A Novena of Rosaries for Our Lady of Victory

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. We have all heard the old axiom, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Perhaps that is why our humble Pope is so indulgent with his friends, the musllims?

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.  There has never been a better time to take up our Rosaries and join our Queen and Mother in her battle! Solange Hertz explained this best:

“Damaged perspective is quickly corrected by reference to the Mysteries of the Rosary, which contain the whole of human history in prophecy. For the Church there is no possibility of failure. Faithfully reproducing the life of her blessed Lord on earth as Mary did, she has left the Joyful Mysteries far behind and is already at grips with the Sorrowful ones. Approaching her own crucifixion, she is even now on the Way of the Cross which leads to the Resurrection. Like her divine Master, “who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb.12:2), she keeps her gaze fixed on the Glorious Mysteries lying ahead.

Conformed to Him in all things, the Church can expect her torment to end like His, abruptly and without warning, leaving the world to marvel as did Pilate, who “wondered that he should already be dead” (Mk. 15:44). Suffering is not natural to man, who was created to share God’s own eternal happiness and glory. The Sacred Heart has promised, “I shall reign in spite of Satan and all opposition!” Revealing her own participation in that promise, His Mother has declared, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” In their one Heart is laid up one inevitable, final, resplendent victory.”  (Hertz, “The Thought of Their Heart”, Kindle Edition)

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 understood 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.

This Rosary Novena is very powerful, so please be sure to continue it, even though your prayers may be answered before the completion.

Our Lady Of The Rosary Novena Prayer

Dearest Lady, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, from Calvary’s cross, thy dear Son entrusted us to thy care. Behold thy weak and sinful child in supplication at thy feet. I beg thee, accept this Holy Rosary, offered for the glory of God, in reparation for the offenses to thine Immaculate Heart and to the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners and for the special intention: ____________.

Please, dear Mother, place these poor prayers of mine in the chalice of thine Immaculate Heart and offer them to Jesus. Conscious of my own unworthiness, I trust in thine Immaculate Heart, the fountain of infinite mercy. Amen.

One simple and effective way for us to minimize distractions when saying the Rosary is to prepare carefully for our first Rosary of the day. After morning offering/renewal of consecration, make a spiritual communion. It doesn’t take very long and it enables us to stay focused. After spiritual communion and thanksgiving, pray the Angel of Fatima’s Prayer, that is:

“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 the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

After that, call to mind the particular Mystery, such as Joyful, Sorrowful or Glorious. It helps greatly if we have previously spent some time reading and thinking about these mysteries. If there is interest in it, perhaps we’ll offer a post on Rosary Meditations. Briefly however, in the Joyful Mysteries, we consider Mary’s humility and obedience. The Sorrowful Mysteries are about obedience and humility in action, that is, on the way of the Cross. Jesus has commanded us to Take up our crosses and follow Him. The Glorious Mysteries encourage us with the fruits of virtue and help instill in us an ever greater faith, hope and love for Our Lord and His Blessed Mother.

It is also helpful to consider the words of the Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary) itself.

“Hail Mary, full of Grace” is a statement of the Immaculate Conception. Mary was conceived immaculate from sin, in order to contribute the Body and Blood of Christ. Why is that concept is so difficult for protestants? Why would they want Our Lord Jesus Christ to spend the first nine months of His earthly existence in a sinful body? It must be because they do not understand that sin is the greatest evil in the world, more so than pain, or even death itself, because sin is seaparation from God, that is to say, death of one’s eternal soul. That is why each Hail Mary begins with the affirmation of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception – it is an affirmation of the perfect justice and mercy of God.

“The Lord is with thee” reminds us that Mary is always with the Most Holy Trinity. She is the most favored Daughter of God the Father, the most beloved Mother of God the Son and the most glorious Spouse of God the Holy Ghost. So, whenever we are praying the Hail Mary, the Holy Trinity is right there, too.

“Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” These are the words of Mary’s kinswoman, Elizabeth. (Luke 1, 42) The Church in her wisdom, added the sacred name of Jesus, by which name we are blessed each time we utter it respectfully. By these Biblical praises, we console Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord for the blasphemies against them. Jesus told Sister Lucia that the Immaculate Heart of His Mother is pierced with numerous thorns caused by ungrateful sinners. He called for us to make reparation. We must not be indifferent to His request.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” When praying this intercession, we refer back mentally to the Angel of Fatima’s  prayer above, which by Divine inspiration applies the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the salvation of sinners. Mary is truly the Mother of Mercy. The first revelation of Fatima was of the huge number of sinners falling constantly into Hell. We are commanded to pray and offer penance for them. This part of the Hail Mary supplies this need if it is coupled with a clear intention.

At the Doxology, as we pray, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost”,  we recall that Mary is always praying that prayer, so dear to her Heart, with us, as are all the choirs of Heaven. For she is Queen of Heaven, and beloved of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Then follows the Fatima Decade Prayer, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.” Once again, we ask Jesus to apply that infinite merit to all poor sinners. In this we affirm our trust in His mercy for those who follow Him.

We have written on the Our Father in two previous posts, Meditations on the Our Father,  which can be found here and here.

In numerous apparitions from Our Lady of Good Success, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on up to Lourdes and Fatima, both Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother have asked for prayer and penance. One certain way to fulfill both requests (prayer and penance) is to make time in our busy day for the full rosary of fifteen decades. As St. Louis de Monfort tells us, “…nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because (Mary) obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins and by means of this they obtain God’s forgiveness and mercy.” I would add that it is likely that no one will be lost for whom we earnestly pray our Rosaries. Our Lady will never fail her children!

Recite the Rosary every day!

If you are concerned about the well-being of your loved ones, or for our Church in these days of apostasy and confusion, there is no better way to help than by praying the Holy Rosary. 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.

Most Glorious Queen of Heaven, by thy holy Rosary, bind us to thee and lead us to Jesus!

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!

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July 29, 2017

It is most important  to understand that the devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Christ the King, and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are all of a piece, as it were, and in no way are separate, disparate, or contradictory. And these are inseparable as well from the Mass and particularly, the Holy Eucharist.  Furthermore, it is essential to grasp that the requests, demands really, of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, as relayed by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689, still stand today, more than three centuries after they were made known. Once God has uttered a request, it does not cease to be simply because centuries pass while Catholics turn an indifferent ear to them.

What I had hoped to do in the earlier post was demonstrate the reason Christ Our Lord made His request of the King of France. It was because of the importance of the French Monarchy, as a worldly force established by the will of God for the glory and protection of Christ’s Church. I refer readers to the writings of Solange Hertz as previously cited.

St. Pius X tells us in Vehementer, “The Creator of mankind is also the Founder of human societies, and He preserves them just as He maintains individuals in existence.”  God sent Joan of Arc to make this clear. Her mission was precisely to establish the fact that France was a nation constituted by God under a king who was Jesus Christ’s designated lieutenant. Thus, we see that God first sent St. Joan to aid France, then sent St. Margaret Mary with a message from His Sacred Heart. The engineer of destruction for the latter message was the deceitful Jesuit superior who refused to comply. I will not expand on this now, but it is documented by Hertz in Utopia Nowhere.

At the risk of oversimplifying, I will just state that if Pope Pius XI had only obeyed the commands of the Immaculate Mother of God at Fatima, instead of separating that requested devotion from devotion to the Sacred Heart and Christ the King, he would have been able to fulfill both the demands of the Immaculate Heart and the demands of her Son. Instead of the ever-expanding reign of the evils of satanic marxism, we could have had the glorious reign of Christ the King, through the Immaculata, as Our Lord Himself had so desired.

