holy women on the morning of the Resurrection.

Regarding his appearance, Lucia affirmed that he resembled a young man of great beauty, around fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow and resplendent with a crystal-clear light, so much so that when Canon Barthas asked, ‘What was he like?’ she summed up her response in this laconic expression: ‘Era de luz.’ That is, ‘He was of light.’ Here also is a completely biblical expression. The Angel who announced the resurrection of Christ, relates St. Matthew, had an appearance as of lightning, and his raiment was white as snow. (Mt. 28:3) And the same Evangelist, describing Our Lord transfigured on Tabor says: ‘His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as snow.’ (Mt. 17:2)

‘God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 Jn. 1:5), and whenever He deigns to manifest Himself to men, by the ministry of Angels or the mediation of His Holy Mother, He appears to us clothed in splendour, according to the beautiful verses of the Psalm: ‘O Lord my God, Thou art exceedingly great. Thou hast put on praise and beauty: And art clothed with light as with a garment.’ (Psalm 103:1-2) At Fatima, after each of the apparitions, this word “Light” always comes back to the lips of the seers.

Sister Lúcia recounted the overwhelming presence of the Divine in the Fatima apparitions,

The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense that for a long time we were scarcely aware of our own existence, remaining in the same posture in which he had left us, and continually repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt so intimately and so intensely that we did not even venture to speak to one another. Next day, we were still immersed in this spiritual atmosphere, which only gradually began to disappear. It did not occur to us to speak about this apparition, nor did we think of recommending that it be kept secret. The very apparition itself imposed secrecy. It was so intimate, that it was not possible to speak of it at all.

From Frère Michel,

The Presence of God is something stupendous, even crushing, for our feeble human faculties. But this ‘annihilation before the Divine Presence’, to use the expression of Sister Lucia, was for the three future messengers of Our Lady the surest school of true and profound humility, which is first of all the intimate knowledge of the infinite sanctity of God and the nothingness of the creature. In addition to the message which the seers began to put in practice right away – ‘from then on, we used to spend long periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until sometimes we fell, exhausted’ – the visit of the Angel also obtained for them intimate graces of peace and joy in God: ‘the peace and happiness which we felt were great, but wholly interior, for our souls were completely immersed in God. The physical weakness that came over us was also great.’

In time, however, their childhood natures took over and they began to play. Then, at the height of summer heat, they brought the sheep back to the shelter of home and spent the heat of day in the shade of the trees about the family well. Lucia remembers,

We were playing on the well. Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us.

‘What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.’

‘How are we to make sacrifices?’ I asked.

‘Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.’

‘We chose this spot … for our more intimate talks, our fervent prayers, and … our tears as well – and sometimes very bitter tears they were. We mingled our tears with the water of the same well from which we drank. Does this not make the well itself an image of Mary, in whose Heart we dried our tears and drank of the purest consolation?’

Frère Michel notes, “In the book of Kings, when the Voice of God spoke to Elijah, at Mount Horeb: ‘What are you doing, Elijah?’ (1 Kg. 19, 13) It was the same with the seers of Fatima: ‘What are you doing? Pray! Pray much!’ The Angel’s admonition was not in vain, for in the fall, when the Angel returned for the third time, he found them prostrate and praying as he had taught them. It was in late September or early October and the children had returned to the Cabeço.

As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our foreheads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the Angel: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You… I don’t know how many times we repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone upon us. We sprang up to see what was happening, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice.

Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times:

‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.’

Then, rising, he took the Chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the Chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so:

‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’

Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us, three times more, the same prayer, “Most Holy Trinity…”, and then disappeared.

Moved by a supernatural force which enveloped us, we had imitated the Angel in everything, that is, we prostrated as he did and repeated the prayers that he said … We remained a long time in this position, repeating the same words over and over again.

Frère Michel, “There is a very clear gradation in the apparitions of the Angel, and the third, which was spent entirely in the miraculous Communion given to the seers, truly marks the high point. On that day they had a sort of ‘Eucharistic theophany’, during which it was given to them to contemplate the drops of Precious Blood falling from the Sacred Host into the chalice.”

Sister Lucia affirmed that by his apparitions, St. Michael had impressed them deeply,

“These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He gives the grace of conversion to sinners. It was for this reason that we began, from then on, to offer to the Lord all that mortified us …”

Thus, with the Angel as their teacher and catechist, the shepherds learned to pray and offer their sacrifices. Sanctified by the Bread of Angels, they were prepared to welcome the Queen of Heaven, and bear witness to Her apparitions and message even to the point of heroism. We too can learn from these three appearances of St. Michael.

The first lesson:

“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”

That is, do not waste your energy in fear, but pray!

