Friday, April 30, 2010

LATTER DAY PROPHECIES AND THE THREE DAYS OF DARKNESS

A lot have been written about the intriguing prophecy of the three days of darkness but one needs to sift through them carefully lest one succumbs to exaggerated and sensational ideas and, more importantly, to serious doctrinal errors. And with regard to this subject, separating the chaff from the wheat is indeed a daunting task.

What does the Catholic Church say regarding prophecies?

So in order to start on the right footing, it would be wise and salutary to inform ourselves with what the Church has to say about this topic.

For our enlightenment let us refer to the Catholic Encyclopedia for some guidelines regarding prophecies. The following explanations were taken verbatim from the New Advent website[1]:

  • As the term is used in mystical theology, it applies both to the prophecies of canonical Scripture and to private prophecies.
  • Understood in its strict sense, it means the foreknowledge of future events, though it may sometimes apply to past events of which there is no memory, and to present hidden things which cannot be known by the natural light of reason.
  • St. Paul, speaking of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14, does not confine its meaning to predictions of future events, but includes under it Divine inspirations concerning what is secret, whether future or not.
  • As, however, the manifestation of hidden present mysteries or past events comes under revelation, we have here to understand by prophecy what is in its strict and proper sense, namely the revelation of future events.
  • The knowledge must be supernatural and infused by God because it concerns things beyond the natural power of created intelligence; and the knowledge must be manifested either by words or signs, because the gift of prophecy is given primarily for the good of others, and hence needs to be manifested.
  • It is a Divine light by which God reveals things concerning the unknown future and by which these things are in some way represented to the mind of the prophet, whose duty it is to manifest them to others.

Exercise prudence in one’s discernment

The Church considers the Apocalypse as Divinely inspired and remains to be the last prophetic work She acknowledges as such. Though the prophetic spirit continued through the centuries, the Church has never promoted any other prophetic work even as she proclaimed countless saints who were gifted with prophesy.

The Church prudently gives ample latitude as to the acceptance or rejection of particular or private prophecies based on evidence for or against them. The Catholic faithful’s attitude should be that of prudence and balance always being careful and slow in accepting or rejecting them especially when they come from trustworthy sources and do not contradict Catholic doctrine and morals.

How do they measure up?

Veracity or accuracy of their fulfillment remains to be the litmus test to which all prophecies are to be judged. The character of these prophecies covers a wide gamut ranging from pious anticipations of Providence; to events in the lives of saints; to the fate of nations; to the popes and the papacy; and to apocalyptic catastrophes leading to the end of the world. They may sometimes be realized in part and in part may even run contrary to events. Due to the conditional nature of some of them, they may or may not be fulfilled.

Prophecies regarding the “latter times”

The common and outstanding character among latter day prophecies seems to be the foreboding of a terrible destruction of the world due to an unrepentant mankind, the resurgence of the Church, and the conversion of the world. E.H. Thompson keenly pointed out in his “Life of Anna Maria Taigi” (chapter 18) that the revelations have the following features: "First they all point to some terrible convulsion, to a revolution springing from most deep-rooted impiety, consisting in a formal opposition to God and His truth, and resulting in the most formidable persecution to which the Church has ever been subject. Secondly, they all promise for the Church a victory more splendid than she has ever achieved here below.”

The Fatima prophecies fit exactly into this category when Our Lady spoke of a terrible chastisement if men do not repent and amend their lives but she also gave hope by promising that in the end Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

The three days of darkness

In Scriptures, we find many references to days of darkness, the most familiar perhaps being the ninth plague that fell upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians during the time of Moses:

But the Lord said to Moses: Extend your hand toward heaven. And may there be darkness upon the land of Egypt, so dense that it may be felt. And Moses extended his hand toward heaven. And a horrible darkness occurred in all the land of Egypt for three days. No one saw his brother, nor moved himself from the place where he was. But wherever the sons of Israel lived, there was light. (Exodus 10:21-23)

The prophet Isaiah also spoke of a day of darkness:

Behold, the day of the Lord shall come, a cruel day, and full of indignation, and of wrath, and fury, to lay the land desolate, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it.  For the stars of heaven, and their brightness shall not display their light: the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not shine with her light. And I will visit the evils of the world, and against the wicked for their iniquity: and I will make the pride of infidels to cease, and will bring down the arrogancy of the mighty. (Isaiah 13: 9-11)

From the New Testament, we also learn that a cloak of darkness enveloped the world when Our Lord died on Calvary as was recorded by the Evangelists:

Then from the sixth hour, there was darkness over the entire earth, until the ninth hour. (Mt 27:45).


And when the sixth hour came, there was darkness throughout all the earth, until the ninth hour. (Mk 15:33).


But it was almost the sixth hour, and there was darkness in the entire earth, until the ninth hour. (Lk 23:44).

So as not to belabor the point, it suffices to say that there are several more scriptural texts referring to days of darkness and that there is solid ground upon which later prophecies, symbolic or otherwise, were based.

Modern day prophecies

Of the more recent revelations about these days of darkness, we will mention only two: those of Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi and Venerable Elizabeth Canori-Mora.

  1. Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi (19th century, Italy)

Though an ordinary housewife and mother, Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi led an exemplary spiritual and Christian life that gained her the reputation as one of the greatest saints of all time. She experienced frequent ecstasies, performed miraculous cures, read hearts, foretold deaths, and predicted the coming of future events. She foretold the first two world wars that wreaked havoc in the twentieth century. Eighteen years after her death, her body remained supple and incorrupt. Amid praises, Pope Benedict XV beatified her on May 20, 1920.

The following is her revelation about three days of darkness:[2]

  • "God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy."
  • "All the enemies of the Church, whether known or unknown, will perish over the whole earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms."
  • "Religion shall be persecuted, and priests massacred Churches shall be closed, but only for a short time. The Holy Father shall be obliged to leave Rome."
  1. Venerable Elizabeth Canori-Mora (19th century, Italy)

Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora[3] was born in 1774 and lived in Italy until her saintly death in 1825. Thanks to her confessor, her revelations were preserved in hundreds of pages of her own writings. Today, the Trinitarian Fathers at San Carlino, Rome hold her manuscripts for safekeeping in their archives.

These writings were meticulously examined at length as a safeguard against doctrinal errors when Pope Blessed Pius IX authorized Elizabeth Canori Mora’s cause for canonization to proceed. The ecclesiastical censor commissioned by the Holy See released his official judgment on November 5, 1900. It stated “there is nothing against faith and good customs, and no doctrinal innovation or deviation was found.”

Elizabeth Canori Mora was beatified in 1994.

Some of her prophecies are as follows:

· On Christmas, 1816 Blessed Elizabeth saw Our Lady, who appeared extremely sad. Upon inquiring why, Our Lady answered, “Behold, my daughter, such great ungodliness.” Blessed Elizabeth then saw “apostates brazenly trying to rip her most holy Son from her arms. Confronted with such an outrage, the Mother of God ceased to ask mercy for the world, and instead requested justice from the Eternal Father. Clothed in His inexorable Justice and full of indignation, he turned to the world.

· “At that moment all nature went into convulsions, the world lost its normal order and was filled with the most terrible calamity imaginable. This will be something so deplorable and atrocious that it will reduce the world to the ultimate depths of desolation.”

· On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29, 1820, she saw Saint Peter descending from heaven, robed in papal vestments and surrounded by a legion of angels. With his crosier he drew great cross over the face of the earth, separating it into four quadrants. In each of these quadrants, he then brought forth a tree, sprouting with new life. Each tree was in the shape of a cross and enveloped in magnificent light. All the good laity and religious fled for protection underneath these trees and were spared from the tremendous chastisement. “Woe! Woe to those unobservant religious who despise their Holy Rules. They will all perish in the terrible chastisement together with all who give themselves to debauchery and follow the false maxims of their deplorable contemporary philosophy!

· “The sky took on a morbid blue color which terrified everyone who looked at it. A dark wind blew everywhere. An impassioned and mournful shrieking filled the air, like the terrible roar of a fierce lion, and resounded all over the earth in blood curdling echoes.

· “All men and animals brimmed with terror. The entire world convulsed and everyone pitilessly slaughtered one another…

· “When this bloody fight will arrive, the vengeful hand of God will weigh upon these fated ones and with His omnipotence He will chastise the proud for their rashness and shameless insolence. God will use the powers of darkness to exterminate these sectarian, iniquitous and criminal men, who plot to eradicate the Catholic Church, our Holy Mother, by tearing Her up by Her deepest roots, and casting Her on the ground.