And what are we to think of France?  The Kingdom of France, established by King Clovis was consecrated by him to  Christ’s Kingship forever by constitutional law. The document’s preamble begins with, “The illustrious Nation of the Franks, having God for Founder,” and closes by praying that, “the Lord Jesus Christ direct those who govern in the way of piety.”  When France’s king failed to submit to the request of its true ruler, Christ the King, it fell to apostasy. Of this, Pope St. Pius X prophesied: “she who had made an alliance with God,” would one day repent and “bear My Name before all peoples and all the kings of the earth.” God’s gifts being without repentance, we may believe that the return to natural law will begin with the conversion of regicide France. (Solange Hertz, “Utopia Nowhere”, loc 1101-1105)

Continue reading “July 29, 2017”

Politics and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today we consider a neglected aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is, its political aspect.  For this essay, I am indebted to a favorite author, Solange Hertz.  In her book, “Utopia Nowhere“,  Solange Hertz proves the importance of the political aspect in a most elegant manner, beginning with her assertion that devotion to the Sacred Heart was established on Golgotha when the Roman Centurion Longinus plunged his lance into the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of “The King of the Jews”, as Pilate’s notice proclaimed.

Longinus, the official representative of the ruling power, thereby performed a political act which stands to this day as a necessary reminder of the battle between the dark powers that rule this world and the power of Christ the King:

Devotion to His Sacred Heart is therefore no sentimental devotion to be pursued only in private. Essentially, it is a political commitment. The Sacred Heart of Christ the King is source and center of the Christian state, human manifestation of the divine Monarchy from which all monarchy takes its name. Its temporal dimensions extend into eternity. Only when viewed from this perspective can the true purpose of Sacred Heart devotion be discerned. Otherwise it is simply a super-excellent practice among many others designed by God to bring the individual into greater intimacy with Him.

Sacred Heart devotion does this, to be sure, but its objective is ultimately and fundamentally political in the real sense of the word politics. It was forged by the divine Wisdom to bring not only the individual, but whole nations into intimacy with God. [Utopia Nowhere].

Although devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was evident throughout the long history of the Church, and especially in the lives of many of the mystics of the Church in the Middle Ages, it was not until Our Lord’s revelations to the Visitation nun, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689 that we began to see the vigorous political thrust of the Sacred Heart.  From Hertz:

The substance of our Lord’s message had been conveyed in six letters written by St. Margaret Mary, five of them to her former Superior, Mother de Saumaise, and the last one to her Jesuit spiritual director, Fr. Croiset. The second letter, dated June 17, 1689, begins by speaking of some great political designs of our Lord:

Behold this Heart which has so loved men…

… which can be executed only by His almighty power … It seems to me He wishes to enter with pomp and magnificence into the homes of princes and kings so as to be honored there to the same degree that He was outraged, despised and humiliated in His Passion, and to receive as much pleasure on seeing the world’s great ones reduced and humbled before Him as He felt bitterness on seeing Himself reduced to nothing at their feet.

And here are the words I heard regarding our King: ‘Inform the eldest son of My Sacred Heart that … he will secure his birth into grace and glory by the consecration he will make of himself to My adorable Heart … and through his mediation, that of the great ones of the earth. He (the Sacred Heart) wishes to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standards and to be graven on his arms to render them victorious over all his enemies, by bringing these proud, arrogant heads under his heel and effect his triumph over all the enemies of the Church.’

There were other requests. In the saint’s fifth letter, dated August 28 of the same year, she says our Lord desired a building to be erected in which would be displayed an image of the divine Heart, to which the King and his entire court would formally consecrate themselves. The King, furthermore, chosen by our Lord as “His faithful friend,” was to ensure that a special Mass in His honor would be authorized by the Holy See and a formal cultus established.

In return the King was promised divine protection against his “enemies, both visible and invisible.” It is now known that these invisible enemies were the occult forces of Freemasonry set into motion by the “merchants of light.” Already they had crossed the Channel from England and were gathering strength in France. And speaking of channels, our Lord made it clear that the Jesuit Fr. de la Chaize, Louis XIV’s confessor, had been chosen by God to see to the execution of His designs.

The Role of the Jesuits

St Margaret Mary explained, “By virtue of the power He had given him [Father de la Chaize], over the heart of our great King, the success of the matter depended on him.” And yet, incredibly, even Jesuit scholars have determined that Fr. de la Chaize never relayed Our Lord’s message to the King.  Hertz suggests that it was Jesuit obedience that withheld him, as it is known that the Father General, Fr. Thyrsus Gonzalez de Santalla was hostile to devotion to the Sacred Heart, as it is documented that he censured and banished  Father Croiset, St. Margaret Mary’s devout confessor for having written an account of the revelations.

To what can we describe such a thing? It seems another instance of the workings of the mystery of iniquity. Thus, the devotion so dear to Our Lord was allowed to languish, and the cause was simply obedience to disobedience. This has worked so well for the ancient enemy, sad to say.

Hertz affirms that the tradition of the French Visitation nuns holds it for certain that Louis XIV did nevertheless learn of the desires of the Sacred Heart through other sources. We know that Louis XIV was already privately practicing the devotion as preached by St. John Eudes, to whom he had allocated 2000 pounds for France’s first chapel to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Hertz is certain that the King would have, as piety dictated, submitted St. Margaret Mary’s requests to his spiritual director for approval, with a view to acting on them, but it is clear that no approval was given. Once again, obedience to those who are disobedient to Christ.

In her essay, Hertz stresses an important point, “The divine communications had been directed to Louis XIV’s person [as Monarch], but not to him as an individual. Had this been the case the extraordinary means used would have been entirely disproportionate. It was Louis as King who was addressed.” What we are to understand from this is that God made a request of the French Monarch, not a personal request to one single person, King Louis XIV, but to the French Monarchy to re-establish the ancient and sacred compact between the French Monarchy and the Church. instituted by King Clovis. Let’s delve a bit deeper here, for this has significance for us today.

Fr. Bainvel, theologian of the Sacred Heart, writes:

“The three objects of the message [of the Sacred Heart]: the church, the consecration, the flag are by their very nature national, durable and perpetual; the triumph over the enemies of God and the Church resulting from the accomplishment of the message is even more national, inasmuch as it involves the whole future of France and her providential Catholic mission, her vocation and her raison d’ être.”

In the person of the King all his successors and the nation itself are addressed. The entire court was to take part in the consecration. God’s gifts being without repentance, no time limit was set, and presumably God still waits. Thus, we see that Our Lord Jesus Christ still awaits the obedience of the French Monarch to His demands, as He awaits the obedience of the Pope and Bishops to the demands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His most Beloved Mother.

Why the King of France?

Continue reading “Politics and the Sacred Heart of Jesus”

Our Lady of the Rosary, 2016

Today is the Feast of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady’s gift to her children.  The Rosary is the second best gift that the Queen of Heaven has given to her children. The first best gift is of course, Our Savior Jesus Christ!

“Non virtus, non arma, non duces, sed Maria Rosarii victores fecit.”
“Non virtus, non arma, non duces, sed Maria Rosarii victores fecit.”

THE HOLY ROSARY: Ultimate Liturgy

By Solange Hertz

The Rosary Is Her Gift To Us…Not Even the Pope Can Change That

(Fundamental Reasons Why So Many Faithful Catholics Never Embraced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary)

There is no mention whatever of the Rosary in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Not even in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, whose final chapter deals exclusively with our Lady ’s role in the Church. A vague reference in Article 67 to “practices and exercises of devotion towards her” might be assumed to include it, but according to Bishop Rendeiro of Coïmbra, the Bishops who wished to add to the text “the Rosary with meditation on the Mysteries of the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin” were voted down. Apparently the Council deemed it best to follow the recommendations of the Theological Commission and make no mention of particular devotions, for fear of encouraging manifestations of piety beyond what they termed “the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine.” …

Not for them the beloved adage of the saints, “De Maria numquam satis!” They were solicitous to “painstakingly guard against any word or deed which could lead separated brethren or anyone else into error regarding the true doctrine of the Church.” They would only concede that the Church “has endorsed many forms of piety toward the Mother of God,” forms which “have varied according to the circumstances of time and place and have reflected the diversity of native characteristics and temperament among the faithful.”

