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“Salus animarum supemus lex esto” — ”the salvation of souls must be the supreme law in the Church.” Canon Law 1752

Suggested Reading:

The Problem
of Evil

The Problem of Evil: Exonerating God

Exonerating God


CCD: Crisis in Catholic Doctrine

Crisis in
Catholic Doctrine:

the Grave State of Religious Education in America

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Today’s Martyrology



Holy Week 2019



How many are wondering ... “What is God telling us?”

Notre Dame — April 14, 2019

— and the Catholic Church since Vatican II





Welcome Home to the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church

Home ... the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church

 “That understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding”
(Blessed Pope Pius IX, 1st Vatican Council, S.3, C.2 on Revelation, 1870 ex cathedra)



A Very Serious Matter of




I wish to invoke several absolutely vital, indeed, indispensable passages from Holy Scripture — words of Our Blessed Lord Himself, and His Apostles.

I wish then to present the words of Francis.

I make no judgment on the latter. Francis’s words are clear and unambiguous.

However, a reading of the two, both in conjunction and contraposition — apart from the profoundly questionable theological adaptation of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s “hermeneutics” and the German “Emeritus” Benedict’s adjunct “of continuity” — reveals not simply a disjunction (semiotic or otherwise) but much more importantly a contradiction.

We are well aware of the Scriptural references adduced, but perhaps less aware of Francis’s repudiation of them.

I think it important to make them clear, and to allow the Catholic reader to make the necessary inferences — even deductions — entailed, completely explicit — to such a point that even the most disinterested reader will arrive at an ineluctable conclusion at which he will recognize either correspondence or contradiction. The conclusion is of the utmost importance, involving as it does, the raison d'etre and concomitantly the primary mission of the Catholic Church: Salus Animarum, or the Salvation of Souls.




“Peter and John replied: Do you think that God wants us to obey You — or Him (Acts of the Apostles 4.19)


Jesus Christ uttered the following:

  • “Go therefore, and teach all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Saint Matthew 28.19-20)

  • “Go into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned (Saint Mark 16.15-16)


Francis, by contrast, uttered the following:

  • “Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic?  No! No! No!  Go out and meet him. He is your brother. This is enough.”

  • “Proselytism is solemn nonsense. It makes no sense!”

  • “We [just] need to get to know each other.”


On the other hand, the Apostle Saint John argued the following:

  • “How then shall they call on Him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent ...?”  (Romans 10.14-16)

And the Apostle Saint Paul was absolutely clear:

  • “Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel.” (I Corinthians 9.16)


The obvious question is “How do we reconcile these quite disparate and apparently contradictory utterances?”

The answer is equally clear: we cannot. They are contradictory. What Christ, Saint John, and Saint Paul teach is not simply incompatible with what Francis teaches — but, much more seriously — irreconcilable.

Three are wrong, or one is wrong.

Not all can be wrong, but not all can be right.

It is a matter of Logic 101: The Principle of Non-Contradiction which holds that “contradictory propositions cannot both be true, e. g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. Formally this is expressed as the tautology ~(p & ~p)” and The Law of the Excluded Middle which “states that for any proposition, either that proposition is true, or its negation is”)


The Frightening Conclusion? Francis is either a heretic — or non compos mentis (not of a sound mind). He can be both. But he cannot be neither.


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
April 10, 2019


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Tridentine Mass of the Ages

What Faith ...


   and of Whose Fathers?

Clown Mass - a desecration The New  Order (Novus Ordo) Mass                 


“Faith of our fathers, living still ... ?”

“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”  (Saint Luke 18.8)


No more stunning, no more frightening, and perhaps no more ominously portentous words are spoken in all the Gospels, in fact, in the entire New Testament — perhaps even in the entirety of Sacred Scripture itself — words that become increasingly

fraught with significance with every passing generation. Indeed, we must wonder if they are, in fact, spoken of this generation ... or of one soon — very soon, to come.


“When the Son of Man comes will He find Faith on earth?”

As with so many of Christ’s teachings, the troubling question Christ puts to us in asking if He will so much as find Faith upon His return is too often and too deftly explained away — especially by the overwhelming number of liberal theologians and bishops who have proliferated and multiplied since 1962 — which is to say, by “the learned and the wise”. It would appear that either Christ does not know what He is saying, or we do not know what He is saying — although we all agree that He said something that sounds suspiciously clear.