Relevance in our days

It is clear from the above two revelations that God had forewarned mankind of a great and terrible chastisement. Perhaps they seem far-fetched and severe, but in face of so much impiety; blasphemy; desecration; corruption and immorality pervasive in our times, it wouldn’t be superfluous to surmise that the world indeed deserves such grave punishments.

Unfortunately, man has progressively slid down the slippery slope of pride and arrogance and has gone from worse to worst!

More importantly it is crucial to note that Our Lady of Fatima echoed the same sentiments when she warned us at Fatima in 1917, thus giving support to these two previous prophecies.

Message of hope

A striking similarity, however, occurs between Our Lady’s message of hope regarding the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart and the two above prophecies. Venerable Elizabeth Canori-Mora’s vision of a great restoration which would follow after the earth’s debacle is detailed as follows:

“Then a beautiful splendor came over the earth, to announce the reconciliation of God with mankind.”

“The small flock of faithful Catholics who had taken refuge under the trees will be brought before Saint Peter, who will choose a new pope. All the Church will be reordered according to the true dictates of the holy Gospel. The religious orders will be reestablished and the homes of Christians will become homes imbued with religion.

“So great will be the fervor and zeal for the glory of God that everything will promote love of God and neighbor. The triumph, glory and honor of the Catholic Church will be established in an instant. She will be acclaimed, venerated and esteemed by all. All will resolve to follow Her, recognizing the Vicar of Christ as the Supreme Pontiff.”

Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi spoke of this restoration in the following manner:

“After the three days of darkness, Saints Peter and Paul, having come down from heaven, will preach throughout the world and designate a new pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and will settle upon the cardinal, the future Pontiff. Then Christianity will spread throughout the world. Whole nations will join the Church shortly before the reign of Anti-Christ. These conversions will be amazing. Those who shall survive shall have to conduct themselves well. There shall be innumerable conversions of heretics, who will return to the bosom of the Church; all will note the edifying conduct of their lives, as well as that of all other Catholics. Russia, England, and China will come to the Church."

Thus, while the world faces a fearsome and terrible destruction in light of mankind’s insolence and impiety, God assures us that He will not abandon those who are faithful to Him. Our Lady gave us the remedy at Fatima by asking for the daily recitation of the Rosary; the establishment of the First Five Saturday devotions; devotion to Her Immaculate Heart; a prayerful life; penance and amendment of life. These requests remain ever relevant and urgent. And we must continue to heed Her maternal l warnings.

Amid the confusion of our days, let us remain steadfast and continue to hope, confide and turn to Our Lady, who is our Mother of Good Counsel and our Confidence.

We must always trust in Her words and never tire in believing: “Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph!”


[1] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12473a.htm Last visited 04-28-10

[2] Yves Dupont, Catholic Prophecy,Tan Books and Publishers, 1973

[3] http://www.tfp.org/tfp-home/catholic-perspective/a-century-before-fatima-providence-announced-a-chastisement.html Last visited 04-28-10.

An Introduction to Transhumanism

By E. Christian Brugger

WASHINGTON, DC, APRIL 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The ideas of the young international movement known as "transhumanism" are beginning to characterize the thinking of an increasing number of clinicians and bioethicists. I thought therefore that our readers might profit from a brief introduction to them.

Transhumanism is really a set of ideas that has developed in response to the rapid advance of biotechnology in the past 20 years (that is, technology capable of and aimed at manipulating the physical, mental and emotional condition of human beings).

Conventional medicine has traditionally aimed at overcoming disorders that afflict the human condition; it has prescribed leeching, cauterizing, amputating, medicating, operating and relocating to dryer climates, all in order to facilitate health and militate against disease and degeneration; in other words, the purpose has been to heal (i.e., has been broadly therapeutic).

Full story here:

http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=28994

Saint’s critics die mysterious deaths

By Saint Louis de Montfort

When I got there, all those connected with the house from the director down to the most humble worker and the entire town rejoiced and looked upon me as a man sent by God to put an end to the prevailing abuses.

The directors with whom I was working, not indeed as an equal but as an inferior, gave me full liberty in the drawing up and the observance of the rules I wanted to introduce. Even the Bishop and the committee allowed me to serve the poor in the refectory and to go round the town begging for something extra for them to eat with the dry bread they were usually given.

I did this for three months, enduring opposition and snubs, which went on increasing day after day to such an extent that ultimately through the disapproval of a certain gentleman and the matron of the workhouse I was obliged to give up providing food for the dining-room of the poor.

In giving this up, I acted in obedience to my director (the one replacing you) although the re-organization of the dining-room had been a great help to the administrators of the establishment. This particular gentleman, embittered against me without any legitimate reason as far as I know, used to snub me and insult me in the house and discredit my behavior in the eyes of the administration and even of the townsfolk. His actions drew upon him the resentment of the poor, who all loved me with the exception of a few perverted ones who backed him against me.

During this painful period, I kept silent and lived in retirement putting my cause into the hands of God and relying on his help, in spite of opposite advice given to me. To this end I went for a week's retreat to the Jesuits, confident that our Lord and his holy Mother would take my cause in hand. I was not wrong in my expectation: when I came back I found this gentleman ill and he died a few days later. The matron, a young and sturdy person, also died a short time afterwards.

More than eighty of the poor inmates fell ill and some of them died, and the whole town began to say that there was a plague in the poorhouse and that the place was cursed. Through all this period of sickness, and in spite of my involvement with the dying, I was the only one not to be affected by the disease.

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From a letter by Saint Louis de Montfort to Fr. Leschassier, Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris.

General Hospital, Poitiers, 4th of July, 1702.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mother’s Day Rosary in Miami

!HONRE A SU MADRE CELESTIAL

ESTE DIA DE LAS MADRES!

La TFP, y su afiliada ANF, “America Needs Fatima”, le invitan a celebrar el 93 aniversario de la aparicion de la Santisima Virgen el 13 de mayo de 1917 en Fatima, Portugal.

¡Honre a su Madre Celestial

y traiga a sus familiares y amistades!

PROCESION

TROPICAL PARK

ACERA (Bird Rd.), 40 ST y 79 AVE

SABADO - MAYO 8 - 12 PM

305-740-6436 Cell. 305-308-3573

La replica de la sagrada imagen que milagrosamente virtio lagrimas en Nueva Orleans en 1972, estara presente.

En su libro El Secreto del Rosario, San Luis de Monfort dice: "La oracion publica es mucho mas poderosa que la oracion privada para aplacar la ira de Dios e invocar su misericordia y la Santa Madre Iglesia, guiada por el Espiritu Santo, siempre ha promovido la oracion en publico en tiempo de tragedia y sufrimiento colectivo."

America esta en una encrucijada historica.

Como los esfuerzos humanos no logran resolver los problemas claves de America,

nos tornamos a Dios a travez de Su Santa Madre, pidiendole a El Su auxilio urgente.

clip_image003

CRUZADA DEL SANTO ROSARIO

Cordinada nacionalmente por Tradicion Familia

Y Propiedad (TFP) y su afiliada "America Needs

Fatima".

Hope for great things from God

Saint Louis de Montfort

But it is not enough to be just unafraid. God wants you to hope for great things from him and to be filled with joy by reason of this hope. Our bountiful Father wants to give you the kingdom of his grace. He has made you his kings and priests by the Christian faith and the priestly ordination he has conferred on you, and your voluntary poverty gives you an additional right to be called kings, for blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).

Our Lord does not merely promise the kingdom of heaven in the future but states that, because you are poor in spirit, you possess it now.

Alert: Catholic Seton Hall University Plans Same-Sex “Marriage” Course for Students

Seton Hall University

Seton Hall is the oldest diocesan university in the nation founded in 1856.

According to an article published by The Setonian on April 15, a course on homosexual “marriage” will be offered next semester at Seton Hall University, a Catholic university in New Jersey with approximately 10,000 students.

Here is the red flag:

The course will be taught by Professor King Mott, a pro-homosexual activist whose biography, posted on Seton Hall’s web site, mentions his affiliation with Lambda Legal, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, and Human Rights Campaign -- groups that promote ideas that run contrary to Catholic moral teaching.
Although the article in The Setonian affirms that the planned classes will not be used as an advocacy tool, many find the assertion hard to believe.

Anti-Catholic Professor
In fact, in a paper titled "The Sanctity of Marriage: Current Boundaries and the New Vocabulary," Prof. King Mott writes:  "Efforts to condemn the [homosexual] culture itself as Pope John Paul II has done in recent encyclicals only illustrate the futility of orthodoxy in general and the papacy in particular."
"The notion that marriage is a stable and ancient human arrangement, derived from divine revelation, limited to that existing between one man and one woman, and binding save through the permission of a single Church is contrived.  It is laughable to consider that human relationships could ever find satisfaction and expression in this single interpretation of marriage," he continued. 