In point of fact the Rosary began at the foot of the Cross along with Sacred Heart devotion. When Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic with instructions to propagate the Rosary, she did so for the same reason that our Lord would one day appear to St. Margaret Mary. In neither case was anything new proposed to the faithful, who were merely being recalled to practices known in the Church from the beginning, but which they were in imminent danger of forgetting.

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The Open Heart

For love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we offer this essay of Solange Hertz, from her book (highly recommended!), The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary”.

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

“I will reveal My love to them more and more …”

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).

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Enmity between thy seed and her seed

“With great longing I desire the spread of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for this heart is the magnet that draws hearts to Me, the heart that radiates to the world the streams of my light and my love. It is finally, the inexhaustible spring from which flows into the world the living water of my mercy.” (Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lucia, 1943, quoted in Sister Lucia’s letter to Bishop Gurza, May 27, 1943)

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night before He died for our sins, promised us, “I will not leave you orphans.” Thus, he spoke to Sister Lucia in 1943 in order to offer us in this sad Passion of His Church, the Immaculate Heart of His Mother as the inexhaustible spring of living water of His Mercy. Those who remain obstinately indifferent to this do so to their own eternal destruction.

It can be difficult to discern the true path amidst this diabolical smoke and carnage of the great spiritual battle. But Our Lord offers us the remedy: the Heart of Mary, that radiates His light and love to strengthen and guide us safely. In the Message of Fatima, we are given  a key to comprehend the mysterious passage in Chapter 12, Apocalypse:

“A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars …And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, …And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The three parts of the Fatima message can be applied fruitfully here. Briefly, the three parts may be described as:

  1. The warning about the horror of Hell.
  2. Heaven’s plan to avoid this terrible fate and promise for those who obey God’s will.
  3. While the third part is not fully revealed, it concerns the frightful consequences for disobeying, that is, the Chastisement and holds out the promise of victory through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Today, we see clearly the results of this. The reality of Hell is denied, all the way to the top of the institutional Church, misleading many poor sinners. The almost total indifference of the clergy, hierarchy and laity to Heaven’s merciful plan, the true message of Fatima. And so, the Chastisement continues apace, with no mitigation possible at this late point. All this is overwhelming, but there is also much reason for hope, for those who heed Our Lady of Fatima and hold firm to the Faith. For, as Our Lady of the Rosary has promised,

“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Due to the disobedience of the popes, to this day the third part of the Message, the Third Secret remains clouded in mystery; however, by all reliable accounts it includes the prophecy that if her commands were not obeyed, the Church would be afflicted with severe chastisements, including an apostasy that would begin at the top, that is, with the pontiff himself. This is what we are experiencing in our day and has also been foretold in many other church-approved revelations, many of which we have already discussed in earlier posts. All together, the Message of Fatima, in all three parts applies to the great battle between the Woman clothed with the Sun and the loathsome red dragon, who is satan.

Continue reading “Enmity between thy seed and her seed”

The Devil in Lent

“Now it is necessary for each one of us to reform ourselves spiritually. Each person must not only save his own soul, but also all the souls that God has placed in our path!” Sister Lucia of Fatima.

A reader exclaimed recently, “This Lent, it is worse than ever – I feel as if the devil himself is working against me!” To which I replied, “Then you must be on the right track; otherwise, he would not waste his time.”

The Immaculate Conception - Because God hates sin!
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!

A helpful little ebook in this regard is Solange Hertz’ “Sin Revisited”. At the outset, she contrasts the intellectual approach of St. Thomas Aquinas with that of the early Desert Fathers, noting that,

“Sin may be described not as the intellect dissects it but as it happens to an individual. … Long before St. Thomas and the scholastics, the ancient Church Fathers described sin in no other terms than those the Bible uses. This was especially true of those stalwart easterners we call the Desert Fathers, who grappled nakedly with sin in the inexorable solitudes of the Egyptian Thebaid in the third and fourth centuries.

“Their (flight to the desert) was a calculated foray into an arena where deadly combats between good and evil could take place at the most elemental level without mundane distractions. They were following, they tell us, the example of Christ grown to manhood, who was led by the Spirit for forty days into the desert to encounter the Enemy at close quarters.”

Mrs. Hertz makes the assertion for gluttony being a very basic sin which arises in ourselves. if you have, (as I have) considered pride as the source and root of most of your sin, you will be fascinated by the case she makes for gluttony. It gave me an insight into why the media hammer us with food and drink advertisements relentlessly. It also helps us understand the importance of fasting. Consider Eve in the Garden of Eden, as told in the Scriptures,

“Our famous original sin in Eden, for instance, wasn’t portrayed dispassionately as grand, primordial pride. It describes our first involvement with simple gluttony. ‘Eve saw for herself that the tree was good to eat and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold; and she took the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat.’ “

Hertz reminds us that gluttony cannot be destroyed as easily as other sins, because food is necessary to support our life and therefore the best we can do is check our superfluous cravings by the power of our mind. But this is an ongoing battle, and never won once and for all. The author  makes the point that vice is not natural to us, and it only seems that way because of our fallen nature. That is precisely why God gave us the Immaculate Virgin Mary and through her, His only begotten Son, those two perfect beings who exemplify in themselves what human nature is meant to be, when when this long, weary battle is won at last.

Continue reading “The Devil in Lent”

Solange Hertz, Rest in Peace

Urgent Update: The family of Mrs. Solange Hertz has a website that is a treasure trove of information on this incredible lady. I do not know how long it will be up and so I urge you to visit: Solange.Strikingly. com. There is also a place for you to offer condolences to her family. We have so few women of nobility, wisdom and deep faith these days, and they are sorely needed. Read of her life and her books and pray for her and for those left here to continue the struggle.

From Solange Hertz’ devoted friend, Michael Matt at The Remnant Newspaper yesterday.

This evening, First Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 10:15 PM, a great lady and a champion of the old Faith passed away at 95 years of age.

Solange HertzIt is with a heavy heart, therefore, that I pass along the sad news that, after a long battle with cancer and the effects of a stroke, Mrs. Hertz has gone to her eternal rest. …

Please pray for the respose of the soul of this great Catholic champion of the old Faith, who never gave up the fight and who exemplified what it means to live a truly Catholic life even in the midst of turmoil and revolution in the Church. She was a true Catholic counterrevolutionary in that she never attempted to “do it her way” by advocating anyone start his own Church, elect his own pope, or bash away at wayward hierarchs at will, but instead chose to watch and pray with the Crucified at the foot of the Cross, fearlessly defending His Church all the while.
℣. Eternal rest, grant unto her, O LORD,
℟. And let perpetual light shine upon her.
℣. May she rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

Several of Solange Hertz’ books are available on Kindle. We offer the following excerpts from her essential work, “Beyond Politics” to whet your appetite. You will notice how presciently Mrs. Hertz foretold the new God of Surprises” of FrancisChurch as well as his neo-pagan environmentalism. In Chapter 2 of Beyond Politics, we read Mrs. Hertz’ explanation of the the two beasts which serve the dragon:

Beast No. 1 personifies the state and Beast No. 2 the church derived from the state, thus reversing the order which pertained in Christendom. Whereas the Church created a Holy Roman Empire, the satanic empire will create a church. …

She then describes the environmental aspect of the new world religion which serves the state, and then alludes to Pope Francis’ “God of surprises”, although this was written more than forty years ago!