These are twelve words, however, to which we must pay careful attention, perhaps more now than at any other time in Church history.

However reluctant we are to take Christ at His word — which becomes increasingly inconvenient to us —  we must recognize that Jesus never spoke idly: His words, His teachings — and yes, His Commandments — were always uttered to one explicit end: the salvation of souls — attaining to Heaven and everlasting happiness and to avoiding Hell and eternal misery. The Jewish religious authorities — “the learned” of His own time — had scornfully dismissed Christ’s warning that not so much as stone would remain standing in the great Temple 1 ... the very Temple within which, 70 years later, these words were fulfilled when Rome laid waste in days what took 46 years to build.

We tend to view such alarming statements made by Jesus — and there are many — with the same scorn and disdain today.

Indeed ... what has become of the “Faith of our Fathers?”

A mere fifty years ago we ourselves would have instinctively replied “Of course He will find faith! There simply must be some deeper, some obscure and less evident meaning to this that we do not presently understand — and what He appears to be saying, He is not really saying at all. Surely the “learned” of our own day can deftly explain the answer to this troubling question. In the end, they will conclude, Jesus is really asking something entirely different from what He appears to be asking and that it has nothing to do with our very real defection from the Faith.”

It is likely that many Jews of Jesus’ time — both the learned and the unlearned — had replied in much the same way. In fact, they did. 2

In other words, to us, our faith, the Faith of the Catholic Church for two millennia, could no sooner disappear than ... well, the stones of the great Temple 2000 years ago!

If, however, we take a careful inventory of our present and undeniably dismal and increasingly scandalous situation in the Church — especially as it has unfolded in the last five decades — Jesus does not quite appear as ...
“perplexing” ... as so many apparently make Him to be.

CANDIDLY Ask yourself the following:

  • Has the Faith — the Catholic Faith — indeed, has Christianity itself,  flourished in the last 50 years, or has it withered?

  • Are vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life growing or dwindling?

  • Are Catholics (are Christians in general) having more children or are they having fewer children?

  • Are Missionary efforts, to the end of (dare we say it?) “conversion” as mandated by Christ 2  encouraged as intrinsic to Catholicism — or are they discouraged as impolite, obtrusive, culturally imperialistic and inherently inimical to the “Ecumenical spirit of Vatican II” — especially as interpreted by Pope Francis for whom “proselytism is solemn nonsense”, to use his own words?

  • Is it really the case that “conversion” to Christ and His Church is actively discouraged — that especially under Pope Francis it is no longer understood as a holy and inherently necessary endeavor — rather than being disdained, even dismissed, as “socially and culturally incorrect” — indeed, has it really come to this: that promoting our Catholic Faith as Christ has commanded us to, been all but forbidden by Francis and his “progressive” coterie of feckless and disaffected cardinals and bishops?

  • Is our understanding of the Catholic Church, as an absolutely unique institution indispensable to the ordinary means of salvation, emphasized as urgently today (if it is emphasized at all) as it was a hundred years ago? Fifty years ago? Indeed, is the concept itself of the singularity and indispensability of the Holy  Catholic Church authentically deemed a dogma and a viable concept any longer?

For all our insolence and equivocation, we know the answers, and we are uncomfortable with them, for they fly in the face of Christ and all that He taught — to say nothing of Sacred Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the Sacred Deposit of the Faith entrusted to the Catholic Church by God Himself.

Indeed, Christ’s question takes on a greater sense of urgency, for the sheep are scattered and confused as never before. The papacy of Francis has been disastrous for the Church. Why? Because he has taken Vatican II to its logical conclusion: the irrelevance of the Church.

Ubi est Pastor? Where is the Shepherd?

Where is the Shepherd? Who is earnestly addressing this spiritual malaise and religious decay, the indolence and dereliction of the vast majority of American and European bishops who appear far more eager for secular plaudits than the now quaint and discredited notion of “the salvation of souls.” Pope Francis has effectively declared this mandate defunct in favor of the rehabilitation — and sometimes transformation — of bodies, societies, economies, and the environment. That the passing material environment of man is infinitely less important than the eternal abode of his soul often appears to elude Francis. Indeed, it appears to elude most Catholics whose mantra increasingly coincides with the world’s:  Social activism! ... not interior conversion away from this world and to Christ.