"To be 'gay' is not to identify with the psychological traits and the visible masks of the homosexual, but to try to develop a way of life.   This is exactly what must happen in the debate over marriage rights."

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Seton Hall University is named after Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American born saint.

Enough Moral Confusion


The consistent teaching of the Catholic Church has been crystal clear for 2,000 years: Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and contrary to Natural Law. They are grave sins.
Why should any Catholic university sponsor a course that leads students away from the truth?  Why should the Catholic classroom be used as a tool to advance the homosexual movement and undermine traditional marriage? 

In our hyper-sexualized culture, Seton Hall University would do well to cancel this course and replace it with one that teaches students how to appreciate the beauty of abstinence, modesty and heroic purity.


*     *     *

If you have any ideas that might help TFP Student Action promote purity on college campuses, please contact us.
Permission is granted to republish this article provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to TFP Student

Action with a live link to our web site: www.tfpstudentaction.org

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Catholic knights also protected the weak

    The third commandment of the code of chivalry is, "thou shalt respect all weaknesses and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them."

    The knight trained not only to be strong and fearsome in war, but he was also schooled in piety and virtue.  Due to the pervasive influence of the Church, the knight was transformed from brute to gentleman. 

    Sadly, today the word gentleman has taken on a somewhat negative connotation.  The gothic warrior before knighthood excelled at one thing, killing and destroying.  The Church taught the knight the proper balance of all virtues.  His training involved not only the excellent use of arms, but also religion and courtesy.  In war he was indeed fearsome, but in peace, while still always prepared for war, he could abundantly demonstrate goodness and gentleness.

    The knights protected ladies, orphans, the elderly, the poor, the sick and most especially priests and religious. 

    The duty of the knight was not only to be aggressive in combating evil, but also to be equally as energetic in defending the weaker elements of society.  Men of vice would sometimes seek to take advantage of and even to harm the weak. It was the duty of the knight to stand between such men and their intended victims.

    Today, the weakest of all, the unborn, the sick and the elderly are rejected by society's acceptance of such evils as abortion and euthanasia. Ladies who choose modesty and purity are mocked by the world.  Mothers who consider large families a blessing are also pointed out for criticism.  Catholics who reject same-sex marriage are pressured to accept this vice.

    Let us, like the knights of old, protect all weaknesses, especially those who are not always capable of defending themselves. 

    Let us rally to protect the unborn, the handicapped and the elderly.  Let us speak out on their behalf when they are threatened.  Let our voices be heard when attempts are made to pass laws that will further weaken the legal protections of the weak and traditional marriage.  Let us by example show particular consideration towards those who are neglected and disregarded by the politically correct world of today.

    The knights were men who did not test public opinion before deciding to do what is right.  If a weakness was threatened, they were there to defend despite the cost to themselves.

Father of Liberation Theology Has Position at Notre Dame

According to the Liberation Theology Online Resource and Bookstore, the father of Communist Liberation Theology has a position at Notre Dame:

Gustavo GutiƩrrez Merino, O.P. (born 8 June 1928 in Lima) is a Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest regarded as one of the principal founders of liberation theology in Latin America.

He holds the John Cardinal O’Hara Professorship of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He has been professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a visiting professor at many major universities in North America and Europe.

He is a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language, and in 1993 he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government for his tireless work. He has also published in and been a member of the board of directors of the international journal, Concilium.

Full story here:

http://liberationtheology.org/people-organizations/gustavo-gutierrez/

Prof. with activist connections offering course on same-sex ‘marriage’ at Seton Hall

Newark, N.J., Apr 27, 2010 / 03:36 am (EWTN News/CNA)

Seton Hall University, an institution of the Archdiocese of Newark, has announced a course on same-sex “marriage” that will be taught by a professor with connections to homosexual advocacy groups.

Offered by the Department of Women and Gender Studies, the course will analyze the contemporary political situation regarding same-sex “marriage, such as Proposition 8 in California. It will also teach various cultural perspective of marriage.

Prof. W. King Mott, instructor of the course, told the Setonian it is not an advocacy course but that he will teach it from an academic perspective.

“It is one thing to say ‘I am for or against gay marriage,’” Mott said. “It’s another to actually understand the issue.”

“I hope my students gain an appreciation and respect for disinterested analysis that can be used to formulate an informed opinion,” he added.

Students taking the course will analyze same-sex “marriage” from a perspective they choose “after they have been educated on the issue,” the Setonian writes.

Prof. Mott is chair of the Faculty Senate and is affiliated with homosexual advocacy groups such as Lambda Legal, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies and the Human Rights Campaign, according to his profile on the Seton Hall website.

Full story:

http://www.ewtnnews.com/new.php?id=499

Monday, April 26, 2010

Protest an appalling anti-Catholic cartoon

Le Monde Magazine in France published a cartoon showing the "Pope" sodomizing a little boy. Can you believe it?

Never in your life did you expect to see something so awful.

This vile cartoon was in the Holy Week issue of the Le Monde Magazine. The author, Jean Plantu, is known for blasphemous insults against the Church and the Pope.

But to my knowledge, this is the first time an insult to the Pope has reached this extreme.

I dare not include a copy of the cartoon for you to see. It's simply beyond the pale.

But I do ask you to peacefully react today. Please send a protest message via email to Le Monde Magazine at:

courrier-lemondemag@lemonde.fr

You will find a sample message below that you may copy and send as your own.

Or use it to help you in writing your own courteous email message.

Whatever your preference, it's vital you send your message right away. Perhaps even today.

And last year, Le Monde published a Plantu cartoon showing Our Lord Jesus Christ handing out condoms from a boat to the excited masses. The cartoon read: "The multiplication of the condoms followed the multiplication of the loaves."

That cartoon hit the Pope too. He was shown as a decrepit old man who says: "Anything goes!"

So, the most recent cartoon against the Pope in Le Monde Magazine is not an isolated case. It is part of a series.

That's why it is so important that you and I, united with Catholics across the world, raise a powerful yet peaceful protest against Le Monde.

Send your protest message to Le Monde Magazine at:

courrier-lemondemag@lemonde.fr

Please consider forwarding this message to your friends.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's the sample message you may use:

Le Monde Magazine:

I am deeply pained, more than words can express, to know that your magazine published a sacrilegious cartoon showing the Pope sodomizing a little boy.

I do not accept this indecent insult to the Pope. This is beyond the pale!

As the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth, the person of the Pope is sacred. And he teaches the holy and eternal truths taught by Holy Mother Church, which is absolutely against all sin, especially unnatural vice.

I demand that you apologize for the Jean Plantu cartoon and pledge never to publish such terribly insulting material again.

Sincerely yours,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 26, Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel of Genazzano

The story of this miraculous egg-thin fresco of Our Lady starts hundreds of years ago.  In fact, the origins of Genazzano date back to the times of the Roman emperors.


This special invocation of Our Lady of Good Counsel of Genazzano is for those who are searching for good advice.  Her feast day is coming up on April 26.  So please say a novena to Her.


A view of the town of Genazzano, resting
place of the miraculous painting of Our Lady.

Because of its proximity to Rome, the city was chosen by many patricians and imperial courtiers as a site for their country villas. The vast gardens surrounding these villas often served as the stage for perverse feasts, pagan games and heathen rituals in honor of the gods to whom the Romans attributed the fertility of their fields.

One of these celebrations was held every April 25 in honor of the goddess Flora or Venus. For this event, people of all social classes—freemen and slaves, patricians and plebeians—gathered together for a great feast. This practice gradually dissolved and the temples fell into ruins as the life-giving breath of Christianity regenerated the peoples of Europe.

In the third century, an order was given to build a shrine dedicated to the Mother of God under the tender invocation of Mother of Good Counsel on the ruins of the Roman temples.

As the years went by, the city became more populous and the shrine grew in fame. During the Middle Ages, the Franciscans and the Augustinians founded monasteries nearby. With the passing of years, the primitive temple erected in honor of the Mother of Good Counsel began to show signs of disrepair. Moreover, as the shrine was small, the faithful built larger and richer churches for their solemn functions.

In 1356, about a century before the appearance of the miraculous painting that would introduce Genazzano into the annals of marvels in the Church, Prince Pietro Giordan Colonna, whose family had acquired lordship of the city, assigned the most ancient church of the city and its parish to the care of the Hermits of St. Augustine.

The faithful would thereby have the necessary pastoral assistance, and repairs could be made on the old church.

Although the prayers of the faithful intensified, financial difficulties prevented the necessary and urgent restoration of the ancient temple. But the Mother who gives wise counsel in every circumstance and attentively provides for the necessities of men chose a Third Order Augustinian, Petruccia de Nocera, to carry out a supernatural prodigy that would bring about the much-desired restoration.

