Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 24 – Missionary to Cuba, St. Antonio María Claret was also confessor to the Spanish Queen

St. Anthony Mary Claret, C.M.F.

St. Anthony Mary Claret, C.M.F.

Spanish prelate and missionary, born at Sallent, near Barcelona, 23 Dec., 1807; died at Fontfroide, Narbonne, France, on 24 Oct., 1870. Son of a small woollen manufacturer, he received an elementary education in his native village, and at the age of twelve became a weaver. A little later he went to Barcelona to specialize in his trade, and remained there till he was twenty. Meanwhile he devoted his spare time to study and became proficient in Latin, French, and engraving; in addition he enlisted in the army as a volunteer. Recognizing a call to a higher life, he left Barcelona, entered the seminary at Vich in 1829, and was ordained on 13 June, 1835.

He received a benefice in his native parish, where he continued to study theology till 1839. He now wished to become a Carthusian; missionary work, however, appealing strongly to him he proceeded to Rome. There he entered the Jesuit novitiate but finding himself unsuited for that manner of life, he returned shortly to Spain and exercised his ministry at Valadrau and Gerona, attracting notice by his efforts on behalf of the poor. Recalled by his superiors to Vich, he was engaged in missionary work throughout Catalonia. In 1848 he was sent to the Canary Islands where he gave retreats for fifteen months. Returning to Vich he established the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (16 July, 1849), and founded the great religious library at Barcelona which bears his name, and which has issued several million cheap copies of the best ancient and modern Catholic works.

St. Anthony Mary Claret

Such had been the fruit of his zealous labours and so great the wonders he had worked, that Pius IX at the request of the Spanish sovereign appointed him Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba in 1851. He was consecrated at Vich and embarked at Barcelona on 28 Dec. Having arrived at his destination he began at once a work of thorough reform.

The seminary was reorganized, clerical discipline strengthened, and over nine thousand marriages validated within the first two years. He erected a hospital and numerous schools. Three times he made a visitation of the entire diocese, giving local missions incessantly. Naturally his zeal stirred up the enmity and calumnies of the irreligious, as had happened previously in Spain. No less than fifteen attempts were made on his life, and at Holguin his cheek was laid open from ear to chin by a would-be assassin’s knife. In February, 1857, he was recalled to Spain by Isabella II, who made him her confessor.

Queen Doña Iabel II of Spain with her three youngest daughters: Pilar, Paz and Eulalia

Queen Doña Iabel II of Spain with her three youngest daughters: Pilar, Paz and Eulalia

He obtained permission to resign his see and was appointed to the titular see of Trajanopolis. His influence was now directed solely to help the poor and to propagate learning; he lived frugally and took up his residence in an Italian hospice. For nine years he was rector of the Escorial monastery where he established an excellent scientific laboratory, a museum of natural history, a library, college, and schools of music and languages.

St. Anthony Mary Claret pointing to Our Lady of Charity, Patroness of Cuba.

St. Anthony Mary Claret pointing to Our Lady of Charity, Patroness of Cuba.

His further plans were frustrated by the revolution of 1868. He continued his popular missions and distribution of good books wherever he went in accompanying the Spanish Court. When Isabella recognized the new Government of United Italy he left the Court and hastened to take his place by the side of the pope; at the latter’s command, however, he returned to Madrid with faculties for absolving the queen from the censures she had incurred. In 1869 he went to Rome to prepare for the Vatican Council. Owing to failing health he withdrew to Prades in France, where he was still harassed by his calumnious Spanish enemies; shortly afterwards he retired to the Cistercian abbey at Fontfroide where he expired.

St Anthony Mary Claret

His zealous life and the wonders he wrought both before and after his death testified to his sanctity. Informations were begun in 1887 and he was declared Venerable by Leo XIII in 1899. His relics were transferred to the mission house at Vich in 1897, at which time his heart was found incorrupt, and his grave is constantly visited by many pilgrims. In addition to the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Heart of Mary (approved definitively by Pius IX, 11 Feb., 1870) which has now over 110 houses and 2000 members, with missions in W. Africa, and in Chocó (Columbia), Archbishop Claret founded or drew up the rules of several communities of nuns.

By his sermons and writings he contributed greatly to bring about the revival of the Catalan language. His printed works number over 130, of which we may mention: “La escala de Jacob”; “Maximas de moral la más pura”; “Avisos”; “Catecismo explicado con láminas”; “La llave de oro”; “Selectos panegíricos” (11 vols.); “Sermones de misión” (3 vols.); “Misión de la mujer”; “Vida de Sta. Mónica”; “La Virgen del Pilar y los Francmasones”; and his “Autobiografia”, written by order of his spiritual director, but still unpublished.

Catedral Sant Antoni Maria Claret de Vic

Catedral Sant Antoni Maria Claret de Vic

AGUILAR, Vida admirable del Venerable Antonio María Claret (Madrid, 1894); BLANCH, Vida del Venerable Antonio María Claret (Barcelona, 1906); CLOTET, Compendio de la vida del Siervo de Dios Antonio María Claret (Barcelona, 1880); Memorias ineditas del Padre Clotet in the archives of the missionaries of Aranda de Duero; VILLABA HERVAS, Recuerdos de cinco lustros 1843-1868 (Madrid, 1896); Estudi bibliografich de los obres del Venerable Sallenti (Barcelona, 1907).

