Saturday, August 30, 2014

Muhammad's Rebirth -- Does it take a lot of talent, insight, and exceptionally good information to realize what this danger means?

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

(This appeared in the Brazilian Catholic newspaper, Legionário, on June 15th, 1947.  The author speaks with amazing insight about the rise of Islam and makes observations that are very applicable to our days.  We have translated and adapted the article for the benefit of our readers. The end of the article refers to what were then current events and which are no longer familiar to most readers. These facts are included to give the context from which the author wrote.)

When we study the sad story of the fall of the Western Empire, it is hard for us to understand the Romans' shortsightedness, tranquility and indifference toward the looming danger. To further aggravate matters, Rome suffered from an inveterate habit of winning.

At its feet were the most glorious nations of antiquity: Egypt, Greece, and all of Asia. The ferocity of the Celts had been definitely softened. The Rhine and the Danube constituted a splendid natural defense to the Empire. How could anyone fear that the barbarians, who roamed the virgin forests of central Europe, could pose a serious risk to such an immense political edifice?

Accustomed to this view, the Romans lacked the flexibility to understand the new situation gradually being created. As the barbarians crossed the Rhine and began their raids, they only met weak, indecisive and inadequate resistance from the Roman legions.

But the Romans continued to ignore the danger, obsessed on the one hand with an all-absorbing thirst for pleasures, and on the other, misled by what the detestable Freudian terminology would call a “superiority complex.” This explains the deadly tranquility which they kept to the end.

Yet even taking into account the mystery of Roman inertia, the overall picture seems peculiar and perhaps a bit oversimplified. We will understand it in a much more lively fashion if we consider another great mystery that takes place before our eyes and in which we somehow participate: the great inertia of the Christian West facing the resurrection of African-Asian nations. The subject is much too vast to be treated entirely. To understand it well, it suffices to consider only one aspect of this phenomenon: the renewal of the Muslim world.

The Romans lacked the flexibility to understand the new situation gradually being created. As the barbarians crossed the Rhine and began their raids, they only met weak, indecisive and inadequate resistance from the Roman legions.

This is a topic that Legionario, already accustomed to being misunderstood, has approached with an insistence that sometimes seemed inopportune. But the question deserves to be examined once again at greater depth.

Let us quickly recall some general facts about the problem. As is known, the Muslim world spans a territory that begins in India, passes through Arabia and Asia Minor, Egypt, and ends on the Atlantic Ocean. Islam's zone of influence is immense from all points of view: territory, population, and natural resources.

However, until some time ago, certain factors rendered all this power almost completely useless. Obviously, the religion of the Prophet is the bond that unites Muslims from all over the world.

But this religion presented itself divided, weak, and totally devoid of notable men in the sphere of thought, command or action.
Mohammedanism vegetated, a fact that seemed to perfectly suit the zeal of the high dignitaries of Islam. The same taste for stagnation and a merely vegetative life was an evil that also affected the economic and political life of the Muslim peoples of Asia and Africa.

No man of value, no new ideas, no truly great enterprise could rise and prosper in this atmosphere. Each Mohammedan nation closed up on itself, indifferent to everything but the small and quiet delights of everyday life. So, each lived in its own world, differing from others by profoundly different historical traditions.

They were all separated by mutual indifference, incapable of understanding, desiring or carrying out a common task. In this highly depressed religious and political framework, the development of the natural resources of the Muslim world—riches which taken together give the region some of the greatest potential in the world—was clearly impossible. Everything therefore was nothing but ruin, breakdown and torpor.

While the East so dragged along, the West attained the zenith of its prosperity. Since the Victorian era, an atmosphere of youth, enthusiasm and hope spread across Europe and America. The progress of science had renewed the material aspects of Western life. The promises of the Industrial Revolution were seen as creditworthy, and in the last years of the nineteenth century some people even saw the coming twentieth century as the golden age of mankind.

Of course, a Westerner placed in this environment was fully aware of the inertia and impotence of the East. He would see any talk about the possibility of a resurrection of the Mohammedan world as something as unworkable and outdated as a return to costumes, methods of warfare and political outlook of the Middle Ages.

Today, we are still living this illusion. And like the Romans who trusted the Mediterranean that separated themfrom the Islamic world, we fail to realize that new and extremely serious phenomena are taking place in the lands of the Koran.

Mohammedanism vegetated, a fact that seemed to perfectly suit the zeal of the high dignitaries of Islam. The same taste for stagnation and a merely vegetative life was an evil that also affected the economic and political life of the Muslim peoples of Asia and Africa.

It is difficult to cover such vast and rich phenomena in a short space. But in a very general way, one can say that, after the Great War (World War II), the whole East -- understood in a very broad sense as covering all areas of non-Christian civilization in Asia and Africa -- began to take a very pronounced anti-European attitude. This reaction concerned two somewhat contradictory movements, both very dangerous to the West.

On the one hand, the Eastern nations were bearing the Western military and economic yoke with growing impatience and manifesting an increasingly pronounced aspiration to full sovereignty, to develop independently their economic potential and to set up their own large armies. To be sure, this aspiration implied a certain "Westernization," that is, that they import Euro-American military, industrial and modern agricultural techniques as well as financial and banking systems.

On the other hand, however, this patriotic surge caused a renewed enthusiasm for national traditions, national customs, national worship, and national history. It is superfluous to add that the degrading spectacle of corruption and divisions to which the Western world was exposed contributed to encourage hatred of the West. Hence the rise throughout the East of a new interest for the old idols and for a "neo-paganism" a thousand times more combative, feisty and dynamic than the old. Japan is quite a typical, perhaps ultra-typical example of the whole process we are trying to describe.

The ideological and political group that lifted her to the rank of major power and aspired to Japanese world domination was precisely one of those neo-pagan groups stubbornly attached to old concepts of the Emperor's divinity.
In addition, a slower but no less vigorous phenomenon than the one in Japan occurred throughout the Eastern world. Because of this, India is on the verge of gaining its independence; today Egypt and Persia enjoy a privileged situation on the international scene and progress at a rapid pace.

Well before this, Mustafa Kemal had renewed Turkey. All these nations, we can say these “powers,” are proud of their past, traditions and culture, and are keen to keep them; and at the same time they are proud of their natural resources, political and military possibilities, and growing financial progress. They grow richer by the day, build cities endowed with effective government mechanisms, a well-trained police, strictly pagan but well-developed universities, schools, hospitals, museums, and, in short, everything that somehow means power and material progress to us. In their coffers, gold accumulates. Gold means the ability to buy weapons. And weapons mean global prestige.

It is interesting to note that the Nazi example strongly impressed the East. If a large country like Germany has a government that abandons Christianity and does not blush to return to the old idols, how is it shameful for the Chinese or Arabs to do the same by remaining in their traditional religions?

Does it take a lot of talent, insight, and exceptionally good information to realize what this danger means?

All this transformed the Islamic world and produced in all Mohammedan peoples, from India to Morocco, a shudder that means that the millennial slumber is over. Pakistan -- a Muslim Hindu state on the brink of independence -- Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt are the high points of the movement of Islamic resurrection. But in Algeria, Morocco, Tripolitania, Tunisia, unrest also grows intense. The vital nerve of Islam revives in all these peoples, rekindling in them a sense of unity, a notion of common interests, concerns of solidarity, and a taste for victory.

None of that stayed in the realm of possibility. Today the Arab League, a vast confederation of Muslim peoples, unites the entire Muslim world. It is the contrary of what Christendom used to be in the Middle Ages. The Arab League acts as a large block facing non-Arab nations and fosters insurrection throughout North Africa. The flight of the grand mufti was a clear manifestation of the League's strength. Even more than this, the release of Abd-el-Krim is an affirmation of the League's deliberate purpose to intervene in the affairs of Northern Africa by promoting the independence of Algeria, Tunisia, Tripolitania, and Morocco.

