Season of Lent
homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris
the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church
understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually
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)
Mary, Conceived without
pray for us who have recourse
At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass let
us utter, ex toto corde,
die with Thee, O Christ — on Calvary!”
Fulton J. Sheen
How do I become Holy?
Let us begin
anew with the most pertinent question of our lives.
Everything else is either within it or worthless.
do I become holy? —
can I become holy?
Dare I presume
to become holy, for to be holy is to be like unto God!”
Tonight, this night, we have asked the question.
simply this: perfect conformity to the will of God in all things, at
all times, and in all places.
It is to will what God wills.
It is to act as God would have you act.
It is the perfect correspondence between who and what
you are, and who and what God wants you to be.
It is that simple.
“Be you therefore
“Estote ergo vos perfecti,
sicut et Pater vester Caelestis perfectus est”
“Be you therefore perfect, as also your
Father is perfect.” (St. Matthew 5.48)
“And He said to all: If any man will come after
Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross
daily, and follow Me.” (St. Luke 9.23)
Attending a seminary will not make you holy — although if you are a
straight, heterosexual male who possesses clear masculine attributes,
it is likely that you will never be permitted to be ordained:
that is reserved for the effeminate or homosexual male only. While this
is not Catholic policy (and in fact is contradictory
to, and in open defiance of very clear Church teaching),
it is nevertheless the actual state of affairs.
One does not take “courses” or
up for workshops”
in being holy — although there are many good books that will
help lead you into holiness — and virtually all of them were published
prior to 1960. After the decadent 1960s and the cataclysmic collapse
of the Church following Vatican II within that same decade, quite nearly
everything published under the auspices of the title “Catholic” — was
The self-inflicted wound that came to be called “Ecumenism” simply meant
repudiating, renouncing, and even vilifying what is authentically, historically,
and uniquely Catholic in a failed effort to assuage the animus of those
hostile to us — or, as happened more often, simply to apostatize to
religious indifferentism (all religions are equally good and
all lead to the same God) … and eventually came to mean little more
than a thinly veiled pantheism. 1 In effect, we became
who refused to become
Tearing Christ from the Cross —
the New Imperative of
In other words, following Vatican II, Christ was torn from the Cross
and for Modernist Catholics the Cross became a token of shame
— an embarrassing vestige of their once thoroughly supernatural religion
which has been
“corrected and rehabilitated” by
and Modernist theologians, bishops, priests, and Religious — eminent
among which is the present pontiff. Religion
is now far more, and often exclusively, horizontal (pertaining to people, politics, economies,
and the new goddess of environmentalism, Mother Earth) — than it is
vertical (pertaining to worshipping, loving, and serving God
alone — supremely, which is to say, above all else).
The reality is that what we now construe as
worthy of worship is not God at all,
but a simulacrum: a secularized worship best
realized and achieved
by the apotheosis of man through focusing on the socio-sexual,
economic, and political
of others and ourselves — not by (vertically — and
exclusively) worshipping God in Himself
as we had done for over 2000 years
of Vatican II
To be a traditional Catholic (that is to say, one faithful to the
historical Magisterium and teaching of the
Catholic Church) is to be “intolerant” — although this
intolerance oddly does not extend to Judaism, Protestantism, Buddhism,
Hinduism, or Islam (none of which accept or tolerate
most Catholic dogma, let alone the tenets of other religions) — or even
to Atheism and Militant Secularism . Only Catholics, apparently, have the capacity
for, and the propensity toward, “intolerance”.
Others, of course, may hold
fast to mutually contradictory teachings, doctrines, or dogmas
— none of which accept as licit anything
to the contrary and who vigorously oppose what conflicts with their
respective accepted teachings — strangely do not
incur the animus reserved for Catholics alone:
The impediment of logic
Even logic itself is tossed aside as
an impediment to the countless irreconcilable contradictions inherent
in Ecumenism. To wit, the Law of the non-contradition holds that two
things cannot both be and not be at one
and the same time. You are reading this column or
you are not reading this column. You cannot be
both reading and not reading this column. It is an inescapable contradiction.
Holy Eucharist is really and truly the Body and Blood
Holy Eucharist is not really and truly the Body and Blood
are reciprocally contradictory and mutually exclusive statements (and
beliefs). It either is, or it is not, really and truly the Body and
Blood of Christ. It logically (and even existentially) cannot be both.
Perhaps logic itself was the first casualty of Vatican II and Ecumenism.