Shame! Shame on us! By our silence, our fear of being disparaged by “other Catholics” for the sake of Christ, we condone this travesty — are complicit in it ... even promote it!  What will motivate us to recognize, and to redress, this frightful and ultimately deadly state of affairs?

There are, after all, other contenders in this world for the souls of men ... seen and unseen! As our own wick smolders, others blaze! The burning Crescent of Islam, poised like a scimitar, and every bit as deadly, glows and grows in the east, and with it, not an ethnic, but a Religious Cleansing to which the world remains indifferent — an expunging of every vestige of Christianity in partibus infidelium. Even the European Union will no longer tolerate the inclusion of its indissoluble Christian heritage within its Constitution. Not only does it thoroughly repudiate its own Christian cultural heritage — it prohibits it — even banishes it!

Surely, then, in our effort to remedy this impending state of dissolution, we will first turn to our bishops, since they are, preeminently, the “Teachers and Guardians of the Faith”. But more often than not — much more often than not — in the well-appointed office at the end of the corridor we do not find a shepherd of souls but a deeply sequestered, occasionally avuncular, and predictably remote ... “administrator”.

Relegating his prime responsibility as Teacher and Promoter of the Faith ... to others, in the form of Lay committees and subcommittees largely “chaired” by liberal Catholics more concerned with social issues than the salvation of souls, are we confident that the patrimony of our faith will somehow percolate through this strata of already contaminated soil and reach our children authentically and intact? Is our fear mitigated ... or further exacerbated ... by our bishops’ resolute lack of diligence in being attentive to what Catholic colleges and theologians in their own dioceses are really teaching — and who are teaching the teachers ... who, in turn, are teaching our children

Do you think that your bishop actually — that is to say, cognitively — is aware of, or even concerned with — what the teachers themselves are actually teaching?

Not in this diocese. Not in Boston. In fact, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley routinely fetes, praises, and holds up as exemplary the clueless “Catechists” who churn out our children to the Sacrament of Confirmation — with no clue whatever of that in which they are being confirmed. By comparison, even the dismal failure of our public schools in Boston must be deemed a stunning success.

For most of us — especially in the Archdiocese of Boston, but no less elsewhere — the answer is, as they say, a “no-brainer”: it is a universally resounding no. Most of us find, to our growing dismay and deepening cynicism, that our Bishops appear to have “more important”, more ... “pressing” things to do ... than to communicate the Faith to the faithful ... especially the children.

Really, we beg the question: if no one teaches the teachers — who, then, teaches the children? If they are not brought the faith by those to whom it has been entrusted — the  bishops, the episcopacy — who will bring it to them?

Will they — how can they
— acquire the Faith ... if no one brings it to them? Saint Paul is very clear about this:

“How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent ...?”  (Romans 10.14-15)

Ask yourself candidly: do you know more ... or less ... of your Catholic faith than your children? Very likely more — although, in all honesty, it is probably little. You politely assent to the now quaint Catholic notion that “parents are the primary teachers  of their children”, but knowing little of your own Faith, you simply shell out $50.00 per child and pan off this grave responsibility to others of whom you know nothing, and who themselves largely know nothing of the faith they presume to teach. You go through the motions as careless of what your children are taught in their 10 years of “Religious Education” as your Bishop is of what the teachers teach. 10 years later, and $500 poorer per child, you scratch your head and wonder why Johnny still does not know God, and why Judy never goes to Mass — and yet we have agreed that you know more than your children ...

What, then, we must ask — with growing apprehension — will your children teach their children ...?

What will they
— who know even less than you — teach those who know nothing?


Total Ignorance

The momentum, as we see, is inexorable — until it culminates in total ignorance: every generation knows less of their faith than the generation preceding it. It is, in the end, the devolution from doctrine to legend, from legend to fiction, and from fiction to myth.

That is not just a poor, but a stultifying and ultimately deadly patrimony.