Does it take a lot of talent, insight, and exceptionally good information to realize what this danger means?

Our Lady of Joy

Our Lady of Joy
Our Lady of Joy is also know as, Notre Dame de Liesse, or Causa Nostrae Laetitiae

In 1134 three Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem who were prisoners of the Muslims in Egypt, miraculously found or received in their prison, a statue of Our Lady, which they named Our Lady of Joy, or Notre Dame de Liesse.

A young Muslim princess named Ismerie took an interest in the Knights in response to their prayers, and through the intercession of Our Lady and the mercy of God, she was converted, arranged the escape of the pious crusaders and joined them on their journey to France. They carried the statue with them and in the region of Laon, about 35 miles northwest of Rheims; they founded a church as a resting place for the image of Our Lady.

Through local devotion, the church took on the name of the statue and gave that name to the entire region, so that Notre Dame de Liesse came to refer to both the devotion and the place. The statue came to be venerated by many and Notre Dame de Liesse became the Patroness of the Diocese of Soissons.

In 1620 the titular Bailiff of Armenia, Fra’ Jacques Chenu de Bellay built a church to Our Lady of Liesse at Valletta in Malta. Today it is the chaplaincy church of the Port of Valletta.

The original statue was destroyed during the French Revolution but the medieval basilica at Liesse remained a center of devotion to the Mother of God and a new statue was installed and crowned there in 1857.

It is still the focus of pilgrimage, especially on Whit Monday.

Memorial in the Missal of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The homosexual agenda suffers sound defeat in Baton Rouge

With all the talk of the inevitability of the homosexual revolution, people are being told there is nothing they can do. That is absolutely false. How do I know?

Because concerned people in Baton Rouge soundly defeated the homosexual agenda this month. Of course, you won't hear about it in the press.

Here is what happened. The Baton Rouge Metro Council was going to vote on whether to include “sexual-orientation” and something called “gender-identity” on the list of non-discriminatory city ordinances. However, after a long debate, the measure was defeated by a vote of 8--4.  The TFP's Thomas Drake tells the exciting story of this defeat in the story below.

  • Victory for the Family: Pro-LGBT Ordinance Defeated in Louisiana

Need some arguments in favor of marriage? Read the article below on the necessity of indissoluble marriage.

  • How Advantageous is the Indissolubility of Marriage?
Finally, yet another example of how the pro-choice side of the abortion debate is losing their fire.

16 year-old girl pens letter to Civic Center against Black Mass: 'I won't be stepping foot in there ever again'

Take action now:

From coast to coast, Americans are opposing the scheduled satanic "Black Mass" in Oklahoma City. 
Over 70,000 people have signed our protest petition.
This eloquent letter penned by Juliana, a 16 year-old Oklahoman, was sent to the Civic Center on August 25, 2014.  TFP Student Action received permission to share it with our readers.

My name is Juliana Lassiter and I am 16 years old. I am a junior at Mount St. Mary’s Catholic High School and a parishioner at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Edmond.

When I first found out about the atrocity that will be taking place at the Civic Center on September 21st, I wept. The Catholic Church firmly believes that our host, when consecrated by an ordained Catholic priest, is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s not just a symbol - it is the real deal.

I know it may be hard to comprehend, but nevertheless, it’s truer than true. So for a group of satanic worshippers, led by a registered sex offender, to come to Oklahoma, a state that is approximately 75% Christian, and commit such a sacrilege is absurd.

Thank Heavens that Archbishop had the audacity and courage to do something about it, unlike the rest of us. He may have helped us to get our Sacred Host back, and that is truly amazing, but other sacrileges will still take place. And so I BEG of you - take a stand.

To be blasphemous and mock another religion is certainly no religion at all. It is a crime. Don’t you dare give me the lame excuse that they are protected by the First Amendment, because you and I both know very well that there are laws against this behavior. Under Title 21 for Crimes and Punishments, current Oklahoma Statutes Citationized law provides:

“Blasphemy consists in wantonly uttering or publishing words, casting contumelious reproach or profane ridicule upon God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Scriptures, or the Christian or any other religion.”

Such speech is classified as a misdemeanor. There is also another law that warns against speaking obscenely in a public place. These laws exist because our great country was built on a CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION. I am only 16 years old and I realize the load of evil that this is associated with. Please don’t be cowards and please listen to the pleas of Catholics from around the country. There is a petition that 69,563 people have signed. And I’m sure you’ve received plenty of letters from people who have not signed it.
And this leads me to my next argument. I know that your excuses come from the fact that you want business. I understand that.

But are you really willing to sell your soul like that? The room they rented out was around $400 and then I’m almost positive they’ve only sold about 20 tickets. Is that small amount of money really worth it? You’re going to lose loads of customers who have given you business throughout the years, and their money certainly adds up to more than that small amount above. I am one of those people. My little sister and I had hoped to attend “The Phantom of the Opera”.

That certainly won’t be happening now. I’ve attended so many productions in the past, but rest assured, I won’t be stepping foot in there ever again. Your standards are too low - you don’t deserve my money. I’m willing to drive all the way up to Tulsa to watch the Nutcracker. This situation is a devastation and I wish it wasn’t this way. Please open your hearts and hear what God is saying. I’ll continue to pray that you receive the gift of courage.
Prayers and blessings,
Juliana Lassiter

Take action now:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

June 29 – The Passion of St. John the Baptist… He denounced the king’s adultery

St. John the Baptist

The principal sources of information concerning the life and ministry of St. John the Baptist are the canonical Gospels. Of these St. Luke is the most complete, giving as he does the wonderful circumstances accompanying the birth of the Precursor and items on his ministry and death. St. Matthew’s Gospel stands in close relation with that of St. Luke, as far as John’s public ministry is concerned, but contains nothing in reference to his early life. From St. Mark, whose account of the Precursor’s life is very meagre, no new detail can be gathered. Finally, the fourth Gospel has this special feature, that it gives the testimony of St. John after the Saviour’s baptism. Besides the indications supplied by these writings, passing allusions occur in such passages as Acts, xiii, 24; xix, 1-6; but these are few and bear on the subject only indirectly. To the above should be added that Josephus relates in his Jewish Antiquities (XVIII, v, 2), but it should be remembered that he is woefully erratic in his dates, mistaken in proper names, and seems to arrange facts according to his own political views; however, his judgment of John, also what he tells us regarding the Precursor’s popularity, together with a few details of minor importance, are worthy of the historian’s attention. The same cannot be said of the apocryphal gospels, because the scant information they give of the Precursor is either copied from the canonical Gospels (and to these they can add no authority), or else is a mass of idle vagaries.

The Angel St. Gabriel appearing to Zacharias.

The Angel St. Gabriel appearing to Zacharias.

Zachary, the father of John the Baptist, was a priest of the course of Abia, the eighth of the twenty-four courses into which the priests were divided (I Par., xxiv, 7-19); Elizabeth, the Precursor’s mother, “was of the daughters of Aaron”, according to St. Luke (I, 5); the same Evangelist, a few verses farther on (I, 26), calls her the “cousin” (syggenis) of Mary. These two statements appear to be conflicting, for how, it will be asked, could a cousin of the Blessed Virgin be “of the daughters of Aaron”? The problem might be solved by adopting the reading given in an old Persian version, where we find “mother’s sister” (metradelphe) instead of “cousin”. A somewhat analogous explanation, probably borrowed from some apocryphal writing, and perhaps correct, is given by St. Hippolytus (in Nicephor., II, iii). According to him, Mathan had three daughters: Mary, Soba, and Ann. Mary, the oldest, married a man of Bethlehem and was the mother of Salome; Soba married at Bethlehem also, but a “son of Levi”, by whom she had Elizabeth; Ann wedded a Galilean (Joachim) and bore Mary, the Mother of God. Thus Salome, Elizabeth, and the Blessed Virgin were first cousins, and Elizabeth, “of the daughters of Aaron” on her father’s side, was, on her mother’s side, the cousin of Mary. Zachary’s home is designated only in a vague manner by St. Luke: it was “a city of Juda”, “in the hill-country” (I, 39). Reland, advocating the unwarranted assumption that Juda might be a misspelling of the name, proposed to read in its stead Jutta (Jos., xv, 55; xxi, 16; D.V.; Jota, Jeta), a priestly town south of Hebron. But priests did not always live in priestly towns (Mathathias’s home was at Modin; Simon Machabeus’s at Gaza). A tradition, which can be traced back to the time before the Crusades, points to the little town of Ain-Karim, five miles south-west of Jerusalem.

