Monday, April 30, 2012

This Saint and Crusader Pope Saved Europe From Islam

St. Pope Pius V, photographed at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs

Born at Bosco, near Alexandria, Lombardy, 17 Jan., 1504 elected 7 Jan., 1566; died 1 May, 1572. Being of a poor though noble family his lot would have been to follow a trade, but he was taken in by the Dominicans of Voghera, where he received a good education and was trained in the way of solid and austere piety. He entered the order, was ordained in 1528, and taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years. In the meantime he was master of novices and was on several occasions elected prior of different houses of his order in which he strove to develop the practice of the monastic virtues and spread the spirit of the holy founder. He himself was an example to all. He fasted, did penance, passed long hours of the night in meditation and prayer, traveled on foot without a cloak in deep silence, or only speaking to his companions of the things of God. In 1556 he was made Bishop of Sutri by Paul IV. His zeal against heresy caused him to be selected as inquisitor of the faith in Milan and Lombardy, and in 1557 Paul II made him a cardinal and named him inquisitor general for all Christendom. In 1559 he was transferred to Mondovi, where he restored the purity of faith and discipline, gravely impaired by the wars of Piedmont. Frequently called to Rome, he displayed his unflinching zeal in all the affairs on which he was consulted. Thus he offered an insurmountable opposition to Pius IV when the latter wished to admit Ferdinand de’ Medici, then only thirteen years old, into the Sacred College. Again it was he who defeated the project of Maximilian II, Emperor of Germany, to abolish ecclesiastical celibacy. On the death of Pius IV, he was, despite his tears and entreaties, elected pope, to the great joy of the whole Church.

Pope Saint Pius V by El Greco

He began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor, instead of distributing his bounty at haphazard like his predecessors. As pontiff he practiced the virtues he had displayed as a monk and a bishop. His piety was not diminished, and, in spite of the heavy labours and anxieties of his office, he made at least two meditations a day on bended knees in presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In his charity he visited the hospitals, and sat by the bedside of the sick, consoling them and preparing them to die. He washed the feet of the poor, and embraced the lepers. It is related that an English nobleman was converted on seeing him kiss the feet of a beggar covered with ulcers. He was very austere and banished luxury from his court, raised the standard of morality, laboured with his intimate friend, St. Charles Borromeo, to reform the clergy, obliged his bishops to reside in their dioceses, and the cardinals to lead lives of simplicity and piety. He diminished public scandals by relegating prostitutes to distant quarters, and he forbade bull fights. He enforced the observance of the discipline of the Council of Trent, reformed the Cistercians, and supported the missions of the New World. In the Bull “In Coena Domini” he proclaimed the traditional principles of the Roman Church and the supremacy of the Holy See over the civil power.

Photos by Philip Serracino Inglott & Vincent Ruf

But the great thought and the constant preoccupation of his pontificate seems to have been the struggle against the Protestants and the Turks. In Germany he supported the Catholics oppressed by the heretical princes. In France he encouraged the League by his counsels and with pecuniary aid. In the Low Countries he supported Spain. In England, finally, he excommunicated Elizabeth, embraced the cause of Mary Stuart, and wrote to console her in prison. In the ardour of his faith he did not hesitate to display severity against the dissidents when necessary, and to give a new impulse to the activity of the Inquisition, for which he has been blamed by certain historians who have exaggerated his conduct. Despite all representations on his behalf he condemned the writings of Baius (q.v.), who ended by submitting.

He worked incessantly to unite the Christian princes against the hereditary enemy, the Turks. In the first year of his pontificate he had ordered a solemn jubilee, exhorting the faithful to penance and almsgiving to obtain the victory from God. He supported the Knights of Malta, sent money for the fortification of the free towns of Italy, furnished monthly contributions to the Christians of Hungary, and endeavoured especially to bring Maximilian, Philip II, and Charles I together for the defence of Christendom. In 1567 for the same purpose he collected from all convents one-tenth of their revenues.

Pope St Pius V sees the Victory at Lepanto. This fresco is in the cell of St Pius V in Santa Sabina, Rome.

In 1570 when Solyman II attacked Cyprus, threatening all Christianity in the West, he never rested till he united the forces of Venice, Spain, and the Holy See. He sent his blessing to Don John of Austria, the commander-in-chief of the expedition, recommending him to leave behind all soldiers of evil life, and promising him the victory if he did so. He ordered public prayers, and increased his own supplications to heaven. On the day of the Battle of Lepanto, 7 Oct., 1571, he was working with the cardinals, when, suddenly, interrupting his work opening the window and looking at the sky, he cried out, “A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army”.

He burst into tears when he heard of the victory, which dealt the Turkish power a blow from which it never recovered. In memory of this triumph he instituted for the first Sunday of October the feast of the Rosary, and added to the Litany of Loreto the supplication “Help of Christians”. He was hoping to put an end to the power of Islam by forming a general alliance of the Italian cities Poland, France, and all Christian Europe, and had begun negotiations for this purpose when he died of gravel, repeating “O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience!” He left the memory of a rare virtue and an unfailing and inflexible integrity. He was beatified by Clement X in 1672, and canonized by Clement XI in 1712.

The tomb of Pope Pius V in Santa Maria Maggiore.

MENDHAM, Life and Pontificate of St. Pius V (London, 1832 and 1835); Acta SS., I May; TOURON, Hommes illustres de l’ordre de St.-Dominique, IV; FALLOUX, Histoire de S. Pie V (Paris, 1853); PASTOR, Gesch. der Papste, ARTAUD DE MONTOR, History of the Popes (New York, 1867); Pope Pius V, the Father of Christendom in Dublin Review, LIX (London, 1866), 273.

T. LATASTE (Catholic Encyclopedia 1913)

BREAKING: Pepsi Stops Using Aborted Fetal Cell Lines to Test Flavors

From LifeNews: Vinnedge informed LifeNews today of Pepsi’s decision and hailed it as a major breakthrough and achievement by thousands of concerned consumers who have been writing and boycotting PepsiCo beverages since last May.

LCWR-Vatican tensions: Fr. James Martin sides with American sisters

From Vatican Insider:

Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin, one of America’s most influential and popular clerics, has publicly expressed his support for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, on Twitter.

Read more here:

World: The Rise of Catholicism in Africa and de-Christianization of Europe

On March 10th , Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Substitute for General Affairs, presented to Benedict XVI the 2012 editions of the Pontifical Yearbook and the Statistical Yearbook of the Church. The Pontifical Yearbook 2012 shows that Europe continued to de-Christianize in 2010 while in Africa, Catholicism continued to boom. The number of Catholics in the world in 2010 increased to nearly 1,196 million, up from 1,181 million in 2009, for an increase of 15 million faithful (1.3%).

Read more:

Pepsi Boycott ends!   (Hopefully it won’t turn into another Susan b Komen situation though). Plus they still need to remove the ones that are on their shelves.