This default — at every level — in transmitting the authentic Catholic faith intact ... leaves Jesus question suddenly very real.

“Recently, a Gallup poll was taken on Catholic attitudes toward Holy Communion. The poll showed serious confusion among Catholics about one of the most basic beliefs of the Church. Only 30 percent of those surveyed believe they are actually receiving the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.”  4              

The problem is more than mathematical, as we have seen; it is exponential. 70%  of Catholics do not possess this most fundamental, this most essential understanding of the core article of genuine Catholic doctrine: that “Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you have no life in you.” Heavy stuff!

It is not just a matter of the greatest concern, but nothing less than a matter of the gravest dereliction that most Catholics do not realize — do not know — that the very Mass itself is an abbreviation of
“The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”, and that it is really a Sacrifice, the actual re-enactment of Calvary before their very eyes!

This failure of understanding ... culminates in a failure in Faith. It possesses, in significant ways, the remorseless characteristics of mathematical certainties.  Not understanding, grasping — having never been taught — the most elementary features of the faith, how can they be understood to possess what they have not acquired, and how can they transmit, pass on, what they do not possess? It is inescapable.  

Prognostication, of course, is for fools.

But the words of Christ are certainties that will come to pass.

“Weep not for Me, but for your children”, 5 Christ told the sorrowing women on the road to Calvary.

In very deed.

Jesus’ question, then —
“When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on earth?”, is not a “rhetorical question” at all; it is a question fraught with enormous significance ... the frightful answer to which appears to be unfolding before our very eyes — but that is if you take Christ at His word — and given Jesus’ track record on things yet to come, we would do well and wisely to give pause for more than thought.

Are you worried now ...?  Not nearly enough.

And this is all the more frightening still.


Boston Catholic Journal


1 Saint Matthew 24.1

2  Saint John 2.19

3 Matthew 28:19


5 Saint Luke 23.28

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Pope Francis and the smoke of satan in the sanctuary

The Odor of Sulfur ... not Sanctity


“Vade post Me Satana, scandalum es Mihi: quia non sapis ea quae Dei sunt, sed ea quae hominum.”  (Saint Matthew 16.23)

“Get thee behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto Me: because thou savorest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.”

These were Christ’s words ... to Saint Peter — the first pope — when, of himself, Peter decided the way that Jesus should go ... the way that he himself deemed the best path. Imagine ... for that moment — Peter was Satan! It is staggering!

And except for Francis, unimaginable ...


Who has not Smelled it?

Obedience to the pope presumes the pope’s obedience to Christ — and to the nearly 2000 year old Sacred Deposit of Faith that Christ entrusted to His Bride the Church. In Holy Scripture, in Sacred Tradition, and in the Deposit of Faith we find the fullness of truth and the unerring certainty of the will of God in all things. Who defects from any of the three defects from all and who teaches otherwise teaches heresy. He is separated from the Church. 1

No one is exempt because no one is immune to grievous sin — sin so grave that excommunication is incurred latζ sententiζ (automatically: as soon as the sin is committed).  Canon Law 1463 states:
“Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them.”

But what if the pope himself is the excommunicate (latae sententiae) ... or even worse?

Who is not confused?

In the face of the near daily assaults — by the present papacy itself and an episcopacy in apparent complicity with him — on 2000 years of the consistent teaching of the Church, on the very Deposit of Faith, and on the validity of Sacred Scripture itself, what Catholic has not asked — in the fearfully deep and most secret recesses of his soul — the question “Whence?” From whom and from what comes this relentless scourging of faith — even at the vertex of the Church itself — this overwhelming defection from all that is holy to all that is vile?

“There is smoke in the sanctuary” and instinctively we perceive it, recoil from it. It is proffered as incense but is pungent to our senses  — as the fume of smoldering sulfur.

We are confused between the Word of God become Man and the word of man become god.

What a fearful divide rends the Body of Christ anew!  See how the sheep are scattered! Need we tell you who is the father of confusion and lies ...?


No Longer Inconceivable ...

Imagine ... the pope himself as the principle cause of confusion — and defection — in the Catholic Church. It is nothing less than ... diabolically clever.