The birth and naming of John the Baptist, painted by Rogier van der Weyden.

The birth and naming of John the Baptist, painted by Rogier van der Weyden.

The birth of the Precursor was announced in a most striking manner. Zachary and Elizabeth, as we learn from St. Luke, “were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame; and they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren” (i, 6-7). Long they had prayed that their union might be blessed with offspring; but, now that “they were both advanced in years”, the reproach of barrenness bore heavily upon them. “And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, according to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and they wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: and thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people” (i, 8-17). As Zachary was slow in believing this startling prediction, the angel, making himself known to him, announced that, in punishment of his incredulity, he should be stricken with dumbness until the promise was fulfilled. “And it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months” (i, 23-24).

Detail of the painting by Blessed Fra Angelico of the Archangel Gabriel.

Detail of the painting by Blessed Fra Angelico of the Archangel Gabriel.

Now during the sixth month, the Annunciation had taken place, and, as Mary had heard from the angel the fact of her cousin’s conceiving, she went “with haste” to congratulate her. “And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant” — filled, like the mother, with the Holy Ghost — “leaped for joy in her womb”, as if to acknowledge the presence of his Lord. Then was accomplished the prophetic utterance of the angel that the child should “be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb”. Now as the presence of any sin whatever is incompatible with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the soul, it follows that at this moment John was cleansed from the stain of original sin. When “Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come,. . .she brought forth a son” (i, 57); and “on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father’s name Zachary. And his mother answering, said: Not so, but he shall be called John. And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made sign to his father, how he would have him called. And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered” (i, 59-63). They were not aware that no better name could be applied (John, Hebr.; Jehohanan, i.e. “Jahweh hath mercy”) to him who, as his father prophesied, was to “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto remission of their sins: through the bowels of the mercy of our God” (i, 76- 78). Moreover, all these events, to wit, a child born to an aged couple, Zachary’s sudden dumbness, his equally sudden recovery of speech, his astounding utterance, might justly strike with wonderment the assembled neighbours; these could hardly help asking: “What an one, think ye, shall this child be?” (i, 66).


As to the date of the birth of John the Baptist, nothing can be said with certainty. The Gospel suggests that the Precursor was born about six months before Christ; but the year of Christ’s nativity has not so far been ascertained. Nor is there anything certain about the season of Christ’s birth, for it is well known that the assignment of the feast of Christmas to the twenty-fifth of December is not grounded on historical evidence, but is possibly suggested by merely astronomical considerations, also, perhaps, inferred from astronomico-theological reasonings. Besides, no calculations can be based upon the time of the year when the course of Abia was serving in the Temple, since each one of the twenty- four courses of priests had two turns a year. Of John’s early life St. Luke tell us only that “the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the deserts, until the day of his manifestation to Israel” (i, 80). Should we ask just when the Precursor went into the wilderness, an old tradition echoed by Paul Warnefried (Paul the Deacon), in the hymn, “Ut queant laxis”, composed in honour of the saint, gives an answer hardly more definite than the statement of the Gospel: “Antra deserti teneris sub annis. . .petiit . . .” Other writers, however, thought they knew better. For instance, St. Peter of Alexandria believed St. John was taken into the desert to escape the wrath of Herod, who, if we may believe report, was impelled by fear of losing his kingdom to seek the life of the Precursor, just as he was, later on, to seek that of the new-born Saviour. It was added also that Herod on this account had Zachary put to death between the temple and the altar, because he had prophesied the coming of the Messias (Baron., “Annal. Apparat.”, n. 53). These are worthless legends long since branded by St. Jerome as “apocryphorum somnia”.

Statue of St. John the Baptist

Passing, then, with St. Luke, over a period of some thirty years, we reach what may be considered the beginning of the public ministry of St. John. Up to this he had led in the desert the life of an anchorite; now he comes forth to deliver his message to the world. “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. . .the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching” (Luke, iii, 1-3), clothed not in the soft garments of a courtier (Matt., xi, 8; Luke, vii, 24), but in those “of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle about his loins”; and “his meat” — he looked as if he came neither eating nor drinking (Matt., xi, 18; Luke, vii, 33) — “was locusts and wild honey” (Matt. iii, 4; Mark, i, 6); his whole countenance, far from suggesting the idea of a reed shaken by the wind (Matt., xi, 7; Luke, vii, 24), manifested undaunted constancy. A few incredulous scoffers feigned to be scandalized: “He hath a devil” (Matt. xi, 18). Nevertheless, “Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the country about Jordan” (Matt., iii, 5), drawn by his strong and winning personality, went out to him; the austerity of his life added immensely to the weight of his words; for the simple folk, he was truly a prophet (Matt., xi, 9; cf. Luke, i, 76, 77). “Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt., iii, 2), such was the burden of his teaching. Men of all conditions flocked round him.

Pharisees and Sadducees were there; the latter attracted perhaps by curiosity and scepticism, the former expecting possibly a word of praise for their multitudinous customs and practices, and all, probably, more anxious to see which of the rival sects the new prophet would commend than to seek instruction. But John laid bare their hypocrisy. Drawing his similes from the surrounding scenery, and even, after the Oriental fashion, making use of a play on words (abanimbanium), he lashed their pride with this well-deserved rebuke: “Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of penance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I tell you that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire” (Matt., iii, 7-10; Luke, iii, 7-9). It was clear something had to be done. The men of good will among the listeners asked: “What shall we do?” (Probably some were wealthy and, according to the custom of people in such circumstances, were clad in two tunics.-Joseph., “Antiq.”, XVIII, v, 7). “And he answering, said to them: He that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do in like manner” (Luke, iii, 11). Some were publicans; on them he enjoined not to exact more than the rate of taxes fixed by law (Luke, iii, 13). To the soldiers (probably Jewish police officers) he recommended not to do violence to any man, nor falsely to denounce anyone, and to be content with their pay (Luke, iii, 14). In other words, he cautioned them against trusting in their national privileges, he did not countenance the tenets of any sect, nor did he advocate the forsaking of one’s ordinary state of life, but faithfulness and honesty in the fulfillment of one’s duties, and the humble confession of one’s sins.

Saint John the Baptist preaching before Herod, painted by Pieter de Grebber.

Saint John the Baptist preaching before Herod, painted by Pieter de Grebber.