Petruccia had been left a modest fortune following the death of her husband in 1436. Living alone, she dedicated most of her time to prayer and services in the church of the Mother of Good Counsel. It grieved her to see the deplorable state of the sacred premises, and she prayed fervently that they would be restored.

Finally, she resolved to take the initiative. After obtaining permission from the friars, she donated her goods to initiate the restoration in the hope that others would help complete it once it was commenced.

A plan was drawn up for the building of a magnificent church. However, once that arduous undertaking had begun, Petruccia, who was already eighty years old, found that her generous offering was scarcely enough to complete the first phase of the new construction. To make matters worse, no one came forth to help.

To her dismay, the building had hardly risen three feet when construction came to a halt due to lack of resources. Her friends and neighbors began to ridicule her, and detractors accused her of imprudence. Others severely reprimanded her in public. To all of them she would say: "My dear children, do not put too much importance on this apparent misfortune. I assure you that before my death the Blessed Virgin and our holy father Augustine will finish the church begun by me."

On April 25, 1467, the feast day of the city's patron, Saint Mark, a solemn celebration began with Mass. It was Saturday, and the crowd began to gather in front of the church of the Mother of Good Counsel. The only discrepant note in the celebration was the unfinished work of Petruccia.

At about four in the afternoon, everyone heard the chords of a beautiful melody that seemed to come from heaven. The people looked up toward the towers of the churches and saw a white cloud that shone with a thousand luminous rays; it gradually neared the stupefied crowd to the sound of an exceptionally beautiful melody. The cloud descended on the church of the Mother of Good Counsel and poised over the wall of the unfinished chapel of Saint Biagio, which Petruccia had started.

The miraculous image of Our Lady of Genazzano.

Suddenly, the bells of the old tower began to ring by themselves, and the other bells of the town rang miraculously in unison. The rays that emanated from the little cloud faded away, and the cloud itself gradually vanished, revealing a beautiful object to the enchanted gaze of the spectators.

It was a painting that represented Our Lady tenderly holding her Divine Son in her arms. Almost immediately, the Virgin Mary began to cure the sick and grant countless consolations, the memory of which was recorded for posterity by the local ecclesiastical authority.

The news of the painting and its miracles spread throughout the province and beyond, attracting multitudes. Some cities formed enthusiastic processions to see the picture that the people called the Madonna of Paradise because of its celestial entrance into the city. Numerous alms were donated as an answer to the unwavering confidence that Our Lady had inspired in Petruccia.

Amidst the general enthusiasm caused by the painting, Our Lady wished to divulge the true origin of the marvelous fresco to her devotees. Two foreigners named Giorgio and De Sclavis entered the city among a group of pilgrims that had come from Rome.
They wore strange clothes and spoke a foreign tongue, saying they had arrived in Rome earlier that year from Albania. While most people had refused to believe their story, it had a special significance for the inhabitants of Genazzano.

*     *     *

January of 1467 saw the death of the last great Albanian leader, George Castriota, better known as Scanderbeg. Raised by an Albanian chief, he placed himself at the head of his own people.
Subsequently, Scanderbeg inflicted stunning defeats on the Turkish army and occupied fortresses all over Albania.

With Scanderbeg’s death, the Turkish army, finally free from the Fulminating Lion of War, poured into Albania, occupying all its fortresses, cities and provinces with the exception of Scutari, in the north of the country.

However, the city's capacity to resist was limited, and its capture was expected at any moment. With its fall, Christian Albania would be defeated. Faced with this prospect, those who wished to practice their faith in Christian lands began a sad exodus. Giorgio and De Sclavis also studied the possibility of fleeing, but something kept them in Scutari, where there was a small church, considered the shrine of the whole Albanian kingdom.

In this church the faithful venerated a picture of Our Lady which had mysteriously descended from the heavens two hundred years before.

According to tradition, it had come from the east. Having poured out innumerable graces over the whole population, its church became the principal center of pilgrimage in Albania. Scanderbeg himself had visited this shrine more than once to ardently ask for victory in battle. Now the shrine was threatened with imminent destruction and profanation.

The two Albanians were torn by the idea of leaving the great treasure of Albania in the hands of the enemy in order to flee the Turkish terror. In their perplexity, they went to the old church to ask their Blessed Mother for the good counsel they needed.
That night, the Consoler of the Afflicted inspired both of them in their sleep.

She commanded them to prepare to leave their country, which they would never see again. She added that the miraculous fresco was also going to leave Scutari for another country to escape profanation at the hands of the Turks. Finally, she ordered them to follow the painting wherever it went.

The next morning, the two friends went to the shrine. At a certain moment they saw the picture detach itself from the wall on which it had hung for two centuries. Leaving its niche, it hovered for a moment and was then suddenly wrapped in a white cloud through which the image continued to be visible.

The pilgrim painting left the church and the environs of Scutari. It traveled slowly through the air at a considerable altitude and advanced in the direction of the Adriatic Sea at a speed that allowed the two walkers to follow; after covering some twenty-four miles, they reached the coast.

With unbounded confidence, Giorgio and De Scalvis walked on the waves of the Adriatic Sea.

Without stopping, the picture left the land and advanced over the waters while the faithful Giorgio and De Sclavis continued to follow, walking on the waves much like their Divine Master had done on Lake Genesareth. When night would fall, the mysterious cloud, which had protected them with its shade from the heat of the sun during the day, guided them by night with light, like the column of fire in the desert that guided the Jews in their exodus from Egypt.

They traveled day and night until they reached the Italian coast. There, they continued following the miraculous picture, climbing mountains, fording rivers and passing through valleys. Finally, they reached the vast plain of Lazio from where they could see the towers and domes of Rome. Upon reaching the gates of the city, the cloud suddenly disappeared before their disappointed eyes.

Giorgio and De Sclavis began to search the city, going from church to church asking if the painting had descended there. All their attempts to find the painting failed, and the Romans incredulously regarded the two foreigners and their strange tale.

Shortly thereafter, amazing news came to Rome: a picture of Our Lady had appeared in the skies of Genazzano to the sound of beautiful music and had come to rest over the wall of a church that was being rebuilt. The two Albanians rushed to find their country's beloved treasure miraculously suspended in the air next to the wall of the chapel where it remains to this day.

Although some inhabitants found the strangers' story difficult to believe, careful investigation later proved that the two were telling the truth and that the image was indeed the same one that graced the shrine in Scutari.

*     *     *

Thus Mary Most Holy, with the humble participation of a pious Third Order Augustinian on one side of the Adriatic and two faithful Albanians on the other, transported her mysterious fresco from the unhappy and unfortunate Albania to a little city very close to the heart of Christendom. Beginning her historic journey from that small Albanian shrine, which she had not chosen by chance, she traveled across the sea to pour on the world a new torrent of graces under the invocation of Mother of Good Counsel.

Picture of Our Lady threatens people with God’s vengeance

Saint Louis de Montfort relates this incredible and supernatural event, about how the Holy Rosary was first given to the Church:

It was given to the Church by Saint Dominic who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a powerful means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.

I will tell you the story of how he received it, which is found in the very well-known book "De Dignitate Psalterii" by Blessed Alan de la Roche [1]. Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse where he prayed unceasingly for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of Almighty God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.

At this point Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said:

"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"

"Oh, my Lady,"

answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."

Then Our Lady replied:

"I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal, for the conversion of the people in that district he made straight for the Cathedral. At once unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together and Saint Dominic began to preach.

At the very beginning of his sermon an appalling storm broke, out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid. Even greater was their fear when looking at a picture of Our Lady exposed in a prominent place they saw her raise her arms to heaven three times to call down God's vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the Holy Mother of God.

God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the Holy Rosary and to make it more widely known.

At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Holy Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits. [1]. De Dignitate Psalterii. The importance and Beauty of the Holy Rosary, by Blessed Alan de la Roche, O.P., French Dominican Father and Apostle of the Holy Rosary.

Massive fireball lights up Midwest night

(CNN) -- Authorities in several Midwestern states were flooded Wednesday night with reports of a gigantic fireball lighting up the sky, the National Weather Service said.

The fireball was visible for about 15 minutes beginning about 10 p.m., said the National Weather Service in Sullivan, Wisconsin, just west of Milwaukee.

See full story at CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/04/15/midwest.fireball/index.html

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why Catholic chivalry is urgently needed

    The second commandment of the code of chivalry is, "Thou Shalt defend the Church."

    The true followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ always have and always will be assaulted by the devil and by evil men. 