Before this, Feb 28th, the Security and Exchange Commission ruled that PepsiCo’s use of aborted fetal remains in their research and development agreement with Senomyx to produce flavor enhancers falls under “ordinary business operations”.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

From Gangster To Monk: This Saint Is A Noble Model of Confidence





Peter Armengol was born in Guárdia dels Prats, a small village in the archdiocese of Tarragon, Spain in 1238. He belonged to the house of the barons of Rocafort, descendants of the counts of Urgel, whose ancestors were directly linked to the counts of Barcelona and the monarchs of Aragon and Castile.

From Brigand to Convert
Despite the great care taken by his parents regarding his education, young Peter gave himself over to a life of total dissipation in the company of other dissolute youths who led him on the wide road of vice and caprice. “Abyssus abyssum invocat” – deep calleth on deep – say the Scriptures. Thus Peter joined a gang of criminals who, pursued by justice, led the life of bandits in the mountains. Soon the young Armengol became the leader of that gang.

On account of this bad behavior of his son, Arnold Armengol de Moncada moved to the kingdom of Valencia, recently conquered from the Moors by King Jaime.

This monarch had to embark upon a trip to Montpellier in order to deal with the King of France on grave matters of interest to both crowns. To travel safely, he commissioned Arnold to go before him on the road in order to rout any of the assailants who often robbed and even killed travelers in the region of the Pyrenees.

At the most dangerous part of the journey, the retinue of the noble Spaniard saw itself surrounded by brigands. Arnold rushed at them with his troops, wounding some and apprehending others. Warned that at a certain point the evildoers would defend themselves with particular energy, he spurred his horse forward with sword in hand and urged his men to attack with greater ardor in order to defeat the leader of the bandits. Indeed, Arnold himself was the first to encounter the leader, engaging him in hand-to-hand combat. Grief came upon both noble and brigand, however, when each realized whom he had wounded. Bathed in tears, Peter prostrated himself at the feet of his father, surrendering to him his sword, with it, his heart.

Penance for His Misdeeds
Filled with confusion and shame, the repentant youth retired to a Mercedarian monastery in Barcelona. With an ardent desire to repair the injuries done to God, he resolved the resolution to become a monk in that religious order founded by Saint Peter Nolasco to ransom Catholics captured by the Mohammedans. He requested the habit with such insistence and gave such conclusive proofs of his vocation that he was received there by the Venerable William de Bas, the French-born successor of the holy founder in the government of the Order.

St. Peter Armengol

The passions that had previously revolted with violence were now repressed with violence by Peter Armengol in religious life. He understood how to subdue them with such promptitude, through rigorous penances, mortification of the senses and continual prayer, that even before the end of his novitiate he had managed to subject them to the dominion of his will and reason.

During the eight years of his profession, he was entrusted with the important task of dealing directly with the ransom of captives. He carried out this function in the kingdoms of Granada and Murcia, provinces of Spain that were still in the power of the Saracens. Nonetheless, his greatest desire was to go to Africa and become a captive for the ransom of Christians.

On an expedition to that continent, he arrived in Bugia in the company of Friar William Florentino. There they ransomed 119 captives without any incident that would impede their return to their country. However, before departing, Friar Armengol learned of a prison with 18 children who, impelled by the threats of punishments of the barbarous Mohammedans, remained exposed to the danger of denying the Faith. The religious happily offered himself for the ransom of the innocent captives. His release was promised in exchange for a stipulated sum, but if the payment did not arrive within the set time he would suffer harsh punishments. Divine Providence had disposed that this man of God would thus give proof of his special confidence in the omnipotent mediation of the Blessed Virgin, to whom he was deeply devoted.


Saint Peter Armengol, a model of unshakable confidence, sustained by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Flaming Torch of Confidence
In captivity, Friar Armengol worked prodigies of charity among the infidels, converting many by the efficacy of his preaching, which was confirmed by many miracles.

The time prescribed for the delivery of the money came and passed without payment being made, so the infidels threw him into prison. There they denied him even the food necessary for his sustenance, but Our Lord, by means of His angels, miraculously provided for His most faithful servant.

Eventually tired of tormenting him, the Moors then conspired to take his life. They accused him of blaspheming and cursing Mohammed and of being a spy sent by the Christian kings, thus raising the ire of the Saracen judge who oversaw his case. The judge condemned Friar Peter to death by hanging.

Friar Armengol prayed to Our Lady and confided in her. In the hands of the infidels he could not defend himself, for he was nothing; he was mere dust. But, in truth, he was a flaming torch of confidence in Our Lady!

The unjust sentence was executed. Due to a prohibition imposed by the Moors, who wanted Peter’s body to serve as food for birds of prey, no one dared to take it down, so the body of the holy man remained suspended on the gallows. Six days went by; then Friar William arrived with the ransom money. Learning what had happened, he went with great sorrow and emotion, in the company of some captives, to see the lamentable sight. Upon approaching the site of the punishment he noted that the body, after so long a time, did not emit a bad odor but rather exhaled a heavenly fragrance. To the shock of all, Friar Armengol then spoke to him, telling him that the Blessed Mother had conserved his life in these circumstances so that this might be a perpetual reminder of her marvels. Astounded by the stupendous miracle, some pagans converted to the Catholic religion.

Conversations with the Queen of Angels
Barcelona, learning of the portentous miracle, impatiently awaited the return of the unconquerable martyr of Jesus Christ. In the city, they received him with indescribable joy, accompanying him from the port to his monastery, giving thanks to Our Lord for His marvels. The religious wanted to hear from Friar Peter’s mouth what had happened, but despite their earnest pleas, he would not speak. Finally, the superior ordered him to tell all that had occurred. Not resisting the voice of obedience, the man of God spoke these words: “The Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our own mother, asked her most holy Son to conserve my life. Having obtained this favor, this same sovereign Queen sustained me with her most holy hands, so that the weight of my body would not hang upon the rope by which I was suspended.” Upon saying these words he felt such a sweetness in his heart that he became enraptured in an admirable ecstasy.

Friar Peter Armengol thereafter always had a twisted neck and a pale color, most authentic signs of what had taken place. He retired to the monastery of Our Lady de los Prados, where his life was a continuous series of heroic virtues and familiar conversations with the Queen of Angels, whom he loved so dearly that it would be impossible to imagine a more reverent devotion or a more filial tenderness. Always remembering those days of his hanging, he told the religious of the monastery on the various occasions when he spoke to them of this marvel: “Believe me, my dear brothers, that I do not believe myself to have lived, except for those few but most happy days when, hanging from the gallows, I was held to be dead.”

Later assailed by a serious illness, he was given prophetic knowledge of the time of his death. He delivered his spirit into the hands of his Creator on April 27, 1304. Our Lord deigned to give proofs of the glorification of His servant with seven miracles, the cures of three men and four women, even before his venerable body could be buried. On March 28, 1686, Pope Innocent XI approved the public cult to the saint, and, in the eighteenth century, Pope Benedict XIV inscribed the name of Saint Peter Armengol in the Roman Martyrology.

The tomb of St. Peter Armengol in the church of St. Jaume at La Guàrdia dels Prats.