Inasmuch as the National Council of Churches, the U.S. Catholic Conference, the Consultation on the Environment and Jewish Life and the Evangelical Environmental Network are all pledged to cooperate in placing “issues of environmental justice permanently at the heart of the nation’s religious life,” who knows what services America’s continuing “spiritual experiment” may yet render to politics.  By such means the First Beast of the Apocalypse, personifying the godless state, brings in its wake the Second Beast, personifying the godless church which glorifies the state and does its bidding. “Dwellers of the earth,” who set up governments for themselves apart from God in the footsteps of Cain and the builders of Babel, have few scruples about concocting a state religion. Worshipers are found wherever church and state, like Herod and Pilate, conspire together to destroy Christ by officially adopting a neutral position. Separating the two Beasts is impossible, because they are one with the Dragon who energizes them. Their union is consummated in their very separation from the Church Christ founded. …

There is every indication that the ecclesiastical Beast’s ultimate intention is to replace God’s Church with the “scientific organization in the light of the Gospel” foreseen by Canon Roca. Now that a Pope has publicly declared that the condemnation of Galileo illustrates the “duty for theologians to keep themselves regularly informed of scientific advances” in view of “introducing changes in their teaching,” the highest theological authorities can be expected to look to science rather than revelation as the final arbiter of truth. Among the false Christs and prophets our Lord predicted would “show signs and wonders to seduce (if it were possible) even the elect” (Matt. 24: 22), the satanically inspired may be expected to figure prominently. …

Man, who was made in the image of God, finds in him a god made in the image of man. As Canon Roca said, he is “humanity itself in principle.” With him people can deal in full freedom as mature human beings, running the universe as it should be run, from space probes to oil spills. He is their cosmic man-made Christ, the god who has freed them from God. Could he be anything but a prefiguration of the Antichrist, that “image of the Beast” announced in the Apocalypse, under whose rule the Dragon intends to unite all mankind in one diabolic, theocratic church and state? …

Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, who inspired the well-known Fr. Denis Fahey in his apostolate for the reorganization of society under Christ the King, once told his diocesan priests in synod: “By means of an old and by now well known tactic, this hateful elevation of man’s nature masquerades as mysticism, enthusiasm and spontaneity. You can see, gentlemen, that here Christianity has been overturned.” Here is “no revelation, no miracle, no prophecy, no incarnation, no act of faith, hope and charity, no Sacrament – particularly the Eucharist – no tenet, no evangelical counsel, no example of the saints is left standing … Jesus Christ is suppressed.” Borrowing the words of St. Hilary, his ancient predecessor in the See of Poitiers, the Cardinal continues:

They have introduced a new, different Christ, in whom the Antichrist could seek refuge. They do not concede that their fabricated Christ is divine; it is enough that he is a finer being than others … The Christian religion is proclaimed as the most perfect without comparison, the holiest of religions, but pains are taken not to proclaim it as the only true religion. In contrast the proclaimers glory in communion with all the great philosophies and religions in the world … Theirs is a psychological Christ, conceived in the mind of man, born of man’s intelligence. The Christ my faith revealed to me was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. Their Christ came from a lowly plane, from the bowels of humanity. My Christ descended from above, from the heart of the Eternal Father. Their Christ is consubstantial to man, mine is consubstantial to God. (Hertz, Solange (2012-09-26). Beyond Politics, Tumblar House. Kindle Edition.)

We hope that The Remnant Press will once again make the works of Solange Hertz available. For there is none to take her place. May she rest in peace.

Mrs. Hertz also wrote a beautiful essay on the Rosary, which we posted as The Queen of Heaven’s Gift to Us.

The link to her family’s memorial page is here.

The Queen of Heaven’s Gift to Us

The Queen of Heaven’s Gift to Us

In honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on this, her Feast Day, we repost the following.

The Rosary is the second best gift that the Queen of Heaven has given to her children. The first best gift is of course, Our Savior Jesus Christ! This article was written by the very gifted Solange Hertz some years back. It is from the archives of the Remnant Newspaper, thanks to Michael Matt. It is long, but you will see it is perhaps the most perfect exposition of the value and necessity for this essential devotion in these times.

Update: This wonderful essay by Solange Hertz is also available in a collection of Mrs. Hertz’ essays, The Thought of Their Heart, on devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary, available as a Kindle Edition.

THE HOLY ROSARY: Ultimate Liturgy

By Solange Hertz

The Rosary is the gift of Our Blessed Mother to all her children for their sure salvation.
“I want you to continue to say my Rosary every day.”

The Rosary Is Her Gift To Us…Not Even the Pope Can Change That.
(Fundamental Reasons Why So Many Faithful Catholics Never Embraced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary)

There is no mention whatever of the Rosary in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Not even in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, whose final chapter deals exclusively with our Lady’s role in the Church. A vague reference in Article 67 to “practices and exercises of devotion towards her” might be assumed to include it, but according to Bishop Rendeiro of Coïmbra, the Bishops who wished to add to the text “the Rosary with meditation on the Mysteries of the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin” were voted down. Apparently the Council deemed it best to follow the recommendations of the Theological Commission and make no mention of particular devotions, for fear of encouraging manifestations of piety beyond what they termed “the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine.” [1]

Fr. Avery Dulles, who wrote an interesting introduction to this decree for one of its English translations, says that “a separate document on the Blessed Virgin was contemplated, and was presented in draft form by the Theological Commission at the first session in 1962. But the Fathers saw a danger in treating Mariology too much in isolation. . .” The decree reads, “This Synod earnestly exhorts theologians and preachers of the divine word that in treating of the unique dignity of the Mother of God, they carefully and equally avoid the falsity of exaggeration on the one hand and the excess of narrow-mindedness on the other.”

Not for them the beloved adage of the saints, “De Maria numquam satis!” They were solicitous to “painstakingly guard against any word or deed which could lead separated brethren or anyone else into error regarding the true doctrine of the Church.” They would only concede that the Church “has endorsed many forms of piety toward the Mother of God,” forms which “have varied according to the circumstances of time and place and have reflected the diversity of native characteristics and temperament among the faithful.”

There are certainly many devotions of this kind throughout the Catholic world, but it would be impossible to locate the Rosary among them, for this unique prayer has never been tied to any time, place or people, nor did it arise from any particular human culture. Like all true liturgy, it had no earthly origin. Saints have believed that our Lord himself proposed it to the Apostles.

In point of fact the Rosary began at the foot of the Cross along with Sacred Heart devotion. When Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic with instructions to propagate the Rosary, she did so for the same reason that our Lord would one day appear to St. Margaret Mary. In neither case was anything new proposed to the faithful, who were merely being recalled to practices known in the Church from the beginning, but which they were in imminent danger of forgetting.

One of the strongest indications of the Rosary’s supernatural character is its ability to withstand human manipulation. Amid the diabolic disorientation unleashed by the “Spirit of Vatican II,” it was only natural to expect that those who believe worship should conform to the times rather than the wishes of the Holy Ghost would lay hands on the Rosary as they had on the liturgy. The repetitive character of the prayer was deemed particularly unsuited to the mature modern mentality. By God’s grace and our Lady’s protection, however, so far every attempt to create a New Rosary has come to naught.

Like the traditional Mass, the traditional Rosary has been suppressed, denigrated and ignored, but never entirely eliminated. Even adaptations like the “Scriptural Rosary” still being promoted has never become really popular. As it became increasingly evident to the Rosary’s devotees that to tamper with it was to tamper with God’s work, the only strategy left to the innovators was to disregard it as much as possible.

A movement to omit the Angelic Salutation from the Hail Mary and say the second part only was indignantly repudiated by the late Bishop Venancio of Fatima and finally scotched in 1973 by an international Blue Army seminar meeting in India. In its closing session Archbishop Dominic Athaide of Agra was unanimously supported in a motion to petition the Pope to retain the Hail Mary in its entirety. The following year, however, the Concilium of the Legion of Mary was prevailed upon to instruct its chapters to experiment in updating the Rosary. Strongly suggested was the reduction of each five decades of the Rosary to four.