    While this suffering as a result of such assaults gains great merit, the followers of the Church should always be willing to defend Her, even with their lives if necessary.

    While the Middle Ages was entirely Catholic, Europe was surrounded by enemies.  As in all times the Church was attacked from without for example by Islam.  She was also attacked from within by heresies such as the Albigensian heresy.  She was also attacked by those covetous of the possessions of the Church.

    The medieval knight vowed to defend the Church.  The knight used the resources that he possessed as well as his might of arms to defend the Church.  Those who challenged or even attacked the Church had to deal with these knights, or these men of iron.

    The thousands of monasteries and convents as well as churches were dedicated to the offering of prayer and sacrifice.  The knights defended them from those who would harm them.

    The Church has never been attacked in Her history as she is attacked today, by men who despise Her doctrines, Her moral teachings, her wealth which represents the devotion of millions upon millions of the faithful throughout the centuries.

    In the spirit of chivalry shouldn't those of us who lover Her defend Her with the same ardor as the knights of old?  Today our weapons are our voices, our pens and our resources as well as our public presence. 

    To publicly protest a blasphemous film, or a university that calls itself Catholic, yet does not adhere to the Church's moral teachings, to hold a public rosary, these acts take the courage of a knight.

    Yet like the knight, we do not weigh the odds, we only see that the Church is being assaulted, so we unhesitatingly offer all that we have, including our human respect to defend Her.

    The next time that the Church is assaulted, or when the opportunity to hold a public rosary takes place, be like the knight, say unhesitatingly, O Holy Catholic Church, my Mother, I will defend you, I will proclaim you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Notre Dame Anti-Military, Pro-Gay Protesters Let Go; Pro-Lifers Still Face Fines, Imprisonment

By Kathleen Gilbert and John Jalsevac

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, April 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - While numerous pro-life protesters who were arrested for trespassing at the University of Notre Dame last year continue to face up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine, anti-military and pro-gay demonstrators who were previously arrested on campus had their charges dropped, according to a shocking new investigation by the Sycamore Trust. Furthermore, the president of the University, Fr. John Jenkins, has reportedly refused to discuss the disparate treatment.

William Dempsey, Notre Dame alumnus and president of the Sycamore Trust, notes in the organization's latest bulletin that Jenkins has responded to inquiries about the pro-lifers (who were arrested last May while peacefully protesting Obama’s commencement speech and honorary degree) by saying that, "The University cannot have one set of rules for causes we oppose, and another more lenient set of rules for causes we support. We have one consistent set of rules for demonstrations on campus – no matter the cause."

While Notre Dame does not have power to drop the charges, the University's recommendation to dismiss would likely carry great weight with the St. Joseph County prosecutor.

Dempsey says that "we doubted that any organization would saddle itself with such an inflexible policy." Hence, his organization set about investigating how past trespassers have been treated.

It turns out that members of the pro-gay group Soulforce, and Catholic Worker anti-ROTC demonstrators, who were arrested for trespassing on campus in March 2007, were let off scot free. Dempsey says that he interviewed participants in each case, who "all state that, after they were taken into custody and processed on the campus, they were released and heard nothing more." It is unclear whether the decision not to pursue the cases further was made by the university or the district prosecutors, although the Trust suggests that it originated with the university.

Having related the information to Notre Dame, says Dempsey, a spokesman replied that "this exchange is no longer serving any purpose from our perspective, and, as a result, we have decided to discontinue communications with you on this topic."

After writing Fr. Jenkins, the Trust reported that "his brief response was not encouraging."

"He seconded the spokesman’s termination of the discussion and he characterized as 'not warranted' unidentified 'inferences' and 'assumptions' in Bill Dempsey’s wide-ranging exchanges with the University spokesman, but he did not dispute the facts respecting the Soulforce and Catholic Workers arrests."

"The stark facts, then," the Trust alleges, "are that the University has treated pro-gay and anti-military demonstrators far more generously than pro-life demonstrators and that it declines to explain why.

"The mystery of the University’s attitude toward the pro-life demonstrators deepens."

The bulletin further points out how the prosecution of the pro-life "Notre Dame 88" can and already has wreaked havoc on the defendants' lives, even prior to sentencing: the Trust reports that one defendant and her husband have already been declined as foster parents thanks to the trespassing charges.

"The University’s position is bewildering, for there are many compelling reasons for the University to recommend to the prosecutor that he drop these cases," notes the group. "The University’s stance obviously impairs Father Jenkins’s post-Obama efforts to shore up Notre Dame’s pro-life credentials. The demonstrators are intensely dedicated and include many notably sympathetic individuals."

"The question, then, is why the University persists in endorsing these prosecutions."

Knights of Our Lady do Rosary Rallies

The first and greatest commandment of the code of chivalry is, “Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches and shall obey all Her commandments.”

This single unambiguous statement sums up the life of a faithful Catholic. This is a proclamation of total fidelity to the Church. How anti-relativistic is this commandment.

Today, people believe they can pick and choose which teachings, which doctrines, which morality, which commandments they will accept. Not so the medieval knight. He swore to accept the truths of the Faith in their entirety without reservation or equivocation.

The proof that the medieval knight really believed this was the Crusades. The knights of chivalry put their words into noble deeds.

Today we are surrounded by mediocrity, by those within the Church and without whose lives are focused almost entirely on self-interest. Let us in this age of infidelity to the Church renew our resolve to have the same fidelity as the knight.

An excellent way that we can express this fidelity is by becoming a rally captain or by participating in the Public Square Rosary. The knights traveled far and suffered much on the Crusades as a public proof of their fidelity.

Let us, like the medieval knight join the crusade of the Public Square Rosary as a way of shouting to the world, that we too, believe all that the Church teaches and that we pledge to obey all Her commandments.

To be like a knight of old you can sign up to become a Public Square Rosary rally captain by calling us at (866) 584 6012.

This is the secret and smooth path to heaven

True devotion to Mary is a smooth, short, perfect and sure way of attaining union with our Lord, in which Christian perfection consists.

It is the path which Jesus Christ opened up in coming to us and in which there is no obstruction to prevent us reaching him.  It is quite true that we can attain to divine union by other roads, but these involve many more crosses and exceptional setbacks and many difficulties that we cannot easily overcome.

We would have to pass through spiritual darkness, engage in struggles for which we are not prepared, endure bitter agonies, scale precipitous mountains, tread upon painful thorns, and cross frightful deserts. But when we take the path of Mary, we walk smoothly and calmly.

It is true that on our way we have hard battles to fight and serious obstacles to overcome, but Mary, our Mother and Queen, stays close to her faithful servants. She is always at hand to brighten their darkness, clear away their doubts, strengthen them in their fears, sustain them in their combats and trials. Truly, in comparison with other ways, this virgin road to Jesus is a path of roses and sweet delights.

There have been some saints, not very many, such as St. Ephrem, St. John Damascene, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bonaventure, and St. Francis de Sales, who have taken this smooth path to Jesus Christ, because the Holy Spirit, the faithful Spouse of Mary, made it known to them by a special grace. The other saints, who are the greater number, while having a devotion to Mary, either did not enter or did not go very far along this path. That is why they had to undergo harder and more dangerous trials.

Why is it then, a servant of Mary might ask, that devoted servants of this good Mother are called upon to suffer much more than those who serve her less generously? They are opposed, persecuted, slandered, and treated with intolerance. They may also have to walk in interior darkness and through spiritual deserts without being given from heaven a single drop of the dew of consolation. If this devotion to the Blessed Virgin makes the path to Jesus smoother, how can we explain why Mary's loyal servants are so ill-treated?

I reply that it is quite true that the most faithful servants of the Blessed Virgin, being her greatest favorites, receive from her the best graces and favors from heaven, which are crosses. But I maintain too that these servants of Mary bear their crosses with greater ease and gain more merit and glory. What could check another's progress a thousand times over, or possibly bring about his downfall, does not balk them at all, but even helps them on their way.

For this good Mother, filled with the grace and unction of the Holy Spirit, dips all the crosses she prepares for them in the honey of her maternal sweetness and the unction of pure love. They then readily swallow them as they would sugared almonds, though the crosses may be very bitter. I believe that anyone who wishes to be devout and live piously in Jesus will suffer persecution and will have a daily cross to carry.

But he will never manage to carry a heavy cross, or carry it joyfully and perseveringly, without a trusting devotion to our Lady, who is the very sweetness of the cross. It is obvious that a person could not keep on eating without great effort unripe fruit which has not been sweetened.

Saint Louis de Montfort

Catholics troubled by new tomb for Saint Padre Pio

It was supposed to be a cause for celebration, but the long-awaited arrival of Saint Padre Pio's tomb in an elaborate purposely-built church in Italy has outraged worshippers for its 'pomp' and glitz.