The Tomb of the Saint
Today the remains of Saint Peter Armengol can be found in Guárdia dels Prats. The small village still preserves much of its ancient medieval character: tortuous, narrow streets; stone pavements; buildings that recall ancient palaces or noble residences; and a charming Romanesque-style church whose principal nave dates from the time of the Mercedarian saint.

The body of Saint Peter Armengol, as well as that of an illustrious contemporary, Blessed Oliva, were incorrupt until 1936. During the Spanish Civil War, communist militia invaded and sacked the church, carrying off the two venerable bodies to the public square where, burning them, they reduced them to ashes. Some children gathered up what they could of these ashes and took the precious remains to their homes, where their mothers kept them with great care. Later, after the communists were vanquished, the precious relics were returned to the church. These remains are today conserved together in a reliquary over the main altar of the church. Forgotten by the progressivism that has infiltrated and intoxicated so many Catholic circles, these ashes await better days, in silent testimony of the sanctity of the Catholic Church and Christian civilization.

Property destruction: the new ‘free speech’?

by Ben Johnson

The Left exercising “free speech.”

The Left exercising “free speech.”

April 27, 2012 ( - Pro-life advocates, pro-family organizations, and traditional Christians do not expect to get a fair shake in the media, but the dogged, seasoned journalists of the prestige publications have overlooked a disturbing new trend: an increasing number of left-wing activists claim that destroying or defacing other people’s property is part of their First Amendment “free speech” rights.

Read more:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Give Your Mother A Special Mother’s Day Gift: Enroll Her Name On A Banner in Candle Light Procession in Fatima, Portugal


Go here to inscribe your mother’s name:

Cry For Argentina

by Gary J. Isbell

Cry for Argentina

Evita Peron once said, “One cannot accomplish anything without fanaticism.” If fanaticism can be defined as enthusiasm not guided by principles, then it appears that today’s Argentina is following in Evita’s footsteps. Its president, Cristina Kirchner, has just taken the fanatically and unprincipled move of stealing the majority stake in the country’s largest oil company, YPF, from the Spanish firm Repsol.

In August of 2011, Kirchner stated that “equality and freedom” and “defending the country’s interests” were among the most important priorities as President.[1] It seems that equality and freedom do not apply to Repsol.

Repsol owned 57% of YPF when Kirchner simply stepped in this month and took 51%. It is interesting to note that YPF was actually privatized by a previous Peronist administration in 1990. It was legitimately sold to Spain’s oil giant Repsol. Now claiming that YPF belongs to Argentina, the government has “unprivatized” the company by confiscating all but 6% of Repsol’s stake in YPF.

This abuse of authority has provoked outrage in Madrid, coupled with threats of retaliation. Such arbitrary measures are also scaring off businesses that might invest in the country. Spanish company, New Network Solutions (N2S), for example, has cancelled plans to open up offices in Argentina.

N2S managing director Francisco De La Peña told The New York Times “Argentina really looked like a very attractive market for us and we believed it was serious in its commitment to foreign investment — until Monday’s decision.”

Such nationalization of industry is hardly new to the Argentine president. In 2008, Kirchner was responsible for nationalizing Argentina’s private pension program along with its largest airline, Aerolineas Argentinas. Neither of these has done well financially since that time. Her economic policies have proven detrimental to investment, leading to double-digit inflation and capital flight that nearly doubled from $11.4 billion in 2010 to $21.5 billion in 2011.

The investment climate is further complicated by manipulated inflation and economic data to the point where, The Economist has announced that it will no longer publish “official” Argentine statistics. “We are tired of being an unwilling party to what appears to be a deliberate attempt to deceive voters and swindle investors.”[2]

Both Cristina Kirchner and her late husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner, imposed a labyrinth of nationally imposed price controls and government subsidies that makes foreign investment unappealing.

The result is a false notion of equality that merely steals from those who have property to support government policies that supposedly help the poor but more often than not, enrich government bureaucrats. Robin Hood was wrong. One cannot steal from the rich under the guise of doing good for the poor. This is not equality, it is stealing. It is in fact, the distribution of misery.

In an article from The Wall Street Journal, The Inequality Obsession,[3] Holman Jenkins writes; “If it were learned that the car driven by the average American is 10 times more likely to burst into flames than the car driven by the richest 1%, what should the policy response be? Should it be to mandate that cars driven by the rich burst into flames more often?”

This seems to be exactly what President Kirchner is doing — spreading the misery. The closer Argentina strays toward socialism, the deeper she will sink into desolation and chaos. Perhaps someday, Argentina will come to her senses and see that there is no free ride. Until then, we can only pray and cry for Argentina.




Catholic diocese sued by teacher fired for IVF use

by Kathleen Gilbert

FORT WAYNE, Indiana, April 27, 2012 ( - A Catholic teacher in Indiana is suing the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and the board of the Catholic school that decided not to renew her teaching contract after learning she was undergoing in-vitro fertilization.

Emily Herx alleged in a U.S. District Court this month that her removal last year from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School was both a form of sexual discrimination and a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a filing obtained by to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on Wednesday.

Herx’s lawsuit alleges that, because she was not an ordained minister nor trained in the Catholic faith as a condition of employment, school officials shouldn’t be protected by federal laws safeguarding the employment rights of religious organizations.

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend didn’t immediately return a request for comment from

The lawsuit states that Herx suffers from a diagnosed condition that causes infertility, which is considered a disability under the law. Although she alerted employers to the first round of IVF, the school’s principal did not “object, alert Herx to any Catholic teachings or doctrine that might be implicated, or take any disciplinary action against Herx,” according to the lawsuit.

When she asked for more time off for a second round over a year later, Herx was told by the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Chuch that there was concern over the scandal caused by the treatment, and learned shortly after that her contract would not be renewed in a notification that cited “improprieties related to Church teachings or law.” The filing states that Herx “was not trained, informed or warned” about which fertility practices were contrary to Church law.

According to the lawsuit, Herx appealed to Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who responded by affirming Catholic teaching that IVF is “an intrinsic evil, which means that no circumstances can justify it.”

Herx argued that she did not destroy any embryos, as is common in IVF, and is seeking compensation for financial losses, emotional distress, and punitive damages. Her lawyer told the Gazette that her client “participated in the [federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s] process in good faith and attempted to resolve the matter without litigation.”

The issue of religious employer rights has become increasingly high-profile in the wake of several conflicts with the Obama administration.

In a January ruling on Hosanna v. Tabor, the Supreme Court sided unanimously against EEOC officials seeking to overturn the ministerial exception, a legal precedent guarding religious groups’ choice of ministers. Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration announced final rules under the health care law mandating religious employers to pay for employees’ birth control, including abortifacient drugs and sterilizations, a move that several organizations have challenged in court, and which was subject to an attempted repeal in Congress earlier this year.

Prior to both, Belmont Abbey College sued the government after Obama officials in 2009 accused the conservative Catholic college of “sexual discrimination” for refusing to cover contraceptives in employee health plans.