The second lesson:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”

This prayer teaches us by both its words and the manner in which the Angel demonstrates it, deepest worship of the Divinity of God. It is a profound yet simple act of faith, hope and love combined with the most profound adoration. What an eloquent “antitoxin” for the sacrilege and indifference exhibited today by our pontiff and prelates!

The third lesson:

“Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”

In this lesson, the Angel affirms that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are inseparably linked and he affirms the efficacy of prayers addressed to Them as such.

The fourth lesson: 

“What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”

In this, the Angel affirms the importance of praying without ceasing. Indeed, God’s infinite mercy is offered to us and for this poor world, with the requirement that we must pray for it. In fact, as St. Michael states, we are to pray, “constantly”! And, moreover, our prayers must be accompanied by our sacrifices. Unlike the false mercy of imposters, God’s mercy must be prayed for!

The fifth lesson: 

“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.”

In this passage, the Angel teaches us the way God wishes reparation to be made. Not histrionically, with much fanfare, but quietly, unobtrusively, by offering up our daily duties, the sacrifices we are called to make each day in order to live our lives as devout children of Mary, consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.

The sixth lesson:

“You will thus draw down peace upon your country.”

This profound lesson, so succinct, teaches us that war, which results from sin, can only be healed and peace restored, by sacrifices of reparation. Once again, only by reparation will we attain peace. Only by reparation. And what has the Church, beginning with John XXIII done? Where is reparation in the post-conciliar Church?

The seventh lesson:

“I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal.”

Here, the Angel confirms that he is, in fact, St. Michael the Archangel, to whom Portugal has historically been entrusted. Now, you may remember that after Pope Leo XIII’s apocalyptic vision, he ordered the Church to pray to St. Michael the Archangel after every Low Mass that we be saved from Satan. After the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI suppressed these prayers. Another sign of the darkness and diabolic disorientation of the Popes after John XXIII’s disobedience.

The eighth lesson:

“Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.”

This final lesson caps off the preparation for the following year’s apparitions of the Queen of Heaven. It still echoes across the years to us, today more urgently than ever. Accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you! Yes, these times are rapidly approaching, when we may be denied the Mass and sacraments, and what is left will be to offer all to the Sacred Hearts with generous, sacrificial hearts united to theirs.

St. Michael, appears significantly in the Sacred Scriptures from Daniel * to Fatima’s last vision. He appeared also to St. Joan of Arc as well. This post is merely a small part of the significance of St. Michael. Chapter III of Frère  Michel’s “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. I”  has much more information and all of it is most helpful to understand St. Michael’s role in Fatima and these  times. Marianna Bartold’s book, “Fatima, the Signs and Secrets” is also most useful. Both of the foregoing books have so many insights to offer, much more than I can recap here.

As we approach the end of the century of Fatima take heart, and offer always the Angel’s prayers .  If you are unable to assist at a true Mass each morning, offer Mass spiritually, renewing your consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, receiving Our Lord spiritually and frequently renew your intention to offer all to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the day in reparation, for the conversion of sinners, especially the Pope and hierarchy. With each Spiritual Communion, be sure to pray the Angel of Fatima’s Eucharistic Reparation Prayer. In this way, even if we are unable to offer Eucharistic Reparation in person, we can offer it spiritually.

Use Holy Water throughout the day and try to pray the whole Rosary, incorporating the Prayer of St. Michael in each decade, and repeating it after your examen and Act of Contrition before bedtime.

And in all trials, we must give thanks to Our Lord for allowing us to be here now, able to give Him our love and make reparation for the sins which wound Him so grievously.  We are very blessed to be children of Mary!  We cannot lose heart now, for we have, after all, her promise, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

  • But at that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people: and a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time. And at that time shall thy people be saved, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel Chapter 12, verse 1)

Well now, dear readers, you may wonder to what was I referring in today’s title, “St. Michael and the Power of Darkness”. The power of darkness refers to that which has been spoken of by Cardinal Manning, by Father Malachi Martin (here and here) and most recently, in a post by Professor Roberto de Mattei in which he refers (here) to the powers waging war against the Bride of Christ as the agents of chaos. By any name, it is the power of darkness, the Prince of this world, even Satan himself, who will be cast from the Church in the most violent manner, far surpassing the violence with which the ancient enemy has been oppressing the Church. In this battle, as Lucia warns us,

” … from now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no other possibility.“

For other posts on St. Michael:

“Daniel and St. Michael”

We Saw an Angel with a Flaming Sword“,

† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.
† St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Litany and Novena to Our Lady of Victory

NOTE: We have posted an update on our About page to address concerns of several readers that I am causing scandal and denigrating the office of the papacy by referring to the present pontiff in disrespectful terms. It is Pope Francis who disrespects the office of the papacy and furthermore, the man disrespects Our Lord Jesus Christ, His teachings and the Church.  Our Lord Jesus Christ established the One, Holy and Apostolic Church by His obedient sacrifice to redeem us from sin. This pope on the contrary, promotes division, disobedience and foulest impurity in the Church which he himself has boasted that he intends to change “irreversibly”.