To confirm the good dispositions of his listeners, John baptized them in the Jordan, “saying that baptism was good, not so much to free one from certain sins [cf. St. Thom., "Summ. Theol.", III, A. xxxviii, a. 2 and 3] as to purify the body, the soul being already cleansed from its defilements by justice” (Joseph., “Antiq.”, XVIII, vii). This feature of his ministry, more than anything else, attracted public attention to such an extent that he was surnamed “the Baptist” (i. e. Baptizer) even during his lifetime (by Christ, Matt., xi, 11; by his own disciples, Luke, vii, 20; by Herod, Matt., xiv, 2; by Herodias, Matt., xiv, 3). Still his right to baptize was questioned by some (John, i, 25); the Pharisees and the lawyers refused to comply with this ceremony, on the plea that baptism, as a preparation for the kingdom of God, was connected only with the Messias (Ezech., xxxvi, 25; Zach., xiii, 1, etc.), Elias, and the prophet spoken of in Deut., xviii, 15. John’s reply was that he was Divinely “sent to baptize with water” (John, i, 33); to this, later on, our Saviour bore testimony, when, in answer to the Pharisees trying to ensnare him, he implicitly declared that John’s baptism was from heaven (Mark, xi, 30). Whilst baptizing, John, lest the people might think “that perhaps he might be the Christ” (Luke, iii, 15), did not fail to insist that his was only a forerunner’s mission: “I indeed baptize you with water; but there shall come one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in his hand and he will purge his floor; and will gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Luke, iii, 16, 17). Whatever John may have meant by this baptism “with fire”, he, at all events, in this declaration clearly defined his relation to the One to come.

Here it will not be amiss to touch on the scene of the Precursor’s ministry. The locality should be sought in that part of the Jordan valley (Luke, iii, 3) which is called the desert (Mark, i, 4). Two places are mentioned in the Fourth Gospel in this connection: Bethania (John, i, 28) and Ennon (A. V. AEnon, John, iii, 23). As to Bethania, the reading Bethabara, first given by Origen, should be discarded; but the Alexandrine scholar perhaps was less wrong in suggesting the other reading, Bethara, possibly a Greek form of Betharan; at any rate, the site in question must be looked for “beyond the Jordan” (John, i, 28). The second place, Ennon, “near Salim” (John, iii, 23), the extreme northern point marked in the Madaba mosaic map, is described in Eusebius’s “Onomasticon” as being eight miles south of Seythopolis (Beisan), and should be sought probably at Ed-Deir or El-Ftur, a short distance from the Jordan (Lagrange, in “Revue Biblique”, IV, 1895, pp. 502-05). Moreover, a long-standing tradition, traced back to A.D. 333, associates the activity of the Precursor, particularly the Baptism of the Lord, with the neighbourhood of Deir Mar-Yuhanna (Qasr el- Yehud).

The Coat of arms of the City of Wrocław, Poland, which features the severed head of St. John the Baptist, the city's patron Saint.

The Coat of arms of the City of Wrocław, Poland, which features the severed head of St. John the Baptist, the city’s patron Saint.

The Precursor had been preaching and baptizing for some time (just how long is not known), when Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan, to be baptized by him. Why, it might be asked, should He “who did no sin” (I Pet., ii, 22) seek John’s “baptism of penance for the remission of sins” (Luke, iii, 3)? The Fathers of the Church answer very appropriately that this was the occasion preordained by the Father when Jesus should be manifested to the world as the Son of God; then again, by submitting to it, Jesus sanctioned the baptism of John. “But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?” (Matt., iii, 14). These words, implying, as they do, that John knew Jesus, are in seeming conflict with a later declaration of John recorded in the Fourth Gospel: “I knew him not” (John, i, 33). Most interpreters take it that the Precursor had some intimation of Jesus being the Messias: they assign this as the reason why John at first refused to baptize him; but the heavenly manifestation had, a few moments later, changed this intimation into perfect knowledge. “And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfil all justice. Then he suffered him. And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him. . .And, behold, a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt., iii, 15-17).

After this baptism, while Jesus was preaching through the towns of Galilee, going into Judea only occasionally for the feast days, John continued his ministry in the valley of the Jordan. It was at this time that “the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to him, to ask him: Who are thou? And he confessed, and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No. They said, therefore, unto him: Who are thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? He said: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias” (John, i, 19-23). John denied he was Elias, whom the Jews were looking for (Matt., xvii, 10; Mark, ix, 10). Nor did Jesus admit it, though His words to His disciples at first sight seem to point that way; “Elias indeed shall come, and restore all things. But I say to you, that Elias is already come” (Matt., xvii, 11; Mark, ix, 11-12). St. Matthew notes “the disciples understood, that he had spoken to them of John the Baptist” (Matt., xvii, 13). This was equal to saying, “Elias is not to come in the flesh.” But, in speaking of John before the multitude, Jesus made it plain that he called John Elias figuratively: “If you will receive it, he is Elias that is to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt., xi, 14, 15). This had been anticipated by the angel when, announcing John’s birth to Zachary, he foretold that the child would go before the Lord “in the spirit and power of Elias” (Luke, i, 17). “The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me. . .that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.. ..And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God” (John, i, 20-34).

Sermon of St John the Baptist by Frans II Francken.

Sermon of St John the Baptist by Frans II Francken.

Among the many listeners flocking to St. John, some, more deeply touched by his doctrine, stayed with him, thus forming, as around other famous doctors of the law, a group of disciples. These he exhorted to fast (Mark, ii, 18), these he taught special forms of prayer (Luke, v, 33; xi, 1). Their number, according to the pseudo-Clementine literature, reached thirty (Hom. ii, 23). Among them was Andrew of Bethsaida of Galilee (John, i, 44). One day, as Jesus was standing in the distance, John, pointed Him out, repeated his previous declaration: “Behold the Lamb of God”. Then Andrew, with another disciple of John, hearing this, followed Jesus (John, i, 36-38). The account of the calling of Andrew and Simon differs materially from that found in St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke; yet it should be noticed that St. Luke, in particular, so narrates the meeting of the two brothers with the Saviour, as to let us infer they already knew Him. Now, on the other hand, since the Fourth Evangelist does not say that Andrew and his companions forthwith left their business to devote themselves exclusively to the Gospel or its preparation, there is clearly no absolute discordance between the narration of the first three Gospels and that of St. John.

Preaching of St. John the Baptist

The Precursor, after the lapse of several months, again appears on the scene, and he is still preaching and baptizing on the banks of the Jordan (John, iii, 23). Jesus, in the meantime, had gathered about Himself a following of disciples, and He came “into the land of Judea: and there He abode with them, and baptized” (John, iii, 22), — “though Jesus himself did not baptize, but his disciples” (John, iv, 2). — “There arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews [the best Greek texts have "a Jew"] concerning purification” (John, iii, 25), that is to say, as is suggested by the context, concerning the relative value of both baptisms. The disciples of John came to him: “Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond the Jordan, to whom thou gavest testimony, behold he baptizeth, and all men come to him” (John, iii, 26-27). They undoubtedly meant that Jesus should give way to John who had recommended Him, and that, by baptizing, He was encroaching upon the rights of John. “John answered and said: A man cannot receive anything, unless it be given him from heaven. You yourselves do bear me witness, that I said, I am not Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice. This my joy, therefore, is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above, is above all. He that is of the earth, of the earth he is, and of the earth he speaketh. He that cometh from heaven, is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth. . .” (John, iii, 27-36).

Baptism of Jesus

The above narration recalls the fact before mentioned (John, i, 28), that part of the Baptist’s ministry was exercised in Perea: Ennon, another scene of his labours, was within the borders of Galilee; both Perea and Galilee made up the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas. This prince, a son worthy of his father Herod the Great, had married, likely for political reasons, the daughter of Aretas, king of the Nabathaeans. But on a visit to Rome, he fell in love with his niece Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Philip (son of the younger Mariamne), and induced her to come on to Galilee. When and where the Precursor met Herod, we are not told, but from the synoptic Gospels we learn that John dared to rebuke the tetrarch for his evil deeds, especially his public adultery. Herod, swayed by Herodias, did not allow the unwelcome reprover to go unpunished: he “sent and apprehended John and bound him in prison”. Josephus tell us quite another story, containing perhaps also an element of truth. “As great crowds clustered around John, Herod became afraid lest the Baptist should abuse his moral authority over them to incite them to rebellion, as they would do anything at his bidding; therefore he thought it wiser, so as to prevent possible happenings, to take away the dangerous preacher. . .and he imprisoned him in the fortress of Machaerus” (Antiq., XVIII, v, 2). Whatever may have been the chief motive of the tetrarch’s policy, it is certain that Herodias nourished a bitter hatred against John: “She laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death” (Mark, vi, 19). Although Herod first shared her desire, yet “he feared the people: because they esteemed him as a prophet” (Matt., xiv, 5). After some time this resentment on Herod’s part seems to have abated, for, according to Mark, vi, 19,20, he heard John willingly and did many things at his suggestion.

The Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist, on the site where his birth.Photo by v.

At Ein Karem, Jerusalem, Israel, the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist, on the site where his birth.Photo by David Shankbone.

John, in his fetters, was attended by some of his disciples, who kept him in touch with the events of the day. He thus learned of the wonders wrought by Jesus. At this point it cannot be supposed that John’s faith wavered in the least. Some of his disciples, however, would not be convinced by his words that Jesus was the Messias. Accordingly, he sent them to Jesus, bidding them say: “John the Baptist hath sent us to thee, saying: Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another? (And in that same hour, he cured many of their [the people's] diseases, and hurts, and evil spirits; and to many that were blind he gave sight.) And answering, he said to them: Go and relate to John what you have hard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached: and blessed is he whosoever shall not be scandalized in me” (Luke, vii, 20-23; Matt., xi, 3-6).

How this interview affected John’s disciples, we do not know; but we do know the encomium it occasioned of John from the lips of Jesus: “And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak to the multitudes concerning John. What went ye out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” All knew full well why John was in prison, and that in his captivity he was more than ever the undaunted champion of truth and virtue.-”But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are in costly apparel, and live delicately, are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: Behold, I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say to you: Amongst those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist” (Luke, vii, 24-28). And continuing, Jesus pointed out the inconsistency of the world in its opinions both of himself and his precursor: “John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and you say: He hath a devil. The Son of man is coming eating and drinking: and you say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by all her children” (Luke, vii, 33-35).

The Beheading of St John the Baptist, painted by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.

The Beheading of St John the Baptist, painted by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.

St. John languished probably for some time in the fortress of Machaerus; but the ire of Herodias, unlike that of Herod, never abated: she watched her chance. It came at the birthday feast which Herod, after Roman fashion, gave to the “princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of the same Herodias [Josephus gives her name: Salome] had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. . .Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, what shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist. And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her: but sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother” (Mark, vi, 21-28). Thus was done to death the greatest “amongst them that are born of women”, the prize awarded to a dancing girl, the toll exacted for an oath rashly taken and criminally kept (St. Augustine). At such an unjustifiable execution even the Jews were shocked, and they attributed to Divine vengeance the defeat Herod sustained afterwards at the hands of Aretas, his rightful father-in-law (Joseph., loc. cit.). John’s disciples, hearing of his death, “came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb” (Mark, vi, 29), “and came and told Jesus” (Matt., xiv, 12).

Salome with the head of St John the Baptist, painting by Guido Reni.

Salome with the head of St John the Baptist, painting by Guido Reni.

The lasting impression made by the Precursor upon those who had come within his influence cannot be better illustrated than by mentioned the awe which seize upon Herod when he heard of the wonders wrought by Jesus who, in his mind, was not other than John the Baptist come to life (Matt., xiv, 1, 2, etc.). The Precursor’s influence did not die with him. It was far-reaching, too, as we learn from Acts, xviii, 25; xix, 3, where we find that proselytes at Ephesus had received from Apollo and others the baptism of John. Moreover, early Christian writers speak of a sect taking its name from John and holding only to his baptism. The date of John the Baptist’s death, 29 August, assigned in the liturgical calendars can hardly be relied upon, because it is scarcely based upon trustworthy documents. His burial-place has been fixed by an old tradition at Sebaste (Samaria). But if there be any truth in Josephus’s assertion, that John was put to death at Machaerus, it is hard to understand why he was buried so far from the Herodian fortress. Still, it is quite possible that, at a later date unknown to us, his sacred remains were carried to Sebaste. At any rate, about the middle of the fourth century, his tomb was there honoured, as we are informed on the testimony of Rufinus and Theodoretus. These authors add that the shrine was desecrated under Julian the Apostate (c. A.D. 362), the bones being partly burned. A portion of the rescued relics were carried to Jerusalem, then to Alexandria; and there, on 27 May, 395, these relics were laid in the gorgeous basilica just dedicated to the Precursor on the site of the once famous temple of Serapis. The tomb at Sebaste continued, nevertheless, to be visited by pious pilgrims, and St. Jerome bears witness to the miracles there wrought. Perhaps some of the relics had been brought back to Sebaste. Other portions at different times found their way to many sanctuaries of the Christian world, and long is the list of the churches claiming possession of some part of the precious treasure. What became of the head of the Precursor is difficult to determine. Nicephorus (I, ix) and Metahrastes say Herodias had it buried in the fortress of Machaerus; others insist that it was interred in Herod’s palace at Jerusalem; there it was found during the reign of Constantine, and thence secretly taken to Emesa, in Phoenicia, where it was concealed, the place remaining unknown for years, until it was manifested by revelation in 453. In the many and discordant relations concerning this relic, unfortunately much uncertainty prevails; their discrepancies in almost every point render the problem so intricate as to baffle solution. This signal relic, in whole or in part, is claimed by several churches, among them Amiens, Nemours, St-Jean d’Angeli (France), S. Silvestro in Capite (Rome). This fact Tillemont traces to a mistaking of one St. John for another, an explanation which, in certain cases, appears to be founded on good grounds and accounts well for this otherwise puzzling multiplication of relics.

The Remains of St. John the Baptist being destroyed.

The Remains of St. John the Baptist being destroyed.

The honour paid so early and in so many places to the relics of St. John the Baptist, the zeal with which many churches have maintained at all times their ill-founded claims to some of his relics, the numberless churches, abbeys, towns, and religious families placed under his patronage, the frequency of his name among Christian people, all attest the antiquity and widespread diffusion of the devotion to the Precursor. The commemoration of his Nativity is one of the oldest feasts, if not the oldest feast, introduced into both the Greek and Latin liturgies to honour a saint. But why is the feast proper, as it were, of St. John on the day of his nativity, whereas with other saints it is the day of their death? Because it was meant that the birth of him who, unlike the rest, was “filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb”, should be signalized as a day of triumph. The celebration of the Decollation of John the Baptist, on 29 August, enjoys almost the same antiquity. We find also in the oldest martyrologies mention of a feast of the Conception of the Precursor on 24 September. But the most solemn celebration in honour of this saint was always that of his Nativity, preceded until recently by a fast. Many places adopted the custom introduced by St. Sabas of having a double Office on this day, as on the day of the Nativity of the Lord.

The burial of the body of St. John the Baptist.

The burial of the body of St. John the Baptist.

The first Office, intended to signify the time of the Law and the Prophets which lasted up to St. John (Luke, xvi, 16), began at sunset, and was chanted without Alleluia; the second, meant to celebrate the opening of the time of grace, and gladdened by the singing of Alleluia, was held during the night. The resemblance of the feast of St. John with that of Christmas was carried farther, for another feature of the 24th of June was the celebration of three masses: the first, in the dead of night, recalled his mission of Precursor; the second, at daybreak, commemorated the baptism he conferred; and the third, at the hour of Terce, honoured his sanctity. The whole liturgy of the day, repeatedly enriched by the additions of several popes, was in suggestiveness and beauty on a part with the liturgy of Christmas. So sacred was St. John’s day deemed that two rival armies, meeting face to face on 23 June, by common accord put off the battle until the morrow of the feast (Battle of Fontenay, 841). “Joy, which is the characteristic of the day, radiated from the sacred precincts. The lovely summer nights, at St. John’s tide, gave free scope to popular display of lively faith among various nationalities. Scared had the last rays of the setting sun died away when, all the world over, immense columns of flame arose from every mountain-top, and in an instant, every town, and village, and hamlet was lighted up” (Guéranger). The custom of the “St. John’s fires”, whatever its origin, has, in certain regions, endured unto this day.