Forty-two years after the saint's remains were originally buried, they were transferred this week to Puglia, in Italy's south-east, to a new church designed by architect Renzo Piano.

Despite the significance of the event it has failed to attract large crowds, and resulted in criticism from worshippers.

Mail online give the full story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267679/Worshippers-outraged-glitzy-new-tomb-miracle-worker-Saint-Padre-Pio.html?printingPage=true

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Al Qaeda Bombs Cathedral in Philippines

Manila, Philippines, Apr 15, 2010 / 03:01 am (CNA).- Abu Sayyaf militants conducted a bombing assault on Isabela City in the Philippines on Tuesday morning, killing several people and severely damaging the Cathedral of St. Isabel. The local bishop said the cathedral was “totally” damaged.

At least 25 militants with the Al Qaeda-linked group, dressed in police and camouflaged military uniforms, set off two bombs that blew up a van and damaged the 40-year-old cathedral. A third bomb placed near a judge’s house and a bus terminal was safely detonated by soldiers.

It was the worst attack by the group in months, Agence France Presse reports. The attacks started gun battles around the city as militants targeted helpless civilians.

City mayor Cherry Akbar initially told reporters that at least 15 people were killed in the violence, including five militants who apparently died in the first blast. The dead also included three Philippine Marines, a policeman and six civilians. The death toll was later revised downward to 14.

One of the dead was identified as a brother of Furuju Indama, a top Abu Sayyaf leader on the island of Basil.

 

Full story:

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/several_dead_after_al_qaeda-linked_militants_bomb_cathedral_in_philippines/

God made Mary the sole custodian of his treasures

Saint Louis de Montfort

If devotion to the Blessed Virgin is necessary for all men simply to work out their salvation, it is even more necessary for those who are called to a special perfection. I do not believe that anyone can acquire intimate union with our Lord and perfect fidelity to the Holy Spirit without a very close union with the most Blessed Virgin and an absolute dependence on her support.

44. Mary alone found grace before God without the help of any other creature. All those who have since found grace before God have found it only through her. She was full of grace when she was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel and was filled with grace to overflowing by the Holy Spirit when he so mysteriously overshadowed her.

From day to day, from moment to moment, she increased so much this twofold plenitude that she attained an immense and inconceivable degree of grace. So much so, that the Almighty made her the sole custodian of his treasures and the sole dispenser of his graces. She can now ennoble, exalt and enrich all she chooses.

She can lead them along the narrow path to heaven and guide them through the narrow gate to life. She can give a royal throne, scepter and crown to whom she wishes. Jesus is always and everywhere the fruit and Son of Mary and Mary is everywhere the genuine tree that bears that Fruit of life, the true Mother who bears that Son.

45. To Mary alone God gave the keys of the cellars of divine love and the ability to enter the most sublime and secret ways of perfection, and lead others along them. Mary alone gives to  the unfortunate children of unfaithful Eve entry into that earthly paradise where they may walk pleasantly with God and be safely hidden from their enemies. There they can feed without fear of death on the delicious fruit of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They can drink copiously the heavenly waters of that beauteous fountain which gushes forth in such abundance. As she is herself the earthly paradise, that virgin and blessed land from which sinful Adam and Eve were expelled she lets only those whom she chooses enter her domain in order to make them saints.

46. All the rich among the people, to use an expression of the Holy Spirit as explained by St. Bernard, all the rich among the people will look pleadingly upon her countenance throughout all ages and particularly as the world draws to its end. This means that the greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.

47. I said that this will happen especially towards the end of the world, and indeed soon, because Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs. This has been revealed to a holy soul whose life has been written by M. de Renty.

48. These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness.

With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Fathers of the Church the Temple of Solomon  and the City of God . By word and example they will draw all men to a true devotion to her and though this will make many enemies, it will also bring about many victories and much glory to God alone. This is what God revealed to St. Vincent Ferrer, that outstanding apostle of his day, as he has amply shown in one of his works.

This seems to have been foretold by the Holy Spirit in Psalm 58: "The Lord will reign in Jacob and all the ends of the earth. They will be converted towards evening and they will be as hungry as dogs and they will go around the city to find something to eat." This city around which men will roam at the end of the world seeking conversion and the appeasement of the hunger they have for justice is the most Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Holy Spirit the City of God .

If Men Followed This Code, How Holy the World Would Be

Many in our contemporary society have either never heard of the code of chivalry or consider such ideals to be anachronistic and out of style. They are considered to be irrelevant to the cold and brutal world of today.

The Code of Chivalry is the distillation of the greatest ideals of the temporal society of Christian Civilization.

code of chivalry

The Code of Chivalry shows the tremendous influence that the Church had over temporal society during the Middle Ages. The spirit of the Church permeated everything, including knights, who were men engaged in warfare. This code transformed the warrior of the Goths into a knight, no less fearsome, yet rounded out by balance and virtue.

The man who religiously follows this code will live a life of sanctity.

The code of chivalry contains all of the great ideals of Christian Civilization. It promotes fidelity, honesty, hierarchy, charity, generosity and Catholic militancy. These virtues and ideals are in short supply in our own day and age.

It would do well for those of us engaged in the great moral conflicts of today to understand and live the code of chivalry according to our state in life.

Each day I will write about one of these ten commandments of chivalry. I hope that you will be as inspired as I am by these great ideals.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TO FIND THE GRACE OF GOD, WE MUST DISCOVER MARY

By Saint Louis de Montfort

We must discover a simple means to obtain from God the grace needed to become holy.  It is precisely this I wish to teach you. My contention is that you must first discover Mary if you would obtain this grace from God.

7. Let me explain:
(1) Mary alone found grace with God for herself and for every individual person. No patriarch or prophet or any other holy person of the Old Law could manage to find this grace.

8. (2) It was Mary who gave existence and life to the author of all grace, and because of this she is called the "Mother of Grace".

9. (3) God the Father, from whom, as from its essential source, every perfect gift and every grace come down to us , gave her every grace when he gave her his Son. Thus, as St Bernard says, the will of God is manifested to her in Jesus and with Jesus.

10. (4) God chose her to be the treasurer, the administrator and the dispenser of all his graces, so that all his graces and gifts pass through her hands. Such is the power that she has received from him that, according to St Bernardine, she gives the graces of the eternal Father, the virtues of Jesus Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to whom she wills, as and when she wills, and as much as she wills.

11. (5) As in the natural life a child must have a father and a mother, so in the supernatural life of grace a true child of the Church must have God for his Father and Mary for his mother. If he prides himself on having God for his Father but does not give to Mary the tender affection of a true child, he is an impostor and his father is the devil.

12. (6) Since Mary produced the head of the elect, Jesus Christ, she must also produce the members of that head, that is, all true Christians. A mother does not conceive a head without members, nor members without a head. If anyone, then, wishes to become a member of Jesus Christ, and consequently be filled with grace and truth , he must be formed in Mary through the grace of Jesus Christ, which she possesses with a fullness enabling her to communicate it abundantly to true members of Jesus Christ, her true children.

13. (7) The Holy Spirit espoused Mary and produced his greatest work, the incarnate Word, in her, by her and through her. He has never disowned her and so he continues to produce every day, in a mysterious but very real manner, the souls of the elect in her and through her.

14. (8) Mary received from God a unique dominion over souls enabling her to nourish them and make them more and more godlike. St Augustine went so far as to say that even in this world all the elect are enclosed in the womb of Mary, and that their real birthday is when this good mother brings them forth to eternal life. Consequently, just as an infant draws all its nourishment from its mother, who gives according to its needs, so the elect draw their spiritual nourishment and all their strength from Mary.

15. (9) It was to Mary that God the Father said, "Dwell in Jacob", that is, dwell in my elect who are typified by Jacob. It was to Mary that God the Son said, "My dear Mother, your inheritance is in Israel", that is, in the elect. It was to Mary that the Holy Spirit said, "Place your roots in my elect". Whoever, then, is of the chosen and predestinate will have the Blessed Virgin living within him, and he will let her plant in his very soul the roots of every virtue, but especially deep humility and ardent charity.

16. (10) Mary is called by St Augustine, and is indeed, the "living mould of God" . In her alone the God-man was formed in his human nature without losing any feature of the Godhead. In her alone, by the grace of Jesus Christ, man is made godlike as far as human nature is capable of it. A sculptor can make a statue or a life-like model in two ways:


(i) By using his skill, strength, experience and good tools to produce a statue out of hard, shapeless matter;

(ii) By making a cast of it in a mould. The first way is long and involved and open to all sorts of accidents. It only needs a faulty stroke of the chisel or hammer to ruin the whole work. The second is quick, easy, straightforward, almost effortless and inexpensive, but the mould must be perfect and true to life and the material must be easy to handle and offer no resistance.