It is Francis indeed whom satan has sought to sift like wheat 2  — and sadly, it would appear, with much success and to great measure.


Manifest Complicity with Evil — and the "Father of Lies" himself

In our obligation to Charity (one of the three Theological Virtues: Faith and Hope being the other two), we should pray that Francis, together with the cardinals and bishops complicit with him, should renounce their complicity with satan, the father of lies and their collaboration with the manifest evil that they have embraced and propagated — and through which they would pull down the walls of the Church and make Christ a liar! Indeed, did not Jesus speak of this current Brood of Vipers when He said:

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not
in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof
(St. John 8.44)

Mass Defection

A frightening number of cardinals, bishops, and priests have lost their faith altogether and no longer believe what Christ Himself and Holy Mother the Church taught for 2000 years. Formally, this is called apostasy. They have defected from the Bride of Christ because She is pure and their desires are evil — She is not of this world — but they are! Her Body is chaste and their desires are perverse, corrupt, and defiled. It is precisely in the paradigm of the The Third Temptation of Christ that we find the provenance of this defection (apostasy. What Jesus Christ spurned (worldly “power and glory” ), they have lusted for — and in exchange for it have given the required tribute to the “father of lies” —  satan — who openly boasts of the “power” and “the glory of this world”, that: “to me they are delivered, and I give them to whom I will” (St. Luke 4.5-6).


The Tribute due to the father of lies

And what is that tribute? LIES. If the father is a liar, then his brood can only be liars, too. Christ has already told us: “the desires of your father you will do ... for he is a liar, and the father thereof In exchange for power and perversion they have traded lies: lies about Christ’s teaching, about the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church, about the Sacred Deposit of Faith, about Catholic Doctrine and Dogma, about morals, about Heaven and Hell — about Sacred Scripture itself!  They have lusted for power — perhaps even more than they have shamefully and perversely lusted for other men — and to acquire this power they have traded truth for lies!

It is, we will find, through the Faithful, the Laity, that the Church will be delivered — just as it was in the days of the early heresies when miter and crozier, cardinal and bishop, were bent in submission to apostasy from the Faith — apostasies to which the laity, having learned the truth in holy simplicity, gave no heed. They could smell a wolf under the greatest abundance of wool.

Christ Himself is the Good Shepherd. “The sheep follow Him, because they know His voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.” (Saint John 10:4-5)

Hold fast to the Faith of our Fathers! Cleave to Christ and to what He has taught us, to what Holy Mother Church taught us prior to Vatican II — and fear nothing, and no one — no matter his power or how ruthlessly he demands submission. “For there is no other name under Heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4.12)

Did not Christ Himself promise:  “I will not forsake you.” (Saint John 14.18)?

Nor must we ever forsake Him through any inducement to sin — by whomsoever.


1 )

2   Saint Luke 22.31


Boston Catholic Journal

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Further Reading on the Papacy of Francis:


Martyrology for today:



Thursday April 18th in the Year of Grace 2019

Season of Lent


This Day, the Eighteenth Day of April

At Rome, St. Apollonius, a senator under the emperor Commodus and the prefect Perennius. Having been denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves, and being commanded to give an account of his faith, he composed an able work which he read in the Senate. He was nevertheless decapitated for Christ by the sentence of that body.

At Messina, the birthday of the holy martyrs, Eleutherius, bishop of Illyricum, and Anthia, his mother. Illustrious by his holiness of life and his power of working miracles, he was, in the reign of Adrian, laid on a bed of red-hot iron, on a gridiron, in a pan filled with boiling oil, pitch and rosin; he was cast to the lions, but, remaining unhurt, he finally had his throat pierced with a sword. His mother suffered a similar punishment.

In the same place, St. Corebus, prefect, who was converted to the faith by St. Eleutherius, and died by the sword.

At Brescia, St. Calocerus, a martyr, who was converted to Christ by Saints Faustinus and Jovita, and under the same Adrian terminated his glorious combat for the confession of the faith.

At Cordova, St. Perfect, priest and martyr, killed by the Moors for inveighing against the followers of Muhammad.

At Milan, St. Galdini, cardinal and bishop of that city, who, at the conclusion of a discourse against heretics, gave up his soul to God.