Besides the Gospels and the Commentaries thereon, JOSEPHUS and the many Lives of Christ, EUSEBIUS, Hist. Eccl., I, xi; Acta pour servir a l’histoire eccles., I (Brussels, 1732), 36-47; notes p. 210-222; HOTTINGER, Historia Orientalis (Zurich, 1660), 144-149; PACIANDI, De cultu J. Baptistae in Antiq. Christ., III (Rome, 1755); LEOPOLD, Johannes der Taufer (Lubeck, 1838); CHIARAMONTE, Vita di San Giovanni Battista (Turin, 1892); YESTIVEL, San Juan Bautista (Madrid, 1909).

CHARLES L. SOUVAY (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Padre Pio Bilocated to a Communist Dungeon

Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli has published on the Vatican Insider site a serious testimony about Padre Pio's bilocation to the Hungarian dungeon where Joszef Cardinal Mindszenty was imprisoned in the fifties.

The Hungarian anticommunist cardinal was a fierce adversary of the Vatican policy of detente toward Communist governments known as Ostpolitik.

Here is a summary of Tornielli's article:

A new element has just been added to the collection of miraculous episodes that marked the life of Padre Pio. It is found in a recently published book presented on the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the new sanctuary of San Giovanni Rotondo where the Capuchin's body is buried.

The testimony tells how Padre Pio bilocated to a jail cell in Budapest where József Cardinal Mindszenty, the Primate of Hungary, was incarcerated.

Bilocation is an extraordinary mystical phenomenon that causes a person to be in two places at the same time. Padre Pio had this rare gift. Eye witnesses in different places attested to his presence, described him, and even talked with him simultaneously.

The already-known Hungarian episode was immortalized in one of the mosaics in the crypt of the sanctuary dedicated to Padre Pio. However, the new testimony contains details never published before.

The book, Padre Pio: his Church and Places Between Devotion, History, and Art, was written by Stefano Campanella, director of Padre Pio Teleradio and author of countless essays about the saint.

It contains a report by Angelo Battisti, director of the House for the Relief of Suffering (the hospital founded by Padre Pio) and typist at the Vatican Secretariat of State. Battisti was one of the witnesses in the saint's beatification process.

Cardinal Mindszenty during the iniquitous trial

that convicted him.

József Cardinal Mindszenty, Archbishop of Esztergom, Primate and Regent of Hungary, was imprisoned by the Communists in December 1948 and condemned to life imprisonment the next year. He was falsely accused of conspiring against the government and spent eight years in jail and under house arrest until he was freed during the popular insurrection of 1956.
He then took refuge at the United States trade delegation office in Budapest until 1973, when Paul VI imposed his resignation and departure from the archdiocese.

The bilocation which took Padre Pio all the way to the cardinal's cell is said to have taken place during those years.

Here is how Battisti describes the miraculous scene:

"The Capuchin with the stigmata, while [remaining] in San Giovanni Rotondo, went to see the cardinal to bring bread and wine destined to become the body and blood of Christ, that is, the reality of the eighth day [Easter Sunday].

"In this case, the bilocation acquires further significance as an anticipation of the eighth day, i.e. the Resurrection, when the body is freed from the limits of space and time.

"Also symbolic is the inmate registration number printed on his pajamas: 1956, the year of the cardinal's release.

"As is well known," Battisti recounts, "Cardinal Mindszenty was arrested, put in jail and watched around the clock. Over time, his desire to celebrate holy Mass strongly increased.

"One morning, Padre Pio presented himself before him with everything he needed. The Cardinal celebrated his Mass and Padre Pio served [as acolyte]; then they spoke, and finally, Padre Pio disappeared with everything he had brought with him.

"A priest from Budapest told me confidentially about the episode, asking if I could get a confirmation from Padre Pio. I answered that if I were to ask something like that, Padre Pio would drive me out of the room hollering."

Padre Pio

         Padre Pio.

Padre Pio
But on a March evening in 1965, at the end of a conversation Battisti asked the stigmatized friar:

"Father, did Cardinal Mindszenty recognize Padre Pio?"

- After a first reaction of irritation, the saint of Gargano answered:

- "Well, we met and talked and so you think he would not have recognized me?"

He thus confirmed his bilocation to the cardinal's cell, which supposedly happened a few years earlier.

"Then," Battisti added, "he became sad and said, ‘The devil is ugly, but they had left him uglier than the devil,'" referring to the mistreatment the cardinal suffered.

Padre Pio concluded: "Remember to pray for this great confessor of the faith, who suffered so much for the Church."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Over 70,000 People Say Stop the Satanic Black Mass in Oklahoma

News Release

Oklahoma City, OK, Aug. 27, 2014 -- Offending Christians nationwide, the Oklahoma City Civic Center is hosting a public "Black Mass" on September 21.

Opposition is mounting from coast to coast.  More than 70,000 online petitions have been collected urging the Civic Center to cancel the sacrilegious and obscene "Black Mass" which attacks God and desecrates the true Catholic Mass.

Readers are invited to sign the petition here.

"If the event involved stomping on the Koran, I bet the Civic Center would be calling for tolerance," said TFP Student Action Director, John Ritchie. 

"But since the Black Mass calls for stomping on the Holy Eucharist, the Civic Center claims the event is 'educational' and deserves a public platform, which happens to be funded with Christian tax-dollars.  Shame on the Civic Center.  They're misusing the 1st Amendment as a billy club to beat God-loving Americans over the head.  It needs to stop."

Last week, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit demanding that satanist Adam Daniels return the Consecrated Host he illicitly obtained for the "Black Mass" to its rightful owner, the Catholic Church.  The lawsuit was successful and the Host was returned to Archbishop Coakley.

"That was a victory," Ritchie said.  "But we must not rest until the whole sacrilege is canceled.  Civil leaders in Oklahoma should be encouraged to do the right thing, serve the common good, and cancel the 'Black Mass' altogether."

Students at Harvard University, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and many other institutions of higher learning joined the petition sponsored by TFP Student Action against the "Black Mass" in Oklahoma.

"The public outcry is only growing," Ritchie continued.  "The petition will probably hit 100,000 in a few weeks."

"Thousands of college students are really upset about this type of in-your-face satanism. They want America to remain one nation under God. And they want the "Black Mass" to be canceled right away." 

Access the TFP petition here.

To Stop the Satanic Black Mass, Call & Write Civic Center's Corporate Sponsors NOW

The Civic Center of Oklahoma City is facilitating a public "Black Mass" on Sept. 21.  They claim the satanic event cannot be canceled because of free speech.  However, by allowing it, they are using the 1st Amendment as a club to beat Christians over the head, which is most unAmerican. 

The "Black Mass" should be canceled in one nation under God.

So let's urge the Civic Center's corporate sponsors to take action against this obscene public sacrilege.  Write, email and call the following corporations and politely urge them to use their influence with the Civic Center to cancel the scheduled "Black Mass."

You will find three lists below:  Corporate sponsors, families whose names are associated with the Civic Center and the Board of Directors.  Please be polite in all your communications. Thank you. 
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us!