This involved combining some of the traditional mysteries into one and adding two extra sets of Mysteries: the “Hopeful,” in which figured among other novelties the first prophecy of Jeremias on the Redemption and the birth and espousals of Our Lady; and some “Mysteries of Oblation” highlighting the Flight into Egypt and the three days’ loss of Jesus. A complete Rosary, which traditionally contains 3 sets of Mysteries, would therefore have 5 sets, requiring 200 Hail Marys instead of the usual 150, with each set requiring only 40 Hail Marys instead of 50. What a master ploy on the part of the enemy had it succeeded! Overnight every Rosary in existence would have been obsolete!

All the while conceding that the Rosary’s major components, the Angelic Salutation and the Our Father, figure prominently in the Gospels, its adversaries are wont to deny its authenticity by pointing out that the Rosary itself is nowhere mentioned in Scripture. These cavilers are perhaps best refuted by St. Basil’s famous sermon on “Sacred Tradition as Divine Guide”;

“Of the beliefs and public doctrines entrusted to the care of the Church, there are some which are based on Scriptural teaching, others which we have received handed down in mystery by the tradition of the Apostles; and in relation to the true religion they both have the same force. Nor is there anyone will contradict them ; no one certainly who has the least acquaintance with the established laws of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject the unwritten practices of the Church as being without great importance, we would unknowingly inflict mortal wounds on the Gospel. …

“For example … who is it that has taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the Cross those who place their trust in Jesus Christ our Lord? … The words of the invocation at the Consecration of the Eucharistic Bread and the Chalice of Blessing, which of the saints has left them to us in writing? For we are not content with the words both the Gospel and the Apostles have recorded, but have added some others, both before these and after them, as having great significance to the mystery, and which we have received from unwritten tradition.”

Zealous demythologizers laboring to dismiss the revelation of the Rosary to St. Dominic as pious legend rest their case largely on the absence of any mention of his actually saying the Rosary in contemporary documents. But then, neither do we possess a single one of his sermons, although he founded the Order of Preachers! Leo XIII, the “Pope of the Rosary,” who wrote no less than eleven encyclicals and an apostolic letter on the subject, unequivocally upheld the authenticity of the tradition. In 1891 he declared in Octobri mense  that  it was by the express “command and counsel of the heavenly Queen“ that the devotion was begun and spread abroad by the Holy Patriarch Dominic as a most powerful weapon against the enemies of the Faith in an epoch not unlike our own, and indeed of great danger to our holy religion.”

Actually Leo XIII was only reaffirming doctrine already defined by Pope St. Pius V. Incredible as it may seem, the vast majority of Catholics are unaware that this same Pope who canonized the Mass for all time in the famous bull Quo primum in 1570 had first canonized the Rosary the year before in the bull Consueverunt.  Ratifying the tradition relating to St. Dominic and officially entrusting the propagation of the Rosary to his spiritual sons, the document defines once and for all the form in which the Rosary is to be prayed:

“ … respiciens modum facilem, et omnibus pervium, ac modum pium orandi et precandi Deum, Rosarium seu Psalterium eiusdem B. MARIAE VIRGINIS nuncupatum , quo eadem Beatissima Virgo Salutatione Angelica centies et quinquagesies ad numerum Davidici Psalterii repetita, et Oratione Dominica ad quamlibet decimam cum certis meditationibus totam eiusdem D. N. Jesu Christi vitam demonstrantibus interposita, etc.”

Evensong Note: A translation of this quote at Papal Encyclicals Online, Consueverunt: “And so Dominic looked to that simple way of praying and beseeching God, accessible to all and wholly pious, which is called the Rosary, or Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which the same most Blessed Virgin is venerated by the angelic greeting repeated one hundred and fifty times, that is, according to the number of the Davidic Psalter, and by the Lord’s Prayer with each decade. Interposed with these prayers are certain meditations showing forth the entire life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, thus completing the method of prayer devised by the by the Fathers of the Holy Roman Church.”

As with the Mass, St. Pius did not concoct or change anything. He merely stated with the full authority of his office what the proper form of the Rosary is, giving obedient testimony to the work of the Holy Ghost, principal author of genuine liturgy. Far from suggesting possible variations or innovations, the Holy See was at pains even then to proscribe spurious forms of the Rosary, as can be seen in its condemnation of the “ Seraphic” Rosary and others like that of the Blessed Trinity and of St. Anne. A new Mass was promulgated by Paul VI after Vatican II, but no Pope has yet presumed to promulgate a new Rosary.

Editor’s (Michael Matt’s) Note: This article appeared in The Remnant many years ago. Since its first appearance, an aged Pope John Paul II was coerced to do the unthinkable: He changed the Rosary, exactly as the alleged Freemason, Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, had lobbied (in vain) Pope Paul VI to do thirty years earlier. Pope John Paul established the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary as an option in his 2002 Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae not long before his death and while suffering greatly the effects of the disease that would ultimately take his life. Fealty to Our Lady, fidelity to her Rosary and even loyalty to a very ill Pope (who was manipulated)—has prevented us here at The Remnant from ever embracing the Luminous Mysteries. We have never used this optional set of mysteries and we never will. We encourage our readers to do the same. …Michael J. Matt

Its basic form remains what St Pius V laid down in the passage just quoted: 150 Hail Marys in groups of ten with an Our Father in between, joined to meditation on certain mysteries of the life of our Lord.

After Consueverunt, all variations were consistently discouraged, mostly by promoting the canonically approved form and indulgencing it ever more heavily. As in the case of the Mass, however, venerable customs of long standing were scrupulously respected. For instance, whereas Latins are accustomed to announce the proper mystery at the beginning of each decade, it had become usual in Teutonic countries to repeat it with each Hail Mary after “thy womb, Jesus.” This practice was retained and allowed in those areas and persists to this day. Be it noted also that indulgences (which, incidentally, are attached to the beads and not to the chain or the string) have never been granted to any unapproved variations, “scriptural” or otherwise. Special permission was required to add the Fatima petition, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins . . . ” to the end of each decade.

Modernist opinion to the contrary, the Rosary is no sentimental paraliturgical practice developed by Christian folk over the centuries to keep children, little old ladies and ignorant peasants occupied with a devotion suited to their limited capacities. Whoever would consider it insufficiently “Christological” to rank with the major ecclesiastical devotions need only be reminded that the Hail Mary was the first Christian prayer.  Given to the world before the Lord’s Prayer, it contained the latter in embryo much as our Lady bore our Lord. As official announcement of His arrival, the climax of the Hail Mary is not praise of His Mother, but praise of “the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” Before the close of the thirteenth century the Holy Ghost had inspired the Church to add the Holy Name to the Salutation, thus making the focus on Christ explicit and unmistakable.

Although men contributed to the Rosary’s development, it was not put together by men. Under divine impulsion it grew from the Archangel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary as a living plant from seed. No prayer is so firmly rooted in Apostolic tradition as the Rosary. The Breton Dominican Bl. Alain de la Roche, who after two centuries would revitalize St. Dominic’s work, is said to have learned in prayer that the first promoter of the practice was St. Bartholomew. Perpetuated among the Desert Fathers, it was not unknown to St. Augustine, St. Benedict, St. Bernard, St. Francis, St. Lutgard, St. Christina and many early saints.

The meditations on the fifteen principal mysteries of salvation which accompany the prayers are no modern accretions, but among the Rosary’s most ancient elements. They could not have sprung from the Rosary, for they engendered it. All those who had a hand in forging its mysteries – from Mary and Joseph through St. John the Baptist, Zachary, Elizabeth, on past the ox and ass at Bethlehem to the thief on the cross, Mary Magdalene at Christ’s tomb and those first Christians in the Cenacle at Pentecost – were architects of the Rosary. Piece by piece they put it together by their faith and suffering, and all are present to the soul who contemplates their extraordinary achievement.