Capitalists, as another example, have very distinct and differing concepts
of economies from Communists. Each will argue that its own ideology
is incompatible with and contradictory to the others’. Ideologically
there can be no Capitalist Communists, or Communist Capitalists. They
are not just different, or even contrasting, but opposing ideologies.
Pro-Lifers and Pro-Abortionists also have distinct and differing concepts
that logically conflict with one another. Ideologically there can be
no Pro-life Pro-Abortionists, or Pro-Abortion Pro-Lifers. Once again,
they are not just different, but opposing ideologies. Each is subtended
by differing and opposite views on life, conception, death, and murder.
However … and oddly enough, only Pro-life advocates are
while Pro-Abortion advocates are not … hmmmm….
But to return to holiness: as we have seen, Christ calls us to perfection,
and this entails denying oneself daily (very difficult, but doable),
taking up the Cross (not a very pleasant thing to do) and following
Him (the success of which alone is only afforded by both Sanctifying Grace
and Actual Grace — century-old terms no longer used because they are
no longer taught or understood).
The hard work of holiness
This is the work of holiness, of personal
sanctification — and there is no more urgent need in our lives.
“oppressive patriarchal structures”
“social justice” (this comes with holiness,
not before it)
“social and political “activism'”
This is the language of the world, of liberal academia,
of militant feminism — not of Christ. It is the language of those who
detest the Church but remain within her for “a living”; it is the childish
and neologistic ravings of dissident theologians and radical feminists
(also making a living off the Church). They are “catholic” in being
“universally” contemptible of the Church and Her teachings. They have
left being “Catholic” long ago.
None of this will lead you to holiness. None of it.
Only Christ can. And He does:
If any man will come after
me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross
daily, and follow Me.” (St. Luke 9.23)
“Be you therefore perfect,
as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (St. Matthew 5.48)
An intimate affair
Holiness is an intimate affair — between
you and God.
He does not ask you, anywhere in the Gospels, to change the world
… but to change yourself — to take up your Cross and
to follow Him ... not the world. 2
He is our paradigm of Holiness ... as
is His Holy Mother Mary who gave us that beautiful, immemorial utterance,
"Be it done to me according to thy word."
(St. Luke 1.37) In other words, as we said earlier, only conformity
to the will of God — not the world — is the essence of
Imitate them. Not the world, just as Saint Paul did:
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
Please God, let us now also say with Saint Paul,
“I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.”
Saint John, perhaps, sums it up best:
the world, nor the things which are in the world.
If any man love the world, the charity of the Father
is not in him. For all that is in the world, is the
concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of
the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the
Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away,
and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the
will of God, abideth for ever. (1 John 2.15-17)
Whom and what, then, will you follow if you seek to
be holy? Christ or the world? It is absolutely clear that you
cannot follow both. Each path diverges totally from the other,
and the longer you remain on one path the farther you will be from the
Further consider this:
most of us esteem ourselves neither holy nor wise. Indeed, we are much more
likely to say,
“I am a sinner”,
We recognize a terrible presumption in the latter statement, and
the even greater likelihood that our uttering this would be a clear
sign that we, indeed, are not holy – even as we secretly
relish what we publicly repudiate: being esteemed holy. We are so
clever, so subtle in our pretensions that we ourselves
inwardly hold it to be true — by virtue of our repudiating it.
By denying what we affirm, we affirm what we deny:
holy people do not deem themselves holy
I do not
deem myself holy
I must be truly holy
It is logic
itself — in its most seductive ... and subreptive ... form. This
form of reasoning is called Modus Ponens. The problem with
this type argument, however, is that while the form is
indeed valid, it does not, simply for this reason, give us warrant
to hold that the statements within it are necessarily true. In this
case, the form of the argument is completely valid — it
is sound reasoning. However, while it is the case that the first
premise is true, it is also the case that the conclusion is false.
presented above is really a paradigm for Catholics. And the great
deception within it is not so much that we succeed in deceiving
others, but that we succeed in deceiving ourselves.
Now, we must think on that a moment. We deceive ourselves.
It is almost an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. How can we succeed
in deceiving ourselves? One cannot deceive without being aware of
the deceit ... right? This is the great deception. We deceptively
deceive ourselves. It is, in other words, deception as
a duplexity: it is a double negative, a negation of a negation –
which is always its opposite: an affirmation.
“I am not
– which is to say,
“I am X”. It is a false negation. It is the mere
appearance of a negation, and that is why it is the greater
deception. It is not that we simply deceive others by appearances
(in this case, in the the form of words), but by another and involuted
turn of appearances we attempt to deceive ourselves.