17. Mary is the great mould of God, fashioned by the Holy Spirit to give human nature to a Man who is God by the hypostatic union, and to fashion through grace men who are like to God. No godly feature is missing from this mould. Everyone who casts himself into it and allows himself to be molded will acquire every feature of Jesus Christ, true God, with little pain or effort, as befits his weak human condition. He will take on a faithful likeness to Jesus with no possibility of distortion, for the devil has never had and never will have any access to Mary, the holy and immaculate Virgin, in whom there is not the least suspicion of a stain of sin.

18. Dear friend, what a difference there is between a soul brought up in the ordinary way to resemble Jesus Christ by people who, like sculptors, rely on their own skill and industry, and a soul thoroughly tractable, entirely detached, most ready to be molded in her by the working of the Holy Spirit. What blemishes and defects, what shadows and distortions, what natural and human imperfections are found in the first soul, and what a faithful and divine likeness to Jesus is found in the second!

19. There is not and there will never be, either in God's creation or in his mind, a creature in whom he is so honored as in the most Blessed Virgin Mary, not excepting even the saints, the cherubim or the highest seraphim in heaven. Mary is God's garden of Paradise, his own unspeakable world, into which his Son entered to do wonderful things, to tend it and to take his delight in it. He created a world for the wayfarer, that is, the one we are living in. He created a second world - Paradise - for the Blessed. He created a third for himself, which he named Mary. She is a world unknown to most mortals here on earth. Even the angels and saints in heaven find her incomprehensible, and are lost in admiration of a God who is so exalted and so far above them, so distant from them, and so enclosed in Mary, his chosen world, that they exclaim: "Holy, holy, holy" unceasingly.

20. Happy, indeed sublimely happy, is the person to whom the Holy Spirit reveals the secret of Mary, thus imparting to him true knowledge of her. Happy the person to whom the Holy Spirit opens this enclosed garden for him to enter, and to whom the Holy Spirit gives access to this sealed fountain where he can draw water and drink deep draughts of the living waters of grace. That person will find only grace and no creature in the most lovable Virgin Mary. But he will find that the infinitely holy and exalted God is at the same time infinitely solicitous for him and understands his weaknesses. Since God is everywhere, he can be found everywhere, even in hell. But there is no place where God can be more present to his creature and more sympathetic to human weakness than in Mary. It was indeed for this very purpose that he came down from heaven. Everywhere else he is the Bread of the strong and the Bread of angels, but living in Mary he is the Bread of children.

21. Let us not imagine, then, as some misguided teachers do, that Mary being simply a creature would be a hindrance to union with the Creator. Far from it, for it is no longer Mary who lives but Jesus Christ himself, God alone, who lives in her.

Her transformation into God far surpasses that experienced by St Paul and other saints, more than heaven surpasses the earth. Mary was created only for God, and it is unthinkable that she should reserve even one soul for herself. On the contrary she leads every soul to God and to union with him. Mary is the wonderful echo of God. The more a person joins himself to her, the more effectively she unites him to God. When we say "Mary", she re-echoes "God". When, like St Elizabeth, we call her blessed, she gives the honor to God.

If those misguided ones who were so sadly led astray by the devil, even in their prayer-life, had known how to discover Mary, and Jesus through her, and God through Jesus, they would not have had such terrible falls. The saints tell us that when we have once found Mary, and through Mary Jesus, and through Jesus God the Father, then we have discovered every good. When we say "every good", we except nothing. "Every good" includes every grace, continuous friendship with God, every protection against the enemies of God, possession of truth to counter every falsehood, endless benefits and unfailing headway against the hazards we meet on the way to salvation, and finally every consolation and joy amid the bitter afflictions of life.

22. This does not mean that one who has discovered Mary through a genuine devotion is exempt from crosses and sufferings. Far from it! One is tried even more than others, because Mary, as Mother of the living, gives to all her children splinters of the tree of life, which is the Cross of Jesus. But while meting out crosses to them she gives the grace to bear them with patience, and even with joy. In this way, the crosses she sends to those who trust themselves to her are rather like sweetmeats, i.e. "sweetened" crosses rather than "bitter" ones. If from time to time they do taste the bitterness of the chalice from which we must drink to become proven friends of God, the consolation and joy which their Mother sends in the wake of their sorrows creates in them a strong desire to carry even heavier and still more bitter crosses.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rare photo of saint in ecstasy

Italy April 14th - Saint Gemma, Orvieto

This is not a pose. 

It is a real photo of Saint Gemma Galgani, taken by her step brother while she was in ecstasy.  She did not know it was being taken.

Actually, her ecstasies were so frequent, that she wrote to her Confessor:

"Monsignor, listen: I am almost in despair. Angela knows everything about me. [Gemma’s younger sister] This morning she spoke about my affairs as if they were nothing and my brother along with her made fun of them. I am not the least afraid of their ridicule, you know. But from 11:00 this morning until this hour, which is 3:00pm, she has not left me alone. She says that she wants to see everything. She seems almost like a little devil. My aunts laugh at these things and I have a great desire to weep. She has even brought her companions from school into the house saying to them in order to make fun of me: 'Come, let us go and see Gemma in ecstasy.' And yesterday evening in front of the house she repeated these words in a loud voice."

                 St_ 
Gemma.jpg

"If you really want to love Jesus, first learn to suffer, because suffering teaches you to love." Saint Gemma

This photograph is of St. Gemma Galgani (1878-1903), a famous mystic who lived in the enchanting town of Lucca, Italy.

Her countenance is impressive for several reasons. First, we note her profound reflection and the harmony of her traits. Second, the saint’s gaze has something elevated and sublime about it. Her thoughts are not of this earth: her countenance displays a supernatural aura.

Her dignity and angelic purity are striking. This is seen by the way her head rests on her shoulders: straight and unpretentious.

She wears no adornment at all. Her hair is simply combed and arranged. Her face is very clean and reveals nothing of a desire for embellishment.

Her dress is black and simple. Yet, St. Gemma combines an extraordinary dignity with a virginal purity which is impalpably reflected in the luminous splendor of her skin. One could say that her skin is as luminous as her gaze. Moreover, her gaze reflects total uprightness. It is that of a mystic immersed in that which she sees. Even we discern something of what she perceives.

The virtue of fortitude also shines forth in her countenance. When the Faith commands her to do something, her will is unbending.

What does she desire? She wants to serve God, Our Lady and the Catholic Church. She forges ahead on this road regardless of the obstacles. She represents the strong woman of incomparable values referred to in Holy Scriptures. Like a rare stone, one readily walks to the ends of the earth to find her.

(Plinio Correa de Oliveria, published in the August 1999 issue of Catolicismo)

Jesuit University Deletes 2 Abortion Links

letter

Over 11,500 petitions were sent to UDM

After weeks of peaceful protest, the Catholic University of Detroit Mercy has removed two links to abortion provider Planned Parenthood that were listed on its web site.

"I'm very happy to verify that the links to Planned Parenthood were deleted," said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie. 

"Over 11,500 students, parents and pro-life advocates participated in this prayerful protest, calling for the removal of these scandalous links."

"TFP Student Action is grateful to everyone who made this victory for moral values happen," he said. "Their prayers and peaceful action was vital and their participation will continue to play a central role in the future as the spiritual crusade on college campuses continues."

Although the links to Planned Parenthood were removed, links to a pro-abortion group called the National Organization for Women (NOW) were not taken down as the TFP protest petition politely requests.

Wolf in nun's clothing?

Margaret Farley

Sister Margaret A. Farley: Wolf in nun's clothing?

Even more troubling is the discovery that a pro-abortion nun, Sister Margaret A. Farley, RSM is a member of the Board of Trustees at Detroit Mercy. 

Over the years, she has taken positions favorable to abortion, same-sex "marriage," sterilization of women, divorce and the ordination of women to the priesthood. "Is she a wolf in nun's clothing?" Ritchie asked. "She should be removed from the board." (see listing here)

If you'd like to share your thoughts with us or report similar scandals at other Catholic colleges, please write to: mail@tfpstudentaction.org

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wolf in nun’s clothing?

Margaret Farley

Pro-abortion nun: Sister Margaret A. Farley.

Wolf in Nun's Habit?