A. A. MacErlean (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pets outnumber children 4 to 1 in America

The fertility rate per woman in the United States is 1.9, which is below replacement level.

Yet pets outnumber children 4 to 1 in America. And new evidence shows that pets are being treated like human family members.

There is obviously something wrong here. Everyone knows that a nation without strong and moral families gradually withers and dies.

This is not an economic problem but a moral one that lies deep inside the soul of the nation. And what America needs is a return to order.

Here are articles that show how that return can happen.

10 Outstanding Traits of Organic Christian Society

Towards An Organic Christian Society

This Single Vice Throws Economy and Society Out of Balance

What’s Really Wrong with Our Economy?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Catholic College to Host Pro-Aborti​on Speaker (sign petition here)

This Catholic institution plans to host radical & notorious pro-abortion promoter Gloria Steinem.

Every pro-lifer should sign this urgent protest now…

While dedicated pro-lifers work to save babies, St. Norbert College will be doing something oddly different:

Welcoming a radical pro-abortion promoter to campus.

St. Norbert College -- a Catholic institution in Wisconsin -- has invited avowed abortion activist, Gloria Steinem, to speak next semester.

It’s so wrong and scandalous. Especially at a Catholic campus.

But I still think that you and I have enough time to make a real difference if we peacefully protest today and call the college to cancel Gloria Steinem's talk.

So sign your urgent protest NOW

In fact, similar TFP Student Action petitions were really successful in getting other Catholic colleges to cancel pro-abortion speakers on campus.

So let’s do it again.

Because Gloria Steinem is like Margaret Sanger. Or even worse.

She boasted about her own abortion, saying: "it felt positive."

On another occasion, she said: “There is no organization in this country or the world that is more important than Planned Parenthood.” (, Sept. 17, 2011)

And she also said this:

"Approximately one in three women in this country needs an abortion at some time in her life. It should be a part of reproductive rights." (The Washington Post - Nov. 19, 2013)

So, I'd like to ask you:

How on earth can a woman like Gloria Steinem with such a public pro-abortion record be invited to give a lecture at a Catholic institute, which ought to be a cornerstone in the defense of innocent life?

Every pro-lifer should sign this peaceful protest today -- here

The unborn depend on you and your voice.

Thank you for defending innocent life.

P.S. -- To amplify your voice for the unborn, please share this urgent pro-life alert with all your friends. May God reward you for spreading the truth.

Contact information (be polite yet firm)

Mr. Thomas Kunkel
President, St. Norbert College
1527 Fox Ridge Court
De Pere, WI 54115
Office: (920) 403-3165
Home: (920) 632-7485

City threatens to arrest ministers for refusing to “marry” homosexuals

From the American Family Association:  -- The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is threatening two ordained Christian ministers with arrest if they refuse to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel is across the street from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses. Last week, Donald Knapp and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run the chapel, respectfully declined to perform a same-sex “marriage” ceremony.

According to the Coeur d’Alene city attorney, they now face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to perform that ceremony.

City officials said the Knapps are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its "non-discrimination" ordinance requires them to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies despite the fact that they are Christians and the chapel publicly states it only performs Christian-based ceremonies.

The Knapps have secured legal counsel through Alliance Defending Freedom and have filed a lawsuit claiming the city's ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages. You can read the entire story here.


Once again, homosexual bullies have targeted Christian-owned businesses in their attempt to silence all opposition to their sinful lifestyle.

Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer is the chief executive officer for the city. We have prepared an email you can send to Mayor Widmyer. Or, you can call Mayor Widmyer or post a comment to the city’s Facebook page or Twitter.

Urge Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter to get involved and defend Christian-based businesses in Idaho. Encourage him to publicly speak out in support of Donald and Evelyn Knapp's right to religious freedom of speech.

One thing is for sure. If you fail to speak out, more pastors and ministers will soon face the relentless anti-Christian wrath of homosexual activists.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Rosary Rallies blanket America

In a world in crisis, 12,629 Rosary Rallies took place in America!

And 12,629 Red roses were offered to Our Lady in Fatima!

Click here to watch a video and read report.

I'm thrilled to inform you that 12,629 Public Square Rosary Rallies were held last Saturday, Oct. 11, from coast to coast .

My brother who heads the TFP Student Action group of Catholic young man put together a video you will want to watch.   Click here.

But why so much insistence on the Rosary?

One of my favored quotes about the Rosary is from Saint Dominic:

“The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.”

That’s why we organized a record-breaking number of Public Square Rosary Rallies.

A total of 12,629 rallies across America...

Over 12,000 acts of faith and public devotion...

Over 12,000 reasons for hope and courage...

Watch the New York City Rosary Rally video.

Everyday we see how our warped culture tries to banish God from the public square, and uproot moral values and dismantle the family.

But we cannot let that continue.