President: We would ‘rather eat grass’ than accept homosexual behavior

by Christine Dhanagom

LUSAKA, April 27, 2012 ( - In the face of U.S. threats to cut off foreign aid, President Yahya Jammeh defended Gambian laws banning homosexual behavior in comments to the country’s National Assembly last Friday.

“If you want us to be ungodly for you to give us aid, take your aid away, we will survive,” said Jammeh, in comments that were reported by the Daily Observer. “We will rather eat grass than accept this ungodly evil attitude that is anti-God, anti-human and anti-creation.”

The country’s stance against homosexual behavior has come under increased scrutiny after President Obama announced in December that the U.S. would look at how accepting a country was of homosexuality when considering foreign aid allocation.

On the same day that the Administration’s new policy was announced, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that gay rights and human rights were “one and the same” in a speech before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

British Prime Minister David Cameron had made a similar statement in October of 2011, threatening to reduce or cut off aid to African countries that prosecuted homosexual acts or did not permit gay “marriage.”

Reactions to the threats have varied in African countries with anti-sodomy laws. In Malawi, where the country’s first openly gay couple was sentenced to fourteen years of hard labor after holding an “engagement” ceremony, officials had pledged to reconsider the ban within days of the Obama Administration’s announcement. Religious and political leaders in other African countries have blasted the decision, however.

According to President Jammeh, the Gambian law is enduring because it is rooted in the country’s culture and religion. Acceptance of homosexual acts would compromise the nation’s dignity and “insult God,” he said. The country is predominately Muslim, but is also home to many Christians.

He noted that Gambia had lost many of its traditional practices to the influence of western culture, but said that this was an issue where the country would stand firm.

“We lost our traditional head scarf for a necktie, but we will not lose our humanity for the so-called human rights,” he said. “We will respect human rights where a human being behaves like a human being.”

He added: “Let me make it very clear that if you want me to offend God for you to give me aid, you are making a great mistake. You will not bribe me to do what is evil and ungodly.”

Jammeh has taken a hard line against homosexual behavior during his four terms in office as President of Gambia. He has received criticism for threatening overly harsh penalties for homosexual acts, including advocating the death penalty. According to the U.S. Department of State, this threat was never translated into law, and current penalties do not include execution.

Catholic Schools Face 'Indoctrination' Claims Over Homosexual "Marriage"

From the Telegraph: The Roman Catholic Church contacted its secondary schools in England and Wales asking them to encourage pupils to back the campaign against homosexual “marriage.”

Student Who Disagrees With The Homosexual Lifestyle Gets Booted From Classroom

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fiery Saint and Outspoken Marian Apostle – Saint Louis de Montfort – April 28

St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort -- April 28 

In the life of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, one sees that he was a man all ablaze with zeal for the glory of God and His Blessed Mother.

The Torch of Mary

Just as fire brings light to material things, so did Saint Louis bring the light of his teaching to countless souls in France. During a time when devotion to Our Blessed Mother was not well practiced, he saw that he had the mission to be an apostle of Mary, to guide souls to Jesus through Mary. He went about the regions of Brittany and the Vendée as a missionary, preaching this most perfect and efficacious means to go to Our Lord. He taught that if one does not go through Our Lady to Our Lord, it is like relying on an imperfect sculptor who can make mistakes in forming one's soul.

Yet, if one goes through Our Lady and consecrates herself as a slave of love, one is cast in the perfect mold of Our Lord. She will guide us and form us without error because she is most perfectly united to her Divine Son. Saint Louis also taught that she is that most kind Queen Mother through whom a humble sinner can obtain favors and graces from the King, her Divine Son. Thus Saint Louis especially spread this precious devotion to Our Lady like a light in the darkness of a France on the verge of the French Revolution.

Often, light can illuminate, but it does not always give warmth and heat. Likewise Saint Louis' teachings may have enlightened many a soul, but if he did not give the warmth of example, he would not have profoundly moved many. He was a man of strong conviction who did not tolerate any offense against God or His Blessed Mother. On one occasion, for example, he was walking through the streets of a town when his attention was caught by a singer who was singing a licentious song and selling the music to his indecent song. Saint Louis would not let this offense pass; he took the music sheets and tore them up in the face of the singer.

Another time, when Saint Louis was preaching in a church, a nearby tavern was erupting in a disrespectful ruckus. Saint Louis, not tolerating this offense, went over and told the drunkards that it would be better that they never return there. Fists began to fly, yet Saint Louis came out victorious. The acceptance of upright and true doctrine is good, but is feeble if one shrinks away from defending them.

When a fire burns in a hearth, the wood that is burnt is reduced to ashes, to nothing. One could say that the wood itself gives itself up in order to provide light and heat. This metaphor can be applied to the sufferings and hardships Saint Louis bore in addition to the great physical and spiritual exertions of his missionary work. Saint Louis encountered much opposition throughout his lifetime, even from his ecclesiastical superiors.

The influence of Jansenism had taken its toll even among high ecclesiastics and Saint Louis' missionary work was a boulder that opposed the current. Sometimes, bishops would banish him from their dioceses or refuse him permission to say Mass. He was despised and rejected but, like Our Lord, he suffered without complaint. He had the true spirit of the cross of Christ that does not cower from suffering, but, rather, endures it heroically, offering up trials for holocausts.

The comparison of Saint Louis de Montfort's life to fire is incomplete in one sense. After a fire has burned out, it simply ceases to exist. However, when a man's whole life is consumed by the fire of his dedication and zeal, his body may deteriorate, but his soul is enriched, fortified, and made perfect. Now his soul burns with the most intense love before the King and Queen of Heaven, They whom he served so zealously on earth.


Another of his fiery missives can be read here:

Only a pagan or a bad Christian could fail to be affected at the immense loss of the infinite treasure of souls which Jesus Christ redeemed.

So pray for that intention, my dear friends, and pray also for me, that my sinfulness and unworthiness do not hinder what God and his holy Mother wish to accomplish through my ministry. I am seeking divine Wisdom; help me to find it. I am faced with many enemies.

All those who love and esteem transitory and perishable things of this world treat me with contempt, mock and persecute me, and the powers of evil have conspired together to incite against me everywhere all those in authority. Surrounded by all this I am very weak, even weakness personified; I am ignorant, even ignorance personified; and even worse besides which I do not dare to speak of.

Alone and poor (cf Ps 24.16) as I am, I would certainly perish were I not supported by our Lady and the prayers of good people, especially your own. These are obtaining for me from God the gift of speech or divine Wisdom, which will be the remedy for all my ills and a powerful weapon against all my enemies. With Mary it is easy. I place all confidence in her, despite the snarls of the devil and the world, and I say with St. Bernard, "In her I have placed unbounded confidence; she is the whole reason for my hope."

Have these words explained to you for I would not have dared to propose them on my own authority.

Through Mary I will seek and find Jesus; I will crush the serpent's head and overcome all my enemies as well as myself, for the greater glory of God.