Of course, it never comes off. It remains an oxymoron. While we
may have succeeded in our attempt to deceive others, we also recognize
that we have attempted – and failed – to deceive ourselves. We
believe ourselves holy although we are not. In fact, we
sometimes even honestly strive to believe that we are not
holy ... but even that effort itself only serves to reinforce our
belief that we are holy. After all, who but one holy, would
seek to think themselves otherwise? One who is holy. It is circular,
and because it is, truth cannot enter into the closed confines circumscribed
by that self-perpetuating circle of deception.
We nevertheless ascribe holiness to others (and deem this a virtue,
a kind of largesse) — but in reality do not, or seldom, sincerely
believe it. We are reluctant to concede to others what we do not
possess ourselves. The circle of deception grows wider, consuming
others in that incessant consumption of itself.
“So and so is holy
... but ...” We distrust holiness because
we are not genuinely acquainted with it.
The real question involves the question itself. Why.
Why are we asking the question of others, or more importantly,
why are we asking it of ourselves? Something is amiss.
God alone is holy
It is worth repeating: God alone is holy.
Only inasmuch as we participate in God Himself, do we participate
in holiness. We do not possess it. Another does not possess it.
Neither ever will. Only God does. We can only participate
in that holiness that is pre-eminently
Perhaps an analogy will suffice:
We are not what we participate in. It is distinct from us even as
we participate in it. A golfer is one who participates in golf,
in the activity of golfing. But he is not
“golf”. We may even understand
his identity as a golfer as descriptive of who he is, and
even what he is. To some extent this is true. He is
a golfer: that is to say, the
“what” and the
“who” of the golfer
is, to a greater or lesser degree, tethered to the activity in which
he participates. But remove the ball and the club and he is no longer
a golfer. Whatever else he is, he is not a golfer
because he no longer participates in golf. While it is
an activity into which he enters, in which he participates, the
activity is not the man.
In much the same way it is absurd of us to conceive of holiness
as a possession, as something which can be predicated of us in an
ontological sense, that is to say, in and of ourselves, or, for
some, through meritorious association. We cannot secretly pride
ourselves on our holiness (which, notwithstanding, we methodologically
deny). We have none. None of our own. We can no more pride
ourselves in its possession, than disdain another for lacking it.
It is not ours. It is not theirs. It is God's. And He participates
it to Whom He wills – and even then ... even then, it is not their
We participate in God’s Holiness – and only insofar as
we participate in God Himself.
This frightful arrogance that presumes to judge of itself and others
– this audacity to impute holiness to oneself or to others as something
commendatory – as though it were rigorously
acquired and assimilated, much as we acquire and assimilate learning
– as though it were possessed in part from a greater whole
to which it either measurably contributes or from which it substantivally
derives – this immense hubris goes beyond deception, and encroaches
on something ancient and evil.
How often Jesus admonishes us not to judge! Of ourselves or others!
Nor does He delimit the terms, confining them to pronouncements
of perdition only. We have no credentials to judge whatever
... on any terms! Not concerning others. And not concerning
ourselves. But most especially not concerning ourselves – and eminently
concerning our own presumed holiness.
The Publican had it right. He had nothing and he knew it. The Pharisee
judged both the publican and himself and found himself wrong before
God on both counts. He thought he knew what was holy and believing
himself to possess it, set the benchmark for sanctity before which
the Publican fell woefully short ...
If it is your wish to make pronouncements on holiness then go to
Him Alone Who Is Holy. But do not be hasty. Those eager to be magistrates
in the Courts of the Almighty must themselves pass through the dock
before they go to the bench ...
“Pope Benedict XVI leads an interfaith peace meeting in the Basilica
of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, Italy, Oct. 27. Pictured, from
left, are: Archbishop Norvan Zakarian of the Armenian Apostolic Church,
Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury and Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew of Constantinople, Pope Benedict, Rabbi David Rosen, representing
the chief rabbinate of Israel; Wande Abimbola, president of a Nigerian
institute that promotes the study of the culture and traditional religion
of the Yoruba people; and Shrivatsa Goswami, a Hindu delegate”.
“ASSISI, Italy (AP) – “Pope Benedict XVI joined Buddhist monks, Islamic
scholars, Yoruba leaders and a handful of agnostics in making a communal
call for peace Thursday, insisting that religion must never be used
as a pretext for war or terrorism. Benedict welcomed some 300 leaders
representing a rainbow of faiths to the hilltop Italian town of Assisi
to commemorate the 25th anniversary of a daylong prayer for peace here
called by Pope John Paul II in 1986 amid Cold War conflicts.