That’s why a growing number of Americans are turning to God and the Blessed Mother for strength, courage and hope.  In fact, the need for conversion, prayer and penance is more pressing today than it was in 1917 when Our Lady appeared to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia.

And where is our hope?  The Rosary is our hope.  We need a big time miracle.

Our Lord Jesus during His public life cured many people but He would then say to person he cured, “Your Faith has cured you.”  If America can have faith in the Rosary, America will be cured!

So let's never give up.  Never.

Because the Mother of God has given us a promise of God's final triumph:

"In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!"

I invite you to click here and read the report and then sign up to become a Rosary Rally Captain for 2015.  Help the Rosary effort!  Help save America!  Help save souls!

Also, on October 12, the eve of the feast of the Miracle of the Sun, 12,629 Red roses and thousands of White roses more were offered to Our Lady of Fatima, in Portugal.

See slide show.

God bless you and see you next year, in the public square, with Rosary in hand!

Click: The report includes pictures and a video

Sign up and become a 2015 Rosary Rally Captain

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A “Way of the Cross” Society

Painting by Leopold Loeffler of a family that lost everything due to war.

Painting by Leopold Loeffler of a family that lost everything due to war.

Lest we be accused of glorifying the past, any dream of an ideal society cannot exclude the reality of hardship and suffering that comes from God’s punishment of our first parents: “With labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life” (Gn 3:17).

Dreams become nostalgic and romantic fantasies if they are not linked with the reality of suffering and tragedy. We must therefore take to heart the model of the Cross.

crucifixJust as consumer society presupposes the consumer, Christian civilization presupposed the Christian. The Christian was not just a religious label. Rather it was the development of “the human type that had been produced by ten centuries of spiritual discipline and intensive cultivation of the inner life.”* He was and is “another Christ,” inseparable from His Cross.

Livonia Knight

What characterized early medieval man was his understanding that once disordered passions were let loose, they would unleash a tyrannical rule upon everything. This applied to private life, but this could also be seen in the barbaric and unruly passions of invading peoples who wreaked such havoc on medieval Europe.

Painting by Gustav Reinhold

Painting by Gustav Reinhold

Thus, medieval man perceived that the fight against these unbridled passions must play a central role in his private life. He also understood that in society there must always be dedicated sectors on the front lines of this great battle that, inspired by the Faith, take an attitude of fighting to the death at any moment to defend society as a whole.** The medieval knight, for example, held this ideal literally, as the civilizing monks of the West did analogously in their interior martyrdom.

* Christopher Dawson, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1950), 9.

** “The life of man upon earth is a warfare” (Jb 7:1).

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 331.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Massive bouquet of roses from the United States delivered to Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal – despite heavy soaking rain

By Michael Gorre

Ninety-seven years ago, rain soaked the 70,000 witnesses of the miracle of the sun at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal. Part of the miracle was that they were completely dry within a matter of minutes.

Although we did not witness a miracle and we remained wet to the bone, ANF members Mr. Alvaro Zapata and myself presented over 13,000 roses to Our Lady in that very spot where she made the sun dance. Not letting the gusts of wind and driving rain deter them, our determined team of Portuguese pilgrims under the able direction of Mr. Felipe Barandiaran set down huge containers full of roses and held up the banners containing the names of all the 12,629  2014 Rosary Rally Captains (represented by the red roses) and all the Rosary Rally Sponsors (represented by the white roses).

In all the seven years we have been presenting the ever-increasing number of roses to Our Lady of Fatima, we have never been rained upon. It was as if Our Lady was putting us to the test as the winds and storms of our current world situation continue to get more and more difficult.

Click here to sign-up for 2015 Rosary Rally

Roses and Candles to Fatima 2014.1

Roses and Candles to Fatima 2014.2

Roses and Candles to Fatima 2014.3

Roses and Candles to Fatima 2014.4

Roses and Candles to Fatima 2014.5

Roses and Candles to Fatima 2014.6

Roses and Candles to Fatima 2014.7


bwd fwd

Hoping to be able to light our large candles during a break in the torrential rain, we came to the Cova da Iria on October 13 with all eighteen of them. These heavy long candles had been made from the thousands of small ones sent in by our America Needs Fatima members with their accompanying intentions. The pouring rain continued unabated, however, and only seemed to intensify as we strained to light the candles in the downpour. Nevertheless, we managed to do it and their fiery glow was a beautiful contrast to the dark clouds that hung over us. Gazing at the flickering flames, we reflected deeply upon what they symbolize: the faith of each and every ANF member who perseveres in difficult times, in times when the storms and trials of life should have snuffed them out.

As we prayed at the Chapel of the Apparitions and at the tombs of Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco, we remembered all the valiant Rosary Rally Captains who put aside their human respect to pray for our country in public places. Later, as we walked among the olive trees of Valinhos where Our Lady appeared in August of 1917 and visited the site where the Angel of Portugal appeared to the three shepherds to prepare them for the coming of Our Lady, we continued to pray for all our ANF members and their intentions, asking Our Lady that she make of them shining examples of faith, hope and charity, in a world of doubt, despair and rejection of God.

Click here to sign-up for 2015 Rosary Rally