Farewell but not goodbye, for if God spares me, I shall pass this way again, either to stay for a short while, subject to the obedience I owe to your good bishop who is so zealous for the salvation of men and so compassionate to us in our weakness, or while on my way to some other place; for since God is my Father, wherever he is offended by sinners, there is my dwelling-place.

"Let those who do good go on doing good. Let the unclean continue to be unclean (Rev 22.11).  For some the smell of death leads to death,  For others the sweet smell of life leads to life" (2 Cor 2.16).

I am all yours, Louis Marie de Montfort, Priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.

Saint Louis de Montfort to the people of Montbernage

Gonzaga University to Honor Pro-Abortion Advocate Desmond Tutu

By William Stover

Desmond Tutu

Anti-life advocate,
Desmond Tutu.

Pro-abortionist presented to Catholic students as
a “moral icon”

The notorious pro-abortion Anglican cleric, Desmond Tutu, has been invited to deliver a keynote address at Gonzaga University’s Senior Commencement ceremony on May 13.

Please sign your respectful protest here

Gonzaga president Thayne McCulloh, who plans to give the anti-life figure an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, shockingly claims that “He is certainly among the most prominent moral icons of our time.” (see link)

The decision, however, has upset Catholic students and alumni.  After all, Tutu has consistently opposed the perennial moral teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly regarding the right to life.  As a supporter of abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and socialist policies, Tutu is clearly not qualified to speak at a Catholic university, much less receive honors and accolades.

His continued support for abortion alone is enough to cause grave scandal. In fact, according to, he supports Marie Stopes International, one of the world’s largest abortion providers.  Laws that protect the unborn, he said, are “immoral” in some cases.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2004 directive, states: “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” or give “awards, honors or platforms” to such individuals.

Will Gonzaga University reverse its poor decision and disinvite Tutu, or will it throw its Catholic identity out the window in exchange for a fleeting moment of political correctness?

Please sign your respectful protest here

Contact information:
Gonzaga University
Dr. Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
502 East Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258-0102
Phone: (509) 313-6102

TFP-America Needs Fatima Spring Conference: Rallying to the Rosary and Fatima

Usually conferences are held in comfortable hotels with all the amenities to make the experience uneventful. However, at the American TFP’s National Spring Conference in Kansas City, participants suddenly found themselves outside on the sidewalk of a busy intersection with blustery winds praying the Rosary.

Such was the program at the April 21-22 event which mixed a lively program of talks with “hands-on” experience. The theme of the spring conference was “Why the Rosary and Fatima will Decide Our Future.”

A special emphasis was given to the America Needs Fatima Public Square Rosary Rallies. Naturally, the theory of how to organize rallies led to actually holding a rally at the nearby Country Club Plaza as part of the conference.
Many of the participants were in fact rally captains from across the country.

They came to hone their skills for the coming rallies later in October. To this effect, conference organizer Michael Drake spoke on the lessons learned from the rallies over the years.

TFP Student Action director John Ritchie held a lively talk/workshop on “Ten Ways to Improve Your Rosary Rally and Reach More Souls.” Mr. Kevin Ritchie made the connection between the rallies and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised at Fatima.

A focus of the conference was also the timeliness of the Fatima message to our days. TFP speaker Michael Whitcraft gave a masterful presentation on applying the message to the present situation of the United States. American TFP Vice-President John Horvat spoke on how Fatima calls Catholics to heroic sanctity.

Other speakers included Mr. Mario Navarro da Costa of the TFP’s Washington Bureau who showed how the life of TFP founder Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira is an example of how one committed Catholic can make a difference. TFP speaker and author Norman Fulkerson demonstrated why devotion to Our Lady is crucial for the times while Cesar Franco from TFP Louisiana gave an excellent talk on the need for confidence in the Blessed Mother.

Byron Whitcraft of the TFP-run St. Louis de Montfort Academy put together and presented a general history of the TFP and its America Needs Fatima campaign.

The occasion proved to be an excellent opportunity for TFP supporters, old and new, to meet, converse and exchange ideas. It also served as a public witness to the fact that the rosary and Fatima need to be in the public square now more than ever!  

Media and nuns colluding in deception, says expert: Vatican’s reform no David and Goliath battle

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, April 25, 2012 ( – Despite few in the western world having seen any in the last four decades, the image of the nun as the sweet, selfless and courageous “bride of Christ” is remarkably enduring. And according to U.S. Catholic author, researcher and expert on Catholic religious life in the U.S. Donna Steichen, this “classic” and noble image is now being used knowingly by the LCWR sisters and their supporters as a means of generating public sympathy in their fight with the Vatican.
Last week the media and the “progressive” end of the Catholic Church reacted with outrage to the announcement by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is to be reformed after a doctrinal investigation found that their focus had turned more towards radical feminist politics than their Catholic religious foundations.

The picture being manufactured by sympathetic media, including the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Independent, closely following the lead of the National Catholic Reporter and America, the two main organs of the extreme Catholic left in the U.S., is that of an epic struggle between a tyrannical, overbearing, “out of touch,” Vatican, and a group of plucky, underdog sisters, fighting a guerilla battle for intellectual and moral liberty: a theme one Catholic blogging wag has described as an endless recap of the plot to Star Wars.

That this shopworn theme is a deliberate falsehood, Steichen says, is what Catholics should first understand when reading either the secular mainstream coverage of the affair or the sisters’ own comments.

“This spin,” she said, “is omnipresent, always interesting, and often unintentionally comic. But however maliciously intended, I think it contains an element of nostalgia. It proves the irresistible attraction of goodness. Not even the liberal mainstream media can fail to see its beauty.”

Dressed in a flowing habit and devoting her life to educating children and building hospitals, or gliding serenely down spotless convent hallways and singing Gregorian chant in Latin: the classic image of the nun is less stereotype than it is archetype, a cultural icon of everything good and holy and true, and it is as much beloved by media as it is by Catholics.

Steichen told LSN that the only trouble with this picture is that the “good sisters” made in the image of this archetype are mostly an artifact of U.S. history and are now nearly extinct. LCWR represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 religious sisters in the U.S., with an average age of 74 and climbing. With the exception of a handful of young, deliberately faithful, countercultural, and largely recently-founded communities, the LCWR nuns and sisters have abandoned not only the habit that symbolized their devotion, but the faith that defined it, she said.

Donna Steichen spent 10 years researching feminism in the Catholic Church, and particularly in the Catholic religious life since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. The result was what many consider the definitive book on the political and philosophical origins of the collapse of the U.S. religious life, entitled Ungodly rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminisim,” published by Ignatius Press in 1991.

The religious core of Catholic sisterhoods was replaced decades ago, she told LSN, by an extreme left political ideology manifested in a feminism that has grown increasingly radical and bizarre, and in recent years, infused with New Age and occult practices that have nothing to do with Catholicism.