Standing on the altar of St. Mary of the Angels basilica, Wande Abimbola
of Nigeria, representing Africa's traditional Yoruba religion, sang
and shook a percussion instrument as he told the delegates that peace
can only come with greater respect for indigenous religions.
“We must always remember that our own religion, along with the religions
practiced by other people, are valid and precious in the eyes of the
Almighty, who created all of us with such plural and different ways
of life and belief systems,” he said.
Blessed John Paul II, on the contrary, intuited the public force of
religions, despite secularization. He knew that religions could be attractive
to war-like passions. Worried about the cold war, he invited leaders
of Christian religions and other world religions to Assisi.
St. Matthew 4.8; St. Mark 4.19; St. Luke 4.5, 12.30; St. John 7.7, 14.17,
15.19, 16.33, 17.9, 17.14, 17.16; Gal. 6.14; Colossians 2.8, 2.20; 2
St. Peter 1.4, 2.20; 1 St. John 2.15-17
3 I Cor. 11
4 Gal. 2.20
Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
Comments? Write us:
we not hear this from every priest and in every parish?
Whatever became of this
that is nothing less
than the very reason
CHRIST ESTABLISHED HIS CHURCH?
is unlikely that the
vast, indeed, the overwhelming majority of today’s Catholics
have not so much as heard of this phrase as old as the Church
itself; certainty, not in English — and with greater certainty
still, not from the pulpit.
The very concept of “the salvation of the soul” appears
to have been non grata in homiletics for quite nearly
60 years (corresponding, unsurprisingly, to the implementation
of Vatican II) — despite the fact that the imperative itself
is clearly and unambiguously codified as the supremus lex
(the supreme law) of the Roman Catholic Church in (Canon
“Salus animarum supremus lex esto”
— “the salvation of souls … must be the supreme law in
It is nothing less than
the sole reason for the Incarnation …
the Suffering, Crucifixion,
Death, and Resurrection … of Christ:
the salvation of souls!
Christ as Savior, Christ as Redeemer,
cannot be understood apart from this most fundamental and utterly
simple concept: He came to save souls — not to
heal bodies (although He did), not to rectify injustices,
not to rehabilitate politics, not to instruct
us on economics, and certainly not “save
the Environment” — which, sadly, appear to be the
principal if not the sole concerns of the present
pontiff, who, sadly, is more an emissary of the United Nations
and Globalist Ideology than the Vicar of Jesus Christ
on Earth. Certainly an indifferentist (every religion
is sufficient to salvation) and most definitely a heretic, he
is nothing remotely proximate to his putative job description.
on the other hand, came with only two purposes that are
To do the will of the Father
to save souls for all eternity in Heaven (and in
so doing, to deliver them from Hell).
It is really that simple; in fact,
so simple that it eludes us in our worldliness, in our pretensions
to sophistication, and our penchant for sophistry and correctitude.
For 2000 years the mission of
the Church (and its raison d’etre , the very reason for
its being) could be summed up in two words instantiating that
same beautiful simplicity: “Salus animarum — the Salvation
of souls”. Through Christ in the Sacraments this is its
No other Mandate
The Church has no other mandate
from Christ. Even healing the sick, raising the dead, delivering
men from demonic possession, and all that He taught in the
Sermon on the Mount were means only to the principle
end: the salvation of the soul. Christ Himself emphatically
does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose
his own soul?”
(St. Matthew 16.26).
The purpose of all
that He said and did was always eschatological, that is to say,
pertaining to the
Four Last Things:
Everything else pales in significance.
Two come once only, and two are everlasting.
To pretend that we really do not
fully understand what Christ was talking about, and which He
proclaimed in the clearest terms, is just that: pretension.
We know very well what Christ said and did — but to our own
devious and often deviant ends, we assume an air of erudite
perplexity concerning them:
“Despite what He appears
to say; indeed actually says, this
is what He really means …”
And our own
interpretation only accords with what we wish
He had said, for this would provide us with excuses for our
sins or alternatives for His extremely unsettling pronouncements.
We go from the reality of: “This is what Christ said
…” to the fiction: “This is what we wish Christ had
said” … because I am much more comfortable with this interpretation
— which, rather coincidentally, allows me to continue in sin.”
In short, it is nothing more than wishful thinking because they
cannot be both true.