In Tuscany, on Mount Senario, blessed Amideus, one of the seven Founders of the Order of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary, very celebrated for an ardent love of God.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

Omnes sancti Mαrtyres, orαte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

Response: Thanks be to God.


Roman Martyrology by Month


Why the Martyrs Matter


Each day we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.

They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!).1

What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?

Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …

Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?

Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.

We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small, sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.

“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles: “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.

Geoffrey K. Mondello
oston Catholic Journal

Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised “De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs” for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.




By J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore

THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official and accredited record, on the pages of which are set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words, the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict has beatified or canonized. In making up this long roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God, who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has endowed her, and which permeates through and guides all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she teaches and practices what He commands.

If the world has its “Legions of Honor”, why should not also the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth? If men who have been stained with blood, and women who have been tainted with vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory, because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved great success, or were, to a greater or less extent, benefactors of their race in the temporal order, which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example, have overcome themselves, risen superior to and trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown, and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men, have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if man, why should not God? “Thy friends, O Lord, are exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly exalted.” Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth, with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for ages on ages.

The wisdom of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated. The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models. Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost, in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection. Their example still appeals to our minds and to our hearts, more eloquently even than did their words to the men of their own generation, while they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct with sanctity, and through them they continue to breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality into which they have entered still lingers in their bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains. As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal, is more potent in its influence on the human heart and conduct than are words in their most eloquent utterances.

The Church knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth, with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his life, the moment of his conversion “If other men like me have attained to such sanctity, why not I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven? Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted, in the petty contest for this world's evanescent honors and riches, while the poor and contemned lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?”

It is a consoling evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this country to find the Martyrology here published, for the first time, in English, and thereby made accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to all classes of our population. It will prove highly edifying and useful, not only to the members of our numerous religious Communities of both sexes, but also to the laity generally. Every day has here its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied, who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith and with great profit, the brief page of each day's models of Holiness. These belong to all classes and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel, from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.

Let all, then, procure and read daily the appropriate portions of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal will console us in affliction, will animate us in despondency, will make our souls glow with the love of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for us in Heaven!

Imprimatur,  J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland 1916

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(and what “Forever” really means)


Pope Pius V Catechism of Trent


“From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God's help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose. For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism published for the instruction of the faithful, by God's help, and the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as fitting and proper —  for it is most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass — We deemed it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as possible.

Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.

Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us.
This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women — even of military orders — and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.

All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by
this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.

We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.

Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that
this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remains always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription — except, however, if more than two hundred years' standing.

It is Our will, therefore, and by the same authority, We decree that, after We publish this constitution and the edition of the Missal, the priests of the Roman Curia are, after thirty days, obliged to chant or read the Mass according to it; all others south of the Alps, after three months; and those beyond the Alps either within six months or whenever the Missal is available for sale. Wherefore, in order that the Missal be preserved incorrupt throughout the whole world and kept free of flaws and errors, the penalty for nonobservance for printers, whether mediately or immediately subject to Our dominion, and that of the Holy Roman Church, will be the forfeiting of their books and a fine of one hundred gold ducats, payable ipso facto to the Apostolic Treasury. Further, as for those located in other parts of the world, the penalty is excommunication latae sententiae, and such other penalties as may in Our judgment be imposed; and We decree by this law that they must not dare or presume either to print or to publish or to sell, or in any way to accept books of this nature without Our approval and consent, or without the express consent of the Apostolic Commissaries of those places, who will be appointed by Us. Said printer must receive a standard Missal and agree faithfully with it and in no wise vary from the Roman Missal of the large type (secundum magnum impressionem).

Accordingly, since it would be difficult for this present pronouncement to be sent to all parts of the Christian world and simultaneously come to light everywhere, We direct that it be, as usual, posted and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, also at the Apostolic Chancery, and on the street at Campo Flora; furthermore, We direct that printed copies of this same edict signed by a notary public and made official by an ecclesiastical dignitary possess the same indubitable validity everywhere and in every nation, as if Our manuscript were shown there.
Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene it, know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

Given at St. Peter’s in the year of the Lord's Incarnation, 1570, on the 14th of July of the Fifth year of Our Pontificate.


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