We offer the  Novena to Our Lady of Victory to be prayed from 28 September (tomorrow)  to the eve of her feastday, that is, 6 October. At Lepanto, 7 October, 1571, Our Lady of the Rosary triumphed over the muslims who were determined to eradicate the Catholic faith from the world. Today, she stands ready to deliver an even more impressive victory, asking only a humble and contrite obedience to her requests at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. The same dark power that waged a bloody war against the Bride of Christ in the muslim wars against the Church is even now locked in a mortal combat with the Woman who will, in God’s time, crush its hateful head.

The following Litany and its accompanying prayers, when combined with our Lady’s Holy Rosary form the basis for our Novena to Our Lady of Victory.

Litany of Our Lady of Victory

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Victory, Pray for us.
Triumphant Daughter of the Father, Pray for us.
Triumphant Mother of the Son, Pray for us.
Triumphant Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Triumphant Choice of the Most Holy Trinity, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Immaculate Conception, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Crushing the Head of the Serpent, Pray for us.
Triumphant Over All the Children of Adam, Pray for us.
Triumphant Over All Our Enemies, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Embassy of the Angel Gabriel, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Espousal to St. Joseph, Pray for us.
Triumphant at the Scene of Bethlehem, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Flight Into Egypt, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Exile, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Humble Dwelling at Nazareth, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Finding Thy Divine Child in the Temple, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Earthly Life of Our Lord, Pray for us.
Triumphant in His Passion and Death, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Resurrection, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Ascension, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Descent of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Sorrows, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Joys, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Entrance into the Heavenly Jerusalem, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Angels Who Remained Faithful, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Felicity of the Blessed, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Graces of the Just, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Announcement of the Prophets, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Desires of the Patriarchs, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Zeal of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Light of the Evangelists, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Wisdom of the Doctors, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Crowns of the Confessors, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Purity of the Numerous Bands of Virgins, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Triumph of the Martyrs, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy All-Powerful Intercession, Pray for us.
Triumphant under Thy Many Titles, Pray for us.
Triumphant at the Hour of Our Death, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us,  O Lord.

V. Pray for us, O Blessed Lady of Victory!
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray:

O Victorious Lady! Thou who hath ever such powerful influence with Thy Divine Son, in conquering the hardest of hearts, intercede for those for whom we pray, that their hearts being softened by the rays of Divine Grace, they may return to the unity of the true Faith, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

V.  Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!
R.  Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in all the world!
Remember,  it  has  been  given  to  Our  Lady  of  the  Rosary  to  crush  the  head  of  Satan, conquer  the  enemies  of  the  Church  and  destroy  all  heresies!

Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who, fled to thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thine intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate! despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

The Rosary is an essential part of this Novena of course, since the Rosary is the means chosen by Our Lady of Victory to defeat all heresies and restore the faith.

At Fatima, in response to Lucia’s question, “Who are you?” Our Lady replied, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” Sister Lucia explains:

“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

Frère Michel tells us that Sister Lucia often stressed that in every one of her six apparitions, Our Lady made sure to repeat the request, always in the same terms, with the same insistence: Recite the Rosary every day!”

“This shows how much this beautiful prayer, so traditional in the Church, is supremely pleasing to Her motherly heart. Far from being a completely secondary and optional devotion, the Virgin of Fatima came to reveal to us that the Rosary is the most ordinary condition to infallibly obtain all the graces that we ask of Her.

“Yes, She is the Mediatrix of all graces, by the good pleasure of Her Son. But this outpouring of favors which She holds in Her Heart, She can only release on each of our souls, our families, our countries and the world, in response to the humble and suppliant imploring of innumerable Rosaries. If, just as at Lourdes, She willed to appear at the Cova da Iria holding in Her hand this blessed instrument, guide of our prayers, it was to show us that it is the surest means, because it is the easiest and the humblest, of winning Her Heart and obtaining Her graces.

Frère Michel quotes Sister Lúcia:

“The Rosary is, for the great part of souls who are living in the world, as it were their daily spiritual bread. To deprive them of it, inciting them to neglect or ignore this prayer, is to snatch from their mouth the bread of grace.”

And so, take heart – The battle is far from over – Our Blessed Mother is always victorious!
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary for thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in all the world.

“Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?”