However contradictory to what
Jesus and His Apostles really said and taught,
we choose to believe another narrative, however factitious;
a simulacrum that borrows the vocabulary of the real
but with connotations utterly incongruous with it. It is disingenuous,
a sham. There is a pathos of similitude but the depiction is
counterfeit. We have not entered the mythical: we have fabricated
it. Shamelessly. It pleases us … and this is the first clue
that it is deceptive. We have both an aversion and an affinity
for the truth. It is the patrimony of our broken heritage from
the beginning. We ineluctably desire the true, but when it
indicts us we demur from it; unable to accommodate both
we resort to dissimilation, to a semblance of the real that
is, despite our collusion with pretensions, a defection from
it. Hence our penchant for comfortable and spurious “interpretations”.
For all our carefully fabricated
allusions to what Christ really said and meant,
we know the truth — because He is the Truth Who
does not deceive nor can be deceived. We are not
pleased with all He said, especially concerning things that
frighten us because they describe us … and convict us
— and we know it!
Despite this, we insist that so
many vitally important things that Jesus clearly uttered
are nevertheless not true — because they
are not “inclusive” and do not accord with our
delicate post-modern sensitivities that any real deity
would surely ascribe to. That some, perhaps many, are left in
“outer darkness", excluded from Heaven because of their
depravity and perversion, their penchant for sin and their obstinate
predilection for evil, is unacceptable to our presently
enlightened humanity. The list of our objections would be too
long to enumerate and ultimately too tedious. Let us be satisfied
with a few:
goes to Heaven (St.
indeed, many people — go to Hell
(St. Matthew 7:14)
Hell is a
real place of punishment, torment, and eternal suffering
beyond our comprehension. It is the abode of the devil and
demons. It is eternal and eternally devoid of any hope.
(St. Matthew 5.29-10;
Luke 16:19-31, 13.42; 25.41; St. Mark 9:42-44 etc.)
No one “goes
to the Father” — enters Heaven — except though Christ
(St. John 14:6)
If you deny
Him before men on earth, He will deny you before His Father
in Heaven (St. Matthew
who says, “Lord, Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven
(St. Matthew 7:21)
Not any and
every religion will bring you to Heaven
(St. John 6.26-70)
Being a “nice person” does
not suffice to bring you to Heaven or exempt you from Hell
(St. Matthew 5.20; St. Mark 16.15-16)
Such pernicious nonsense has no
place in our mythologized concept of God. We will
have Heaven … “dammit” ... but on
our terms — despite what Jesus
Christ says … much to our consternation, and quite likely to
our damnation. We prefer other interpretations;
more comfortable and convenient exegeses ... and sadly they
Would that we had a Pontiff
for whom the very concept of “The Salvation
of Souls” was more than an antiquated and parenthetical aside
— and who actually understood it as his fundamental job
description. Jorge Bergoglio (Francis) will no doubt
continue to sweep aside every obstacle to the
path he has chosen — but we must not follow him: we must
follow Christ, even though the way to which
He calls us is “narrow and hard”.*
leads not to the hollow and funereal halls of the U.N. —
but to Heaven itself!
Is there any other
place that you would rather be ?
For my part, fool that I am, I
will take Christ at His word. In fact, I stake my life on it.
Saint Matthew 7.13-14
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
February 10, 2021
The Scandal of
Nominal - “Catholics”
(whose mothers chose NOT to abort
More than half of U.S. Catholics find infanticide/murder
the Great Apostasy
Myth called Ecumenism
Speed Praying: Saying as much in as
Little Time Possible
heard it at every Mass
Indeed, it is very likely
that you do it yourself.
It is even more likely
that you do it praying the Holy Rosary.
Let us take one very, very, common example: The Apostles
and-in-Jesus Christ-His-only-Son-Our Lord-Who-was-conceived-by-
All spoken as one sentence as quickly as possible — to
get through it.
Worse still is the prayer to the very Mother of God, Mary Most
Holy, ESPECIALLY as it is “recited” — rather than “prayed” in
that beautiful prayer called the Angelic Salutation,
but better known simply as the Hail Mary:
Within 14 seconds flat! … and ten times
between each sacred Mystery!
When the Shepherd Strikes the
written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock
shall be scattered.”
(Saint Matthew 26.31)
“I will strike
sheep of the flock shall be scattered.”1
We have often heard this. It pertains to the imminent Passion
of Jesus Christ on the very night before He was betrayed into
the hands of sinful men. He, the Good Shepherd, would be struck
(in fact, repeatedly ...) and the Apostles, the Disciples, and
the Faithful would be scattered — they would abandon Him, flee
for their lives, and their unity in Him would be broken. Their
Shepherd, in Whose fold they were one flock, had been struck!
What the will become of the sheep? How much anxiety rends them!
in some incomprehensible and