Starting in the 1960s and ‘70s the sisters leaped on the bandwagon of the broader social and sexual revolution, attending workshops in the Human Potential Movement and “alternative” spirituality, taking classes in Marxist theory, abandoning their customs as well as the habit, and taking up the mantras of the Esalen Institute and, most significantly, of academic feminism.
Even worse, the sisters then took these ideologies and practices and started feeding them through the conduits of their educational institutions to infect the mainstream of Catholic Church in the U.S. The result, Steichen said, has been “the suffering of innocent people, in injustice, lost faith, and collapsed institutions.”

The Vatican’s attempt at reform is 40 years overdue, but unlikely to rescue either LCWR or the communities it represents from impending extinction, she said. The good news is what sounds like bad news: “It is evident to all observers that the feminist contingent of women religious is indeed dying out, what with that mean age of 74.”

But just what is so bad about feminism? One lady commenting on last week’s LSN story about the Vatican’s doctrinal assessment accused Cardinal Levada of outright lies: “HOW could a nun be an extreme liberal feminist? It doesn’t seem likely.”

“The misunderstanding arises from failure to define the term ‘feminism,’” Steichen said. “Feminists themselves avoid clearly defining it, so the general public accepts the rosy impression cultivated by advocates in media and academia; that the term simply means recognition that women are full and equal members of the human race who can do anything men can do.”

But this is a bit of public relations sleight of hand, she said. “Feminism is an ideology, and it is designed to destroy the family as the basic unit of society.” That ideology, she said, encompasses an entire universal outlook that, once adopted by an individual, ultimately totally eclipses any religious notions about the nature of human life, sexuality, family, the purpose of the state and finally, the nature of God.

Anyone interested, Steichen said, in investigating the origins of academic and radical feminism have to look no further than the social writings of Freidrich Engels, colleague of Karl Marx, who wrote that ultimately, the communist view of the family as a sub-unit of the state, would overrule the traditional Judeo-Christian view. Its ugliest fruit, she said, is abortion, which the ideology regards as an absolute necessity to separate womanhood from motherhood.

Feminism, Steichen said, is “detestable” because it is “so demeaning of women.”

“It denies the value of their natural role, urging them to trade it for the shabby substitutes of paid participation in the work force.
“Religious feminism is worst of all, because it further demands that women cease to recognize God’s eternal order. Like [Planned Parenthood founder] Margaret Sanger, it commands women to serve ‘no Gods, no masters’. Which somehow comes to mean ‘except feminist ideology’.”

Steichen suggests that those who are outraged at the Vatican examine some of the speeches made by speakers at LCWR’s annual conferences, many of which are available on their website. These speakers were specifically cited in the CDF’s document as problematic. One, Sr. Laurie Brink, was particularly noted as flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ when she gave the LCWR keynote address in 2007, telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they needed to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

The CDF, Steichen said, is echoing the long-deferred feelings of many U.S. Catholics when it noted that these types of statements, endorsed many times by LCWR, “is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life.”

Set to offer the keynote address at this year’s assembly in August is Barbara Marx Hubbard, a New Age guru, who is scheduled to speak on the theme, “Mystery Unfolding: Leading in the Evolutionary Now”.
A sample of Marx Hubbard’s writing gives a flavour of what the LCWR is looking for in a speaker:
Although we may never know what really happened, we do know that the story told in the Gospels is that Jesus’ resurrection was a first demonstration of what I call the post-human universal person. We are told that he did not die. He made his transition, released his animal body, and reappeared in a new body at the next level of physicality to tell all of us that we would do what he did. The new person that he became had continuity of consciousness with his life as Jesus of Nazareth, an earthly life in which he had become fully human and fully divine. Jesus’ life stands as a model of the transition from Homo sapiens to Homo universalis.
Despite the evidence being available at the click of a mouse, Steichen said, a great many Catholics still refuse to believe that the nuns have gone so far off the deep end.
Asked whether the Vatican’s reform plans will have the desired effect, Steichen remains dubious. “Will this process ‘work’? As a matter of fact, I do not expect mass repentance and re-conversion. In my experience, repentance is rare among ideologues of religious feminism.
“And I would be more hopeful about the prospect of institutional reform if the implementation were to be directed from the Vatican, or if the bishops assigned to head the USCCB ‘reform’ were men with sterner reputations. We need to pray for everyone concerned.”
She noted, however, that the mere fact that the attempt is being made at last “serves important purposes.”
“After decades of leniency toward them, it puts the Church officially on record as condemning the errors of radical feminism, New Age monism, and general doctrinal defiance. It must succeed in warning Catholic educational and professional institutions and organizations to enforce doctrinal orthodoxy even from women in positions of power.
“If the attempt fails, their continued defiance will be so salient as to force the Vatican into further disciplinary action. In either case, it is another signal that the era of post-concilar upheaval is over.”
As for the prediction, made by the UK’s Independent, that Rome is facing a “PR disaster” with the reform attempt, Steichen said, “Hostile voices in media will do their best to make it so, but among faithful Catholics, it is more likely to be a PR triumph.

‘Angry Queers’ smash church windows in Portland

by Ben Johnson

PORTLAND, OREGON, April 26, 2012, ( – A homosexual activist group calling itself “Angry Queers” claimed responsibility for smashing nine windows in a church known for teaching traditional sexual morality early Tuesday morning. 

“Upon arriving at the church, we discovered nine separate windows had been smashed in with rocks, including two beautiful 100-year-old stained glass windows,” wrote Tim Smith, pastor of the Portland campus of Mars Hill Church. “We estimate the damage to be several thousand dollars.”

The vandals sent an e-mail to local television station KOIN-TV stating they took the action, because “Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman.”

Church members say they hold to “traditional Bible-based views on homosexuality.”

Eyewitnesses told police they saw six young men wearing “dark, mask-like partial face coverings” flee the scene around 2:30 a.m.

The Oregonian reported “black-clad demonstrators…some of whom wore kerchiefs to cover their faces, shouted profanities at adults and children” last October, when the new campus of the Seattle-based church opened. About 20 protesters blocked the entrance and screamed, “Shame on you homophobes. You’re not welcome here. You’re going to burn in Hell.”

The Portland location of Mars Hill Church opened last September, one of 14 nationwide satellites under nationally known pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle. The church postponed its opening last September after learning LGBT activists planned a “kiss-in” at their first ceremony.

Police believe the same activists who smashed the windows also struck a nearby U.S. Bank branch Tuesday morning. The bank had been vandalized in February just before the Occupy Portland protest.

The latest series of attacks comes just days after the Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that historic Civil Rights provisions allow transgender employees to sue over alleged discrimination, a new interpretation of the law. The shift follows months of transsexual advocacy by this administration, including hosting the first-ever White House transgender summit.

President Obama had a transsexual nanny as a boy in Indonesia.

Liberal Christians have generally condemned the church desecration – and the church. Christian Piatt at the Sojourners website wrote the Angry Queers had “righteous anger,” but “such a response actually serves an opposite purpose from what I believe was intended.”

Chuck Currie, a local minister in the liberal United Church of Christ (UCC), wrote, “If Mars Hills Church represents the worst of Christianity, and I believe it sadly does, those responsible for this attack represent the worst of Portland.”