Rooted in the injunction to “pray without ceasing” which binds all men, the Rosary provides a method for keeping the whole person – mind, mouth and hands – occupied with God. To call it perfect liturgy is no mere figure of speech, but sober fact. Designed as it was by the Queen of heaven to facilitate prayer for those unable to recite the Divine Office, its 150 Hail Marys were first said in lieu of the 150 Davidic Psalms recited by the monks. What better substitute for meditation on the old Psalms than meditation on the very Mysteries they prefigured? On occasion the joyful, sorrowful or glorious Mysteries were enjoined as substitutes for the official Psalter when for any reason this could not be said.

So well was the Rosary’s liturgical character understood, that for a long time its recitation actually began with the prayer Aperies as does the Office. Even today it ends with the “Hail Holy Queen,” which is the ancient hymn Salve Regina sung at the Office’s close. Whereas the great Office is the Opus Dei, the work of God, the Rosary may be rightly called the Opusculum Dei, God’s little work, or at least the Opusculum Mariae, the little work of our Lady. In his encyclical on the Rosary Pope Pius XII does not scruple to refer to it as a “rite” to be “performed.”[2]

Its preparation, both natural and supernatural, was long and careful. Counters for keeping track of prayers date from earliest antiquity and are common to many false religions, as witness those “rosaries” which St. Francis Xavier was surprised to find Japanese Buddhists using and the “worry beads” currently used by Moslems. In themselves such devices have no religious significance beyond mute testimony to original sin, which has so weakened human powers of concentration as to render them necessary. It is only through the goodness of our heavenly Mother that the Rosary has become a sacramental. Perhaps she set the Hail Marys in decades so that in emergencies baptized fingers and toes could serve.

Following a practice known in Old Testament times, early monks used knotted string, beads or small pebbles to keep track of the Psalms. Judging from evidence found in contemporary pictures, statuary, poems and hymns, these first counters were not regularly divided into sets of ten, but rather arrayed in fifties or multiples of fifty. Because Our Fathers were sometimes substituted for the Psalms when necessity demanded, they became known as “Paternoster beads.” Thus after St. Dominic’s time, when the Angelic Salutation and meditation on the principal mysteries of the Faith were substituted, it was only natural to refer to the Rosary as “Our Lady’s Paternoster,” or “Our Lady’s Psalter” as did St. Pius V in his bull.

It was St. Dominic’s great privilege, at our Lady’s behest, to raise the systematic repetition of the Angelic Salutation to the level of official prayer. Beginning by inserting it into the Office of Our Lady for clerics, he substituted it for the Office among tertiaries and the laity, and recommended praying sets of fifties to the faithful in general. Inasmuch as these early Hail Marys were probably said on Paternoster beads, the two prayers certainly became joined in various combinations early on, but the Rosary we are familiar with did not take shape until the second half of the fifteenth century.

In his biography of St. Catherine of Siena, Bl. Raymond of Capua relates that when St. Dominic organized his tertiaries into the Militia of Jesus Christ, “The holy founder imposed on them a certain number of Paternosters and Avemarias, which they prayed instead of the canonical hours when they did not attend the Divine Office.” Seven Paters for each of the seven Hours of the day and seven Aves for each Hour of Our Lady’s Office were their only prayers of obligation, so that when St. Dominic’s friend Pope Gregory IX officially approved the order, he automatically conferred formal recognition on the Rosary. Those forty-nine Aves recited by the Militia were therefore the first of the millions of “rose garlands” which the Church would offer liturgically to Mary until now. [3]

Prepared from eternity for its apocalyptic mission, the Rosary from its first appearance on earth seemed always to keep pace with surges of evil. Our Lady had appeared to St. Dominic at the very dawn of that awful spiritual cataclysm so bedecked in natural grace and glamor that we still refer to it as the Renaissance. This “rebirth” unfortunately turned out to be that of the spirit of Babel, which loosed paganism and unregenerate humanism once more over the world. Painting, music, politics, philosophy and all the arts and sciences began following their own head in concerted revolt against Christ their King and Creator.

It was to divert this noxious flood at its headwaters that the faithful had been urged to fling the Angelic Salutation into the teeth of the Cathar heresy. The enthusiastic response constituted a massive declaration of Marian faith, for denial of Mary’s divine Maternity and proscription of prayer to her figured prominently among Cathar errors. Under Dominican direction St. Louis of France and St. Margaret of Hungary became ardent promoters, and the devotion spread throughout Christendom like wildfire. All Europe prayed the Hail Mary by fifties, and She who defeats all heresies granted a decisive victory.

For Bl. Alan de la Roche, “to preach the Psalter [of our Lady] is nothing else but to lead the people to devotion, penance, contempt of the world and reverence for the Church.” Through his instrumentality the Rosary entered the realm of communal prayer. Religious Congregations espoused it, not merely as pious practice, but as a means of perfection. Without losing its personal character, it provided a simple, flexible base on which any variety of associations might be formed, and after he established the first Rosary Confraternity in Douai in 1470, literally hundreds came into being. Because members were granted special indulgences at the hour of death, it was during this period that the second half of the Hail Mary was added: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” Those who may have to face the final encounter with Satan without Holy Viaticum should be mindful of the Rosary’s power in extremis.

Recommending daily recitation to everyone, Bl. Alan unified popular devotion in such a way that in due time the Holy See could act upon it and render it even more fruitful. Popularized by the swelling Confraternities, the Rosary was no longer limited to one religious order, but gradually became the prayer of the whole Church. It was intimately connected with the discovery of America and all that followed upon it, for missionaries carried it far beyond the boundaries of Christendom.

According to the Breviary the Turks were defeated at Lepanto “on the very day on which the Confraternities of the Most Holy Rosary throughout the world were offering up their rosaries, as they had been asked to do.” The Venetian Senate went further, formally declaring, “Non virtus, non arma, non duces, sed Maria Rosarii victores fecit,” attributing their success not to bravery, arms or leadership, but exclusively to the power of Our Lady of the Rosary. A second victory over the Turks was won through her intercession a century later at Vienna, and again in the next century at Belgrade.

Although for a long time conforming to the seven liturgical Hours, the Rosary had gradually become distinct from the Office proper and was pursuing a life of its own. Never just a devotion among others, it proved to be a super-devotion unlike any seen before. It was as if the Divine Office, which until then had been the prerogative of religious, was now put within reach of everyone, for by means of the Mysteries and three simple prayers known to all, an entire year was no longer required to carry the devout through the Church’s liturgical cycle.

The Rosary could complete the history of our Redemption in a week, a day or even an hour! Who could not find time for the Opusculum Mariae? Never restricted to the clergy, the Rosary came to be known as “the layman’s breviary,” and was no doubt meant to fill the same need in the spiritual life of the layman that the Breviary fills in the life of the priest. It is demonstrable that neglect of one or the other has opened the way to laxity in the ranks of the laity as it has in the ranks of the clergy, whereas fidelity to the practice strengthens the bonds to the Faith.

The only devotion to be raised to a liturgical status on a par with that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it would eventually be accorded its own feastday on October 7. First inserted into the Roman Martyrology by Clement VII, it was instituted with proper office by Pope Gregory XIII, and later extended to the universal Church by Clement XI. Benedict XIII included the feast in the Breviary, and Leo XIII dedicated the entire month of October to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

Apart from the Blessed Virgin the Rosary is an incomprehensible phenomenon. “When we speak of Mary as a figure of the Church, as we do,” wrote Fr. James in The Secret of Holiness, “we are prone to speak as if the preeminence belonged to the Church. In reality it is not so. Preeminence belongs rightly to Mary, who is the ideal actualized in a living person, and she it is (in her unique relation to Christ) from whom the Church takes life and meaning. It is only when this deep truth is pondered in the light of which Mary is the true prototype and divine ideal of the Church on earth that the real dimensions of the Church are discerned. Mary is already what the Church has yet to be in the fullness of her being.”