Sister Margaret A. Farley, RSM is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Detroit Mercy.  Over the years, she has taken positions favorable to abortion, same-sex “marriage,” sterilization of women, divorce and the ordination of women to the priesthood. Sister Farley, who taught Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, is well known for her radical feminist ideas and open dissent from Church teaching.1

In 1984 she co-signed an ad in The New York Times by Catholics for Free Choice challenging Catholic teaching on procured abortion.  “Statements of recent Popes and of the Catholic hierarchy have condemned the direct termination of pre-natal life as morally wrong in all instances.

There is a mistaken belief in American society that this is the only legitimate Catholic position,” reads part of the statement. Another co-signer of the ad is long-time Detroit Mercy faculty member Prof. Jane Schaberg, author of the blasphemous book, The Illegitimacy of Jesus.

Although the Vatican and the American Catholic Bishops2 called the signers of the ad on the carpet urging them to recant, the warning seems to have made no lasting impression on Sister Farley or Prof. Schaberg who continue to promote abortion and unorthodox ideas.

More Reasons to Pray & Protest
Sister Farley, for example, wrote Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. Published in 2006, the book distorts Catholic moral teaching beyond recognition, presenting sins against nature in a positive light.  And yet she is listed as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Catholic University of Detroit Mercy. (See listing here)

What type of faith-damaging message does this send to Catholic college students?  How can we expect the next generation to respect innocent life when professors like Dr. Jane Schaberg and board members like Sister Farley publicly reject Church teaching and Natural Law on procured abortion?

Remove Dissident Nun
TFP Student Action invites its members – students and parents – to respectfully speak out against this scandal, to be the voice of the unborn that clamor for justice, and oppose the sin of abortion.  Let us continue politely urging the University of Detroit Mercy to remove its web site links to abortion promoters.
And as we renew and intensify this peaceful protest, let us also ask for the removal of pro-abortion Sister Margaret A. Farley from the university's Board of Trustees.

Please note: Always be respectful and polite when contacting members of the hierarchy.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron
1234 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: 313-237-5816
Fax: 313-237-4642

University of Detroit Mercy
Rev. Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J.
4001 W. McNichols Road – FAC 500
Detroit, MI 48221
Email: gstock@udmercy.edu

313-993-1455
Fax: 313-993-1534
Related:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The 3 Days of Darkness

Although the Church does not oblige us to believe in any particular prophecy or private revelation, it certainly is telling that many mystics and saints speak of the Three Days of Darkness, such as:
Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi, Ven. Elizabeth Canori-Mora, Saint Hildegard and many others.
Here are a few quotes from these mystics.
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769-1837 A.D.):

"God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy."

"All the enemies of the Church, whether known or unknown, will perish over the whole earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms."

The mystic Marie-Julie Jahenny also mentions the 3 days of darkness. (January 4, 1884):

"The three days of darkness « will be on a THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. Days of the Most Holy Sacrament, of the Cross and Our Lady. . . .» three days less one night."

"«The earth will be covered in darkness», says Our Lady on 20th of September 1882, AND HELL WILL BE LOOSED ON EARTH. Thunder and lightning will cause those who have no faith or trust in My Power, to die of fear."

"During these three days of terrifying darkness, no windows must be opened, because no one will be able to see the earth and the terrible color it will have in those days of punishment without dying at once... "

"The sky will be on fire, the earth will split... During these three days of darkness let the blessed candle be lighted everywhere, no other light will shine.... "

Sr. Rosa Colomba Asdenti of Taggia who lived in the 19th c. also prophesied a three days of darkness.

Palma Maria d' Oria (d.1863), as do other seers, tells of the activities of the demons:

"There shall be three days of darkness, during which the atmosphere will be infected by innumerable devils, who will cause the death of large multitudes of unbelievers and wicked men.  Blessed candles alone shall be able to give light and preserve the faithful Catholics from this impending dreadful scourge.

Sr. Mary of Jesus Crucified of Pau, (d.1878):

"During a darkness lasting three days the people given to evil will perish so that only one-fourth of mankind will survive."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Miraculous Statue Cries Human Tears

In July, 1972, newspapers across the country published a photo from New Orleans showing a statue of Our Lady of Fatima shedding tears.  The report sparked keen interest and I think many readers will welcome more information on the topic.


Statue of the International Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima photographed in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1972 miraculously weeping real human tears.

The best source of information on the matter is found in the article: "The Tears of Our Lady Wet my Finger” by Fr. Elmo Romagosa.

It was published on July 20 in the Clarion Herald, a New Orleans weekly, distributed in eleven Louisiana parishes or counties.

The background to this event is universally known. In 1917, Lucy, Jacinta and Francisco had visions of Our Lady at Fatima.

The authenticity of these visions was confirmed by the miracle of the sun, witnessed by a whole multitude even as the Virgin spoke to the three children.

In general terms, Our Lady charged the little shepherds to tell the world that she was deeply upset by the wickedness and corruption of men. She warned that if men did not amend, a terrible chastisement would come that would annihilate many nations. Russia would spread its errors throughout the world. The Holy Father would have much to suffer.

The punishment could only be avoided if men converted, Russia and the world were consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and men did the communion of reparation on the first Saturday of each month.

* * *

In view of the above, a question naturally comes to mind: Were Our Lady’s requests heeded?

In 1942, Pius XI consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Sister Lucy said the consecration lacked some characteristics Our Lady had requested. I do not intend to analyze this complex subject here. I simply mention, in passing, that whether Our Lady’s request for the consecration of Russia was heeded is open to debate.

As for Our Lady’s second request for an amendment of life, it has so obviously been neglected that no further comment is necessary.

Our Lady stated that obedience to her requests was a condition to avoid the apocalyptic punishments that she predicted. Therefore, it is logical that God’s vengeful and purifying wrath should fall upon mankind before it converts and the Reign of Mary is established.

* * *

Of the three Fatima children, only Lucy survived beyond her childhood. She was a Carmelite nun in Coimbra. Under her supervision, a sculptor carved two statues that reproduced as closely as possible the facial expression of the Most Holy Virgin as she appeared at Fatima. Both of them were called "pilgrim statues” and have been taken around the world by priests and laity. One was in New Orleans, where it shed tears.

Father Romagosa, author of the abovementioned report, was told of the statue’s tears by Fr. Joseph Breault, M. P., the statue’s custodian. However, he was reluctant to admit the miracle and thus asked Father Breault to call him if any further weeping occurred.

Father Breault noticed moisture in the eyes of the Pilgrim Virgin statue on July 17 and immediately called Father Romagosa, who reached the statue at 9:30 p.m., bringing along photographers and reporters.

In fact, they all noticed the moisture in the eyes of the statue, which was soon photographed. Father Romagosa then touched his finger on the moist surface and collected a drop, which was also photographed. According to Father Breault, this was the thirteenth weeping he had witnessed.

At 6:l5 a.m. the next morning, Father Breault called Father Romagosa saying that the statue had been crying since 4 a.m. Father Romagosa arrived shortly afterwards. In his words: "I saw much liquid in the statue’s eyes, and a large drop hanging from the tip of her nose.” This drop, so graciously hanging, was captured in the famous photograph that came out in the press.
Father Romagosa adds that he saw "a tear move as it slowly formed on the lower eyelid."

However, he wanted to eliminate all doubt. He noticed that the statue had a crown fixed on its head by a small metal connecting rod and thought:

Can it be that water was poured into the hole where the crown is fixed on the statue, and this water drains into the eyes?
Once the weeping ceased, Father Romagosa removed the crown

from the statue: the metallic connecting rod was entirely dry. He then inserted into the hole a wire wrapped in a special paper which would absorb any liquid that might be there. The paper remained absolutely dry.

Still not satisfied with his efforts, he poured some water into the hole. Yet the eyes remained absolutely dry. Father Romagosa then turned the statue upside down. The water he had poured into the hole drained normally. He was finally convinced that no water could come through the hole in the statue’s head into her eyes, and there simply was no other hole.

Father Romagosa knelt. At last, he believed.

* * *

These mysterious tears show Our Lady of Fatima crying over the modern world, as Our Lord once cried over Jerusalem. Tears of most tender affection, tears of deep pain for the punishment that will come.

It will come to the men of the twentieth century, if they do not reject immorality and corruption. It will come if they do not fight especially against the self-destruction of the Church, the cursed smoke of Satan that according to Paul VI has penetrated even into the sacred places.

Reader, there is still time, therefore, to stop the punishment!

* * *

But, some will say, these thoughts are not those for a pleasant Sunday afternoon. I answer: Is it not better to read this article now under the tender manifestation of our Mother’s prophetic sadness than to live through the days of tragic bitterness that will come if we do not amend?

If they come, I am convinced a special mercy will be shown to those who, in their personal lives, have taken the miraculous warning of Mary seriously.

I offer my readers this article so they may benefit from that mercy.

By Plinio Correa de Oliveira