Lavinia Marks, who lives next door to the church, said, “Part of being liberal is being tolerant of everybody.”

But not everyone opposes the vandalism. “We support the action and stand in total solidarity!” said members of local LGBT activist groups Blow Pony and Homocult. “Mars Hill has not been trying to build relations with our community. Comparing homosexuality to cancer is not building relations!”

The church has refused to respond in kind or allow the violence to dampen their enthusiasm.

“A few piles of broken glass doesn’t change anything for us,” Pastor Smith wrote on his congregation’s FaceBook page. “Be encouraged, stay on the message, keep on the mission and I’ll see you this Sunday.”

Catholic Academy Sees Progress on New Building

This is a website that we set up to keep our donors and friends up to date with what we are doing on the new building at Saint Louis de Montfort Academy.

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to fight the good fight.

Cookies for Life: 10-Year-Old Leaves Girl Scouts, Sells Cookies to Save Babies

by Christina Martin

Grace Swanke sells cookies for a pro-life cause.

This heroic 10-year-old girl was once a loyal Girl Scout cookie-seller in Boise, Idaho. That changed one day after a family meeting with her parents, John and Mary Swanke.

Read more:

Spanish bishop publishes ex-homosexual testimonies on diocesan

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

April 25, 2012 ( - Juan Antonio Reig Plà, the Catholic bishop of the Spanish diocese of Alcalá De Henares, has responded to recent attacks by homosexual groups by posting testimonies on his website of individuals who rejoice in their abandonment of the homosexual lifestyle.

“I want to thank especially those who feel, or have felt, Same-Sex Attraction (SSA), and have seen fit to send me your testimonies; more than one hundred of you have written your experiences up to now,” writes Reig Plà. “I must thank you because I have seen in them the hand of God and I have learned much from your suffering and your hopes.”

Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Plà

He adds that those who have written “are collaborating in this way to break the barrier of silence regarding the possibility of change for those who freely wish to do so, and that’s why it’s important to publish and spread them!”

The letters were published following a controversy created by a sermon given by Reig Plà on Good Friday, in which he compared the misery of those who are living the homosexual lifestyle to hell. He then generated outrage from homosexual and socialist groups by recommending therapy for homosexuals in a follow-up interview. The testimonies the bishop published speak of the suffering entailed in the homosexual lifestyle, as well as hope for overcoming homosexual tendencies.

“I was 18 years old when I became entangled in the first SSA relationship,” writes a 22-year-old woman whose name, like that of the other writers, is withheld. “It all began through curiosity, and to do something different, but it ended up in a sea of confusion.”

The woman states that, following her first homosexual experience, she attempted to get help, but “sadly the psychologist at my university urged me to accept myself as I was because ‘I was born this way.’” She states that although she went to a priest for confession and did work with a group of nuns, she still felt “empty and alone.”

Following an abusive and obsessive relationship with another lesbian, the woman says that she finally found the help she needed in a Catholic organization called “Hope is Possible,” which supports homosexuals in their quest to overcome the gay lifestyle.

An 18-year-old anonymous man writes to confirm the bishop’s statement comparing the homosexual lifestyle to an inferno. “Effectively, Same-Sex Attraction has been, for me, a hell. Because the homosexual tendency does not consist only of the attraction, but behind it are hidden a series of factors and wounds that have conditioned that tendency,” he writes.

“I suffered the rejection of my peers when I was little. I didn’t have friends. In high school they would bully me, I was bad at sports…this made me develop feelings of inferiority, loneliness, self-pity, sadness, anxiety, confusion, and to feel different from the other kids. In addition, I developed a strong addiction to masturbation and pornography, with which I evaded reality. I had low self-esteem and I didn’t respect myself. That is a hell.

“However, since beginning to work to escape that attraction towards the same sex, my life has changed dramatically,” he writes. “I began to struggle against those feelings of self-pity, negativity, and the victim mentality.” He says he began to participate in sports and to force himself out of his social isolation, making friends and learning to see other males in a realistic way, “without idealizing,” which has often caused his attraction to “disappear,” he writes.

The teen congratulates Bishop Reig Pla for his fight against the “gay lie.”

“We have to act and propagate this information,” he writes, so that people “know the ‘gay lie,’ so that they know that change is possible, so that they know that there is help for all people who do not want that life of suffering, that hell.”

As LifeSiteNews reported last week, Bishop Reig Plà has had criminal complaints filed against him for his comments, which were made based on official Catholic teaching on the issue.

Reig Plà has also received the support of many individuals and organizations, according to his website, including the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, the Spanish Family Forum, the Catholic Union of Reporters and Journalists of Spain, and the World Congress of Families.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

General MacArthur confronts President Roosevelt to save the U.S. Army

General Douglas MacArthur

At the end of April 1933 MacArthur appeared before the House Military Affairs Committee to oppose a bill that would have placed a large number of regular officers on a forced furlough list…. Patiently MacArthur restated his arguments:

“The foundation of our National Defense system is the Regular Army, and the foundation of the Regular Army is the officer. He is the soul of the system. If you have to cut everything out of the National Defense Act (of 1920) the last element should be the Officer Corps. If you had to discharge every soldier, if you had to do away with everything else, I would still professionally advise you to keep those 12,000 officers. They are the mainspring of the whole mechanism; each one of them would be worth a thousand men at the beginning of a war. They are the only ones who can take this heterogeneous mass and make of it a homogeneous group….”

Pres. F. D. Roosevelt in conference with Gen. D. MacArthur, Adm. Chester Nimitz, Adm. W. D. Leahy, while on tour in Hawaiian Islands.

Nevertheless, the anti-army drive in Congress went steadily forward…

[Gen. MacArthur] immediately asked for an appointment with the President….

The President was obdurate. His conception of his almost unlimited authority became evident as he argued that his Chief of Staff must accept the decisions he had made….

Sharp words were exchanged. MacArthur…. was conscious of the significance of the fight he was making. He could not retreat in his arguments or in his demands. He felt that his country’s safety was at stake, and that if necessary he would sacrifice his own professional career. His sense of duty was clear and undeniable….

General Douglas MacArthur 1945

The tension shortly reached the breaking point. Both men were emotionally exhausted, yet neither would compromise. Finally MacArthur played his last card….

“Mr. President,” he said in effect, “if you pursue this policy, which will lead inevitably to the destruction of the American army, I have no other choice but to oppose you publicly. I shall ask for my immediate relief as Chief of Staff and for retirement from the Army, and I shall take this fight straight to the people.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt seated at desk

It was a violent and unprecedented scene. Roosevelt was beside himself with anger.

MacArthur saluted, turned on his heel and walked out of the room. He was so incensed and wrought up that he was physically ill on the White House lawn.

Frazier Hunt, The Untold Story of Douglas MacArthur (New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1954), pp. 150-152.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no.172

Dad rescues ‘brain dead’ son from doctors wishing to harvest his organs – boy recovers completely

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

LEICESTER, England, April 25, 2012 ( - According to the Daily Mail newspaper, a young British man owes his life to an insistent father who would not allow his son’s organs to be removed from his body, despite assurances from four doctors that his son could not recover from the wounds he had suffered in a recent car accident.