Indeed the liturgy of the Church from earliest times has not hesitated to apply to our Lady those beautiful, mysterious texts of Scripture which describe God’s wisdom personified, whom “the Lord possessed from the beginning of His ways, before He made anything, from the beginning. From eternity was I established, and of old before the earth was made.” She is also that “mother of fair love” whose “abode is in the full assembly of the saints.”

Her “overshadowing” by the Holy Ghost which effected our Lord’s Incarnation is the closest approximation in creation to an incarnation of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. According to St. Maximilian Kolbe, she

“is so closely allied with the Holy Ghost that she is called His spouse. . .She is, so to speak, the personification of the Holy Ghost! Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and humanity; the Immaculata is the unique mediatrix between Jesus and humanity.

“Just as Jesus Christ, to show His great love for us, became Man, so too the third Person, God-Who-Is-Love, willed to show His mediation as regards the Father and the Son by means of a concrete sign: this sign is the Heart of the Immaculate Virgin! It remains true to say that Mary’s action is the very action of the Holy Ghost. …  Let us grasp how impossible it is to separate the Holy Ghost from Mary the Immaculata, since she is the instrument He uses in all He does in the order of grace.”

As Mother of Christ and His clergy, her position is incomparably superior to that of Christ’s Vicar the Pope, whose infallibility is a privilege related to her Immaculate Conception. The liturgy says of her, “They who work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.” [4]St. Louis de Montfort, probably the greatest Marian apostle of modern times, taught that to address her is to address God Himself by the most efficacious means, so closely is she identified with the divinity.

At La Salette when she complained to the children Mélanie and Maximin of the widespread desecration of Sundays, she said, “I have given you six days in which to work. I kept the seventh for myself, and people don’t want to give it to me. This is what makes my Son’s arm so heavy.” Many found this statement shocking. How could she who was so humble say such a thing? Didn’t she mean, “God gave you six days?” At the time the two children were accused of misquoting her, but neither could be induced to change one word of their testimony, then or later. Because some Catholic editors not so scrupulous took it upon themselves to correct the seers in the name of orthodoxy, the bothersome authentic version has since been conveniently forgotten.

The Rosary is the ultimate liturgy. It finds its place as easily in a concentration camp as in church. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments, it is the most powerful weapon ever placed at the disposition of the faithful. Dare we say more powerful? Yes, in the sense that, somewhat like Baptism and Marriage, it does not depend on the clergy – or in fact on any human being. Although not actually a Sacrament, through Mary Mediatrix of All Graces it infallibly opens to us at any time or place the inexhaustible fountain of living water flowing from the Sacred Heart of the Savior.

Were the Mass and the Sacraments to disappear for a time, the miraculous efficacy of the Rosary could not fail to be evident. Pius XII writes, “From the frequent meditation on the Mysteries the soul draws and imperceptibly absorbs the virtues they contain, and lights up with extraordinary hope of the immortal virtues, and becomes strongly and easily impelled to follow the path which Christ Himself and His Mother have followed.”

It is possible to pray the Rosary in isolation, but never alone. As an integral part of the liturgy of the Church, it cannot be prayed outside the Communion of Saints. No more powerful “private” prayer exists, for it is the prayer of Christ Himself in His Mystical Body. Venerable Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Propagation of the Faith, established the Association of the Living Rosary as a tool of the apostolate in the shambles following the French Revolution. Encouraged by the Curé d’Ars and invoking the intercession of St. Philomena, she succeeded in reviving the faith of millions by the simple expedient of forming everywhere little groups of fifteen individuals, each of whom was assigned one particular decade to be said daily.

Persons from all walks of life, including the aged and the sick, became missionaries overnight. Not only did the missions benefit, but members of the Association as well. Pauline very wisely did not seek recruits only among the fervent. She found her group Rosary “a way to utilize the strength of these few isolated souls and enable them to share their spiritual vigor with those more spiritually impoverished.” It proved “a means for them to inject their spiritual ‘remedy’ drop by drop into the souls of others as ‘spiritual medicine’.” Acknowledging that “it was wise to make the good souls better,” she also realized that“this devotion would render spiritual health to those who were languishing.” [5]

Leo XIII declared in Octobri mense, “We may well believe that the Queen of Heaven herself has granted a special efficacy to this mode of supplication.” His words would be reaffirmed by Sr. Lucy, the visionary of Fatima, who told Fr. Fuentes,

“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary, 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 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 Rosary! With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”

To the Italian Salesian Dom Umberto Pasquale she wrote in 1970,

“The decadence which exists in the world is without any doubt the consequence of the lack of the spirit of prayer. Foreseeing this disorientation, the Blessed Virgin recommended recitation of the Rosary with such insistence, and since the Rosary is, after the Eucharistic liturgy, the prayer most apt for preserving faith in souls, the devil has unchained his struggle against it . . . The Rosary is the most powerful weapon for defending ourselves on the field of battle.” [6]

She writes in the same year to Mother Martins on how,

“the devil has succeeded in infiltrating evil under cover of good. . . And the worst is that he has succeeded in leading into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place they occupy. . . They are blind men guiding other blind men!” [7]

Against the blunders and injustices committed by legitimate authority, prayer is almost the only recourse open to the ordinary faithful. Let them pray the Rosary day in and day out, over and over. The constant repetition of the prayers and Mysteries, which innovators find monotonous and antiquated, anchors it to the rhythms of God’s creation, where the same sun rises every day and the same seasons return every year.

Where there is no repetition there is chaos, for peace and order in this world cannot exist apart from it. “The recitation of identical formulas repeated so many times,” writes Pius XII, “rather than rendering the prayer sterile and boring, has on the contrary the admirable quality of infusing confidence in him who prays and makes a sweet compulsion toward the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

To one of her priest nephews Sr. Lucy writes,

“The repetition of the Ave Maria, Pater Noster and Gloria Patri is the chain that lifts us right up to God and unites us to Him, giving us a participation in His divine life, just as eating bite after bite of bread, from which we nourish ourselves, sustains the natural life is us; nobody calls that outdated!” [8]

Whoever prays the Rosary is formally joined to the prayer of the Church in a most informal way. Proclaiming the everlasting Sanctus with every “Glory be,” the Rosary partakes of the angelic liturgy before the throne of the Lamb eternally immolated in heaven. The persecuted Catholics of Ireland were on sure doctrinal ground when they resorted to the “beads” for a “dry Mass.” As our earthly liturgy continues to disintegrate and the ranks of the priesthood to dwindle, this is good to remember. Older Catholics do in fact remember when it was accepted practice to participate in the Holy Sacrifice by saying the Rosary.

In a letter written to another of her priest nephews, Sr. Lucy referred to this method once known to all:

“It is false to say that this is not liturgical, because the prayers of the Rosary are all part of the sacred liturgy; and if they are not displeasing to God when we recite them as we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice, so also they do not displease Him if we recite them in His presence, when He is exposed for our adoration… Why would the prayer which God taught us and so much recommended to us be outdated? It is easy to recognize here the ruse of the devil and his followers, who want to lead souls away from God by leading them away from prayer …  Do not let yourselves be deceived!” [9]

Much as our Lady had set heaven’s seal on Pius IX’s promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by appearing at Lourdes in 1858 and proclaiming, “I am the Immaculate Conception,” she would ratify Leo XIII’s teachings on the Rosary by appearing at Fatima in 1917 and proclaiming “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”

There were six apparitions, in all of which she was seen, as at Lourdes, with the Rosary. During the last one on October 13, while the great miracle of the sun was in progress, Sr. Lucy saw three extraordinary tableaux displayed in the heavens: one of the Holy Family, symbolizing the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary; a second one of the Mother of Sorrows, symbolizing the Sorrowful Mysteries; and a third one of our Lady crowned and reigning in glory as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, symbolizing the Glorious Mysteries. 

Pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical Laetitia sanctae on our Lady’s birthday 1893. It belongs by right among his social encyclicals, for it proposed a schema for curing the three principal ills of modern society in terms of the Rosary, teaching that:

  • The distaste for simple labor which characterizes the industrial age must yield to the salutary precepts of the Joyful Mysteries;
  • The repugnance for suffering endemic to a pleasure-motivated society must be overcome by living the Sorrowful Mysteries; and
  • The lethal forgetfulness of a future life must be dispelled by ordering all human endeavor to the Glorious Mysteries.

Already in 1884 Leo had warned in Superiore anno,

“For it is an arduous and exceedingly weighty matter that is now at hand: to overcome the ancient and insidious enemy, Satan, in the brazen array of his power; to win back the freedom of the Church and of her Head; to preserve and secure the fortifications within which should rest the safety and wellbeing of human society. Care must be taken, therefore, that in these times of mourning for the Church, the most holy Rosary of Mary be assiduously and piously observed, particularly since this method of prayer, being so arranged as to recall in turn all the mysteries of our salvation, is eminently fitted to foster the spirit of piety.”

At Fatima our Lady told her children once and for all, “I want you to continue to say the Rosary every day!”  A complete Rosary has fifteen decades, and not only five like the chaplet. Padre Pio is said to have offered a hundred daily. Because it is liturgy placed within the reach of all and enjoined upon all with such insistence by the Mother of God, there is good reason to believe that its recital is not optional in the scheme of salvation. She told Bl. Alan, “Know, my son, that a probable and proximate sign of eternal damnation is aversion for, lukewarmness and carelessness in saying the Angelic Salutation which has repaired the whole world!”

As once against the errors of the Cathars, Mary’s children are now being told to fling the Rosary against the “errors of Russia” which are drawing the whole world into Satan’s eternal fiery empire. In 1957 Sr. Lucy told Fr. Fuentes,

“The Most Holy Virgin made me understand that we are living in the last times of the world. . . She told me that the devil is in the process of engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin, and a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat.”

Foreseeing these times, St. Louis de Montfort called for “true servants of the Blessed Virgin who, like so many St. Dominics, would go everywhere, the burning, blazing brand of the Gospel in their mouths and the Holy Rosary in their hands, barking like dogs, burning like fire, dispelling the world’s darkness like suns, and who, by means of devotion to Mary. . .would crush the head of the ancient serpent wherever they went.”[11]

Damaged perspective is quickly corrected by reference to the Mysteries of the Rosary, which contain the whole of human history in prophecy. For the Church there is no possibility of failure. Faithfully reproducing the life of her blessed Lord on earth as Mary did, she has left the Joyful Mysteries far behind and is already at grips with the Sorrowful ones. Approaching her own crucifixion, she is even now on the Way of the Cross which leads to the Resurrection. Like her divine Master, “who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb.12:2), she keeps her gaze fixed on the Glorious Mysteries lying ahead.

Conformed to Him in all things, the Church can expect her torment to end like His, abruptly and without warning, leaving the world to marvel as did Pilate, who “wondered that he should already be dead” (Mk. 15:44). Suffering is not natural to man, who was created to share God’s own eternal happiness and glory. The Sacred Heart has promised, “I shall reign in spite of Satan and all opposition!” Revealing her own participation in that promise, His Mother has declared, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” In their one Heart is laid up one inevitable, final, resplendent victory.

[1] Guy Le Rumeur, Marie et la Grande Hérésie, 79290 Argenton-L’Eglise, 1974, pp. 20-1.
[2] September 15, 1951.
[3] Luis Alonso Getino, O.P., Origen del Rosario, Madrid, 1925.
[4] See the Lessons for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, its Vigil and the Common.
[5] A heartening revival of Pauline Jaricot’s work began in the U.S. in 1986, when the Universal Living Rosary Association was established at Box 1303 Dickinson, Texas 77539 and began soliciting enrollments worldwide. Current membership numbers about 160,000.
[6]IMichel de la Sainte Trinité, The Third Secret, Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990, p. 759
[7] Op. cit., p. 758
[8] Op. cit., p. 751.
[9] Op. cit., p. 752.
10] Op. cit., pp. 19, 211.
[11] Prière Embrasée, 12.
By the way, have you seen any videos of Pope Francis devoutly praying the Rosary in public? If so, I would love to hear about it.

In the meantime, remember,
Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Viva Cristo Rey!

~ evensong ~

[This article was originally posted 18 January, 2015. and restored and reposted 22 August, 2015, the Traditional Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.]

Fatima, St. Joseph and the Family

“We saw, beside the sun, Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world with gestures which they made with their hands in the form of a cross.” (Sister Lucia of Fatima)

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!
St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

This little noted event tells us so much! Even as the miracle of the sun is occurring, St. Joseph appears, holding the Child Jesus and both bless the world. This reminds us that God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, entrusted the Child Jesus to St. Joseph. Indeed, God’s wisdom entrusted the Holy Family to the quiet man, and now, at Fatima, he is revealed to us, to bless us in this time prefigured by the miracle of the sun.

At the miracle of the sun, the earth stood firm while the sun moved erratically. How can this be? And yet it happened. How can the Church, established by Christ become so erratic as it is today, under Pope Francis? How do we reconcile that the gates of hell will not prevail and the Holy Ghost will always guide her, with what we now see? St. Joseph solved a similar conundrum and he stands ready to help us now.

Matthew 1, 18-25 tells of Joseph’s dilemma and its resolution. His example of humility and steadfastness is precisely the example for us today. Faithful Catholics are torn today between the temptation to abandon the church, or to go along with the errors of the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda.

What did Joseph do when faced with an unsolvable dilemma? He turned to God in prayer and stayed with it until God gave him light. He didn’t become his own God, or in today’s terms, his own pope. Neither did he accept the unthinkable option that somehow Mary had broken her vow, but that false mercy was required on his part to simply accept unfaithfulness. That would be the spiritual sloth of today’s catholics, who simply go along to get along, and welcome unrepentant vice into the church. “Who am I to judge?”

If the Lord God entrusted the Ark of the Covenant to the keeping of St. Joseph, can we not also turn in confidence to him, secure in the knowledge that he will teach us the humility and patience to stand firm in the faith until these erratic and uncertain times are over and the Blessed Virgin clears the smoke of Satan from the Church?

In the Bible, we see that in obedience to God, St. Joseph took the child Jesus and the Blessed Virgin to Egypt in order to save them from murderous Herod. Now, Egypt was a country similar in many ways to our modern post-Christian societies, very much in the control of the Lord of the World. And yet St. Joseph kept them safe. And now he stands ready to help faithful priests guard their flocks. He helps Catholic fathers protect their families.

In 2008, Cardinal Caffara related a correspondence he had with Sister Lucia of Fatima. In her letter she said that, “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” “Don’t be afraid”, she added, because “anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” And then she concluded:  “however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”

Certainly, the Fatima vision of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus blessing us, in conjunction with Sister Lucia’s remarks to Cardinal Caffara, should give us consolation today. There is another bit of information on this subject. Solange Hertz, in her book, The Sixth Trumpet, tells us that Sister Lucia, when asked about the Third Secret confirmed that it is about Apocalypse Chapter 12. Mrs. Hertz posits that Apocalypse 12:14 may apply to us in these times.

“And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” In the mystical language of St. John in the Apocalypse, “the woman” refers to the Church, but also to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Mary is inseparably bound to the Church and St. Joseph is the Guardian of both. In Hertz’ view, the Holy Family’s sojourn in Egypt prefigures this passage, and indicates that St. Joseph is given to us in these dire times to strengthen and defend us, and to bring us safely home again.

Whatever the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda serves up at October’s Synod, we know that the Immaculate Virgin Mary has already crushed satan’s head, and in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Our job is to stand firm in the faith, and St. Joseph is our sure unfailing defender.

St. Joseph defender of the family, defender of the faith, we entrust our families and our faith to thee!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, intercede for us!