Corporate Sponsors of the Oklahoma City Civic Center

(please be polite yet firm)

Chesapeake Energy CorporationMs. Teresa Rose (She is a Civic Center Board Member too)
PO Box 18496
Oklahoma City, OK 73154
Phone:  (405) 879-8547 and (405) 767-4906

MidFirst BankMr. Alan Kraft (He is a Civic Center Board Member too)
501 NW Grand Blvd Ste 100
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
Direct Phone: 405-767-7224

AT&TMr. Randall L. Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer & President
208 S. Akard Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Call (210) 821-4105
Email: (direct)
Email 2:
phone: 210-351-5401 (direct to his secretary)
fax 210-351-3553

Bank of OklahomaMr. Steven G. Bradshaw, President and CEO
1 Williams Center
Tulsa, OK 74103
Phone: (918) 588-6377
Phone (918) 588-6000

Corner EnergyMrs. Linda Whittington (She is a Civic Center Board Member too)
PO Box 20548
Oklahoma City, OK 73156
Phone: (405) 755-1482

Devon Energy CorporationMr. John Richels, President
333 W. Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-5015
Tel: 405-235-3611

Love's Corporate HeadquartersMr. Tom Love
10601 N Pennsylvania Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73120
Phone:  1-800-OKLOVES

OPUBCO Communication GroupMr. Christopher P. Reen
9000 N. Broadway Ext
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
Phone: (405) 475-4034
or 405-475-3338
Contact form:

People whose family names are associated with the Civic Center

(please be polite yet firm)

Mr. Edward L. Gaylord6305 Waterford Blvd Ste 350
Oklahoma City, OK 73118-1176
The Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre at the Civic Center is named after Mr. Edward L. Gaylord's late wife, Thelma Gaylord.

Mrs. Josephine W. Freede316 NW 39th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73118-8414
The Freede Little Theatre of the Civic Center is named after Mrs. Freede's late husband, Dr. Henry J. Freede.

Mrs. Ladonna J. Meinders14901 Laurin Lane
Oklahoma City, OK 73142-1913
The Meinders Hall of Mirrors was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Meinders.

Mrs. Alice S. Pippin6607 NW Grand Blvd
Nichols Hills, OK 73116
The Joel Levine Rehearsal Hall was sponsored in memory of Joel Levine by the late Civic Center benefactor, Mrs. Jeanette Sias.  Mrs. Alice S. Pippin is her daughter.

Board of Directors of the Civic Center(please be polite yet firm in all your communications)

Mr. Devery YoungbloodEmail:
Business: Chickasaw Nation
Cell phone: (580) 235-6507
Phone:  (405) 767-8973
Contact form for Mr. Youngblood

Mrs. Kathy L. Williams710 NW 14th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73103-2212

Mrs. Meg SalyerCity Hall (Councilwoman Ward 6)
200 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone: (405) 297-2402

Mr. J. W. PetersTitus Construction
7801 N. Robinson Suite J-2
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Phone: (405) 936-0000
Fax: (405) 936-0003

Mrs. Brenda S. McDaniel2408 NW Grand Cir
Oklahoma City, OK 73116-4118
Phone:  (405) 254-3993

Mr. Desmond MasonDesmond Mason Art Gallery
803 N Hudson Ave,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone:  (405) 601-2474

Dr. Eric A. JosephMid-America Christian University
3500 SW 119Th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73170
Phone: (405) 692-3106

Mr. Robert M. JohnsonCrowe & Dunlevy
20 North Broadway, Suite 1800
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Ms. Linda C. HaneborgLinda Haneborg Associates

Mr. Carl EdwardsPrice Edwards & Company
210 Park Ave, Suite 1000
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Mr. Lance Benham1400 Broadway Ext # 300
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
Phone:  (405) 478-5353

Mrs. Carol TroyPhone: (405) 842-9768

Mr. Jim ShawAXA Advisors
5816 Rosebay Ct
Oklahoma City, OK 73142
Phone:  (405) 917-2435
Email:  James.Shaw

Dr. Joe HodgesSt. Anthony Hospital
1000 North Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone:  (405) 713-5710

Mr. Lee SymcoxPresident, First Fidelity Bank
5100 North Classen Blvd., Fifth Floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
Phone:  (800) 299-7047

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2014 Rosary Rally Goal: 12,000 --Counting: 8,130

2014 Public Square Rosary Central

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Nobility vs. Vulgarity

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Postmodern society shuns refinement and applauds vulgarity.

This creates a biased atmosphere against excellence, and those who appreciate the more elevated things of the spirit feel somehow suffocated.

This is where the NOBILITY newsletter comes in.

It reports on the elevated aspects of the spirit, and in this sense, it’s a breath of fresh air for those who yearn and live for higher things.

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There’s more in NOBILITY.

In this fascinating bi-weekly newsletter, you will also discover key Papal teachings on the issue of nobility.  You will meet inspiring kings and queens and read about leaders who changed history.

Socialism likes to level society, eliminate true leaders and promote false elites so the people will have nobody to look up to… except a big, bloated nanny State.

This is even happening in America.

All because good people are confused about what authentic leadership is all about, but now we can set the record straight.

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Here are a couple of TFP updates I thought you'd like to see:

August 27 – St. Monica -- Never underestimate the prayers of a mother

St. Monica

Widow; born of Christian parents at Tagaste, North Africa, in 333; died at Ostia, near Rome, in 387.

Marriage of St Monica by Antonio Vivarini

Marriage of St Monica by Antonio Vivarini

We are told but little of her childhood. She was married early in life to Patritius who held an official position in Tagaste. He was a pagan, though like so many at that period, his religion was no more than a name; his temper was violent and he appears to have been of dissolute habits. Consequently Monica’s married life was far from being a happy one, more especially as Patritius’s mother seems to have been of a like disposition with himself. There was of course a gulf between husband and wife; her almsdeeds and her habits of prayer annoyed him, but it is said that he always held her in a sort of reverence. Monica was not the only matron of Tagaste whose married life was unhappy, but, by her sweetness and patience, she was able to exercise a veritable apostolate amongst the wives and mothers of her native town; they knew that she suffered as they did, and her words and example had a proportionate effect.

Three children were born of this marriage, Augustine the eldest, Navigius the second, and a daughter, Perpetua. Monica had been unable to secure baptism for her children, and her grief was great when Augustine fell ill; in her distress she besought Patritius to allow him to be baptized; he agreed, but on the boy’s recovery withdrew his consent.


All Monica’s anxiety now centered in Augustine; he was wayward and, as he himself tells us, lazy. He was sent to Madaura to school and Monica seems to have literally wrestled with God for the soul of her son. A great consolation was vouchsafed her – in compensation perhaps for all that she was to experience through Augustine – Patritius became a Christian. Meanwhile, Augustine had been sent to Carthage, to prosecute his studies, and here he fell into grievous sin. Patritius died very shortly after his reception into the Church and Monica resolved not to marry again. At Carthage Augustine had become a Manichean and when on his return home he ventilated certain heretical propositions she drove him away from her table, but a strange vision which she had urged her to recall him.

It was at this time that she went to see a certain holy bishop, whose name is not given, but who consoled her with the now famous words, “the child of those tears shall never perish.” There is no more pathetic story in the annals of the Saints than that of Monica pursuing her wayward son to Rome, wither he had gone by stealth; when she arrived he had already gone to Milan, but she followed him. Here she found St. Ambrose and through him she ultimately had the joy of seeing Augustine yield, after seventeen years of resistance. Mother and son spent six months of true peace at Cassiacum, after which time Augustine was baptized in the church of St. John the Baptist at Milan. Africa claimed them however, and they set out on their journey, stopping at Cività Vecchia and at Ostia. Here death overtook Monica and the finest pages of his “Confessions” were penned as the result of the emotion Augustine then experienced.

Saint Monica's tomb, in Sant'Agostino church at Rome, by Isaia da Pisa.

Saint Monica’s tomb, in Sant’Agostino church at Rome, by Isaia da Pisa.