The Mail reports that Stephen Thorpe, then 17, was placed in a medically-induced coma following a multi-car pileup that had already taken the life of his friend Matthew, who was driving the vehicle.

Stephen Thorpe, who four doctors had declared brain dead

Although a team of four physicians insisted that his son was “brain-dead” following the wreck, Thorpe’s father enlisted the help of a general practitioner and a neurologist, who demonstrated that his son still had brain wave activity.  The doctors agreed to bring him out of the coma, and five weeks later Thorpe left the hospital, having almost completely recovered.

Today, the 21-year-old with “brain damage” is studying accounting at a local university. “‘My impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very happy that my father wanted a second opinion,” he told the Mail.

The case is similar to dozens of others LifeSiteNews has reported in recent years, in which comatose or otherwise unconscious patients are declared to be “brain dead,” or hopelessly incurable. In many cases, aggressive doctors seek the organs of the patient for harvesting.

In 2011, the Quebec Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville sought permission to extract the eyes of a patient who had choked on hospital food in the absence of a nurse, claiming she was “brain dead.” After the family demanded proof from physicians of her alleged condition, she regained consciousness, and recovered most of her faculties. The family declared its intention to sue the hospital.

In 2008, a 45-year-old Frenchman revived on the operating table as doctors prepared to “harvest” his organs for donation, following cardiac arrest. In the subsequent investigation by the hospital’s ethics committee, a number of doctors admitted that such cases, while rare, were well known to them.

That same year, a “brain dead” 21-year-old American, Zack Dunlap, was about to have his organs harvested when his two sisters, both nurses, decided to test the hospital’s theory that his brain was no longer functioning. Family members poked his feet with a knife and dug their fingernails under his nails, provoking strong reactions by Dunlap and proving he was conscious. He recovered completely. He later related that he was conscious and aware as doctors discussed harvesting his organs in his presence.

The term “brain death” was invented in 1968 to accommodate the need to acquire vital organs in their “freshest” state from a donor who some argue is still very much alive.

While death had previously been defined as lack of respiration and heart activity, “brain death” was judged as compatible with an otherwise living patient. “Brain death” has never been rigorously defined, and there are no standardized tests to determine if the condition exists.

Dr. John Shea, a medical advisor to, points out that patients diagnosed as “brain dead” often continue to exhibit brain functions.

In “Organ Donation: The Inconvenient Truth”, Shea states that the criteria for “brain death” only “test for the absence of some specific brain reflexes. Functions of the brain that are not considered are temperature control, blood pressure, cardiac rate and salt and water balance. When a patient is declared brain dead, these functions are not only still present, but also frequently active.”

Why does Catholic News Service provide publicity for Congressional critic of Pope, Cardinal Dolan?


George Weigel questions why the Catholic News Service, which is supervised and heavily subsidized by the US bishops’ conference, has provided a vehicle for Democratic Rep. Rose DeLauro of Connecticut to use in her attack not only on Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, but also New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Georgetown community criticizes Sandra Fluke campus event

FROM EWTN: More than 100 students and alumni of Georgetown University criticized activist Sandra Fluke’s recent invitation to speak on campus without clarification of the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception.

The group signed a letter calling on the Jesuit university to release a statement "clarifying its position on this fundamental issue of debate" to ensure that students are accurately informed on both the university’s current insurance policy and Church teaching.

How Ecuador's immigration policy helps al Qaeda

Terrorism, as the United States has learned at a high cost in recent years, comes in many forms and from unexpected sources. The government of Ecuador has once again crossed the line between irresponsible policies and ideologically driven actions that have created a serious security problem not only for its citizens but also for the entire Western Hemisphere. ...

U.N. Chief Calls for Universal Access to Abortion and Contraception for Teen Girls

( - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that millions of girls -- teenagers and younger -- need access to abortion and contraceptives in order to “avoid unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted infections.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Miraculous Story of Our Lady of Genazzano – April 26

The Story of Our Lady of Genazzano

A few miles from the city of Rome, lies Genazzano — a city rich in history and blessed with the presence of a miraculous painting of the Blessed Virgin that has an amazing story.

The origins of Genazzano date back to the times of the Roman emperors. 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.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Genazzano, Italy

The miraculous fresco of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

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.

Giorgio and De Scalvis walk the waters of the Adriatic Sea to Italy

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.

Kansas law would force churches to host same-sex ‘weddings,’ receptions

by Ben Johnson

HUTCHINSON, KANSAS, April 24, 2012, ( – A proposed ordinance in one of the nation’s most conservative states would force churches to rent their property out for same-sex “weddings” and receptions. It would also force any public venue to allow people to use showers, restrooms, and locker-rooms based on their “gender identity,” rather than their “sex at birth.”

The city council of Hutchinson, Kansas, is considering enacting a new statute adding sexual orientation and sexual identity to the city’s non-discrimination policy in all public accommodations. The measure would specifically include churches that rent their property to the public.

“If a church has a parish hall that they rent out to the general public, they could not discriminate against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party,” such as a same-sex ceremony or reception, according to a city FAQ about the ordinance. If the church only rents the building to their parishioners, they can continue to do so.”

Religious facilities, including churches, “would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals,” Meryl Dye, a spokeswoman for the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, confirmed. “Unless the city council includes an exemption for churches, it would generate a discrimination complaint for the gay couple and it would be investigated” – and possibly lead to a fine.

The ordinance would also force employers to allow transgender people to dress according to their gender identity, rather than “the person’s assigned sex at birth,” in the workplace.

“A transgender person must be allowed to use restrooms appropriate to their gender identity rather than their assigned gender at birth without being harassed or questioned,” the FAQ states. They must also be allowed to use the “gender-segregated locker and shower facilities” of their choice. Asking for identification to verify sex before admitting that person to the the locker room or shower is classified as “discriminatory conduct.”

Landlords who rent three or more units may not refuse to rent their facilities to homosexual or transgender tenants.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel called the law “a collision course between religious freedom and the LGBT agenda.”

“What we are ultimately going to see is churches forced to confront this law, forced to do things and allow their facilities to be used by people and for events that diametrically undercut the mission of the church,” he said.

The prospect is more than theoretical. In 2005, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal fined a Knights of Columbus hall for refusing to allow lesbians to use the premises for a “wedding” reception.

Neil Addison, the director of the Thomas More Legal Centre and an expert on religious discrimination law, recently warned that Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposed bill will go one step further in the United Kingdom. “The Government will be obliged to permit same-sex marriage on religious premises on exactly the same basis as it permits heterosexual marriage,” he said.

The Court of Appeal in the UK ruled a Christian marriage registrar, Lillian Ladele, had no right to ask someone else to validate a same-sex “marriage,” because her religious objection “was not a core part of her religion.” This precedent will compel homosexual ceremonies to be performed on church grounds, Addison said.