St. Monica was buried at Ostia, and at first seems to have been almost forgotten, though her body was removed during the sixth century to a hidden crypt in the church of St. Aureus. About the thirteenth century, however, the cult of St. Monica began to spread and a feast in her honour was kept on 4 May. In 1430 Martin V ordered the relics to be brought to Rome. Many miracles occurred on the way, and the cultus of St. Monica was definitely established. Later the Archbishop of Rouen, Cardinal d’Estouteville, built a church at Rome in honour of St. Augustine and deposited the relics of St. Monica in a chapel to the left of the high altar. The Office of St. Monica however does not seem to have found a place in the Roman Breviary before the sixteenth century.

In 1850 there was established at Notre Dame de Sion at Paris an Association of Christian mothers under the patronage of St. Monica; its object was mutual prayer for sons and husbands who had gone astray. This Association was in 1856 raised to the rank of an archconfraternity and spread rapidly over all the Catholic world, branches being established in Dublin, London, Liverpool, Sydney, and Buenos Aires. Eugenius IV had established a similar Confraternity long before.

Bibliography. ST. AUGUSTINE, Confession, IX, reprinted in SURIUS. GUALTERUS, Canon Regular of Ostia, who was especially charged with the work of removing the relics from Ostia by Martin V, wrote a life of the saint with an account of the translation. He appended to the life a letter which used to be attributed to St. Augustine but which is undoubtedly spurious; it purports to be written to his sister Perpetua and describes their mother’s death. The BOLLANDISTS decide for the contemporary character of the letter whilst denying it to St. Augustine. BARONIUS, Ann. Eccl., ad an. 389; BOUGAUD, Histoire de S. Monique.

HUGH T. POPE (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 26 – This Saint and noblewoman survived the Terror and founded the Daughters of the Cross

Saint Elizabeth Bichier des Ages


She was born of a rich, noble family on July 5, 1773, at the Château des Ages, France. Raised in a pious home, she developed at an early age a close relationship with God and a genuine love for the poor.

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St. André-Hubert Fournet

St. André-Hubert Fournet

She was twenty-five when she first met André Hubert Fournet at one of his clandestine masses at Les Marsillys. He soon enlisted her help in teaching the faith and caring for the sick and needy. Her magnetic personality and her cause soon attracted other young women to join her. After a few years, the group became a religious congregation known as Les Filles de la Croix (The Daughters of the Cross). Sister Jeanne Elisabeth, commonly known as “la Bonne Soeur” (the Good Sister), died at La Puye, France on August 26th, 1838, at the age of sixty-five. At the time, there were 600 sisters working in 99 different parts of France. On July 6, 1947, the Church officially proclaimed Jeanne Elisabeth Bichier des Ages a saint.

Equality Is The True Religious Battle of Our Days

Freedom From Religion Foundation sign on a street in Harrisburg, PA. Photo by Jason.

Freedom From Religion Foundation sign on a street in Harrisburg, PA. Photo by Jason.

For over five hundred years a terrible ideological battle has been waging throughout the world, especially the Christian West. It aims to create a culture and civilization that entirely subverts not only the order of God’s creation, but also the very idea of God Himself.

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According to the Marxist doctrine, this can only be accomplished by establishing total equality amongst everything, because the idea of God is a result of the inequalities in the world.

This graffiti is at the base of a statue of the Sacred Heart at the Castle of Monzon, Aragon, Spain. Photo by Ecelan.

“Away with Christ! He would never allow it.” This graffiti is at the base of a statue of the Sacred Heart at the Castle of Monzon, Aragon, Spain. Photo by Ecelan.

This is not to say that all the crises shaking the world today come, in final analysis, from the idea of inequality. Nonetheless the thesis equality versus inequality is, from a psychological point of view, the key point from which all these crises are derived.

Equality versus Inequality is without a doubt an aesthetic-moral-religious issue whose perfection is a reflection of God on earth. Herein lays the true religious battle of our days.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, quoted in Tradition, Family Property Association, ed., Egalitarianism: The Metaphysical Value and Religion of Our Days – Social Leveling…Total Leveling (Glasgow: Tradition, Family, Property Association, 2011), French flaps.

TFP Rally Disrupted by Pro-Homosexual Blasphemers Yelling “God is Dead”Click Here to read more about the above Campaign

Pro-Family Students Prepare For Heroic Action

By James Bascom

By many measures, public opinion across the Western world in the last few decades has become increasingly conservative. Issues that were seemingly “settled” years ago, such as abortion, homosexuality, contraception, feminism, socialized medicine, gun control, global warming and many others are today hotly contested, and some are even losing ground.

Western youth in particular are experiencing a surge in adherence to traditional moral values and a growing opposition to socialist, anti-family policies. The annual March for Life in Washington D.C. and La Manif Pour Tous in France – attended by hundreds of thousands of young people – are two examples. Many youth today are organizing to resist anti-family policies that are being imposed on society by the government with the support of academia and the liberal media.

One event where this conservative trend was on full display was the 2014 International Student Conference, held in Niepołomice, Poland from July 23-27 and sponsored by the European Societies for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) and the Fr. Peter Skarga Foundation. More than 120 students, activists, and youth leaders from 21 countries in Europe and the Americas gathered for a week of prayer, study, and training to more effectively bring pro-family, Counter-Revolutionary know-how and activism to their respective countries.

The conference was inspired by the work and philosophical worldview of the late Brazilian professor, writer, Catholic activist and founder of the first TFP, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira and especially his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution. This year’s theme was, “Restoring Christian Civilization: A Crusade for the 21st Century.”

The daily program was packed with talks on many topics, from Counter-Revolutionary goals and methods, to the principles of organic Christian society. Attendees were eager to learn about successful strategies and tactics and about the many historical examples of victory in the fight to defend Christian civilization.

Many speakers gave presentations with stories of successful campaigns in defense of the unborn and the family.

In addition, conference participants went on a guided tour of downtown Krakow where they had the opportunity to visit many beautiful sights in the former capitol of the Kings of Poland, including the imposing Wawel Cathedral, the gothic basilica of St. Mary, and the Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland. Such sights gave participants a greater appreciation for the Christian roots of Europe and the civilization for which they are fighting.

Enthusiasm, unity, and a strong sense of purpose was in the air. Students and activists from Estonia to Portugal, The Netherlands to Italy, and the United States to Argentina exchanged stories of struggles and victories, giving everyone hope for the future and a greater determination to fight in defense of Christian civilization.
Conference participants were honored by the presence of His Excellency Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan. Bishop Schneider heard Confessions and celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily and gave an informative talk on the life of Pope Saint Pius X and his fight against Modernism in the Church.

A special "guest" of the conference was the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The historic statue -- which miraculously wept in New Orleans in 1972 – was able to stay for the duration of the conference. A 24-hour prayer vigil was organized in her presence, beseeching the Blessed Virgin to shower the conference with graces and new fortitude for the noble fight ahead of us.

In his closing talk, German TFP member Duke Paul von Oldenburg invited participants with inspiring words to redouble their efforts to defend Christian civilization.  “The fight against the Revolution is only feasible if one has the spirit of a crusader like King Saint Louis IX,” he said. Unlike the Middle Ages, he warned, “social exclusion is the greatest suffering of the 21st century crusader,” but every faithful Catholic must “follow the call, and be generous with God and Our Lady.”

Duke Paul von Oldenburg delivering his keynote speech.

New HHS Mandate Rule Fails to Respect Hobby Lobby Ruling

By Arina Grossu

The Family Research Council (FRC), after reading the fact sheet on the new proposed HHS mandate rule pertaining to non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit entities, like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, again confirms that the HHS mandate violates the conscience rights of non-profit organizations and family businesses across the country.

Arina Grossu, Director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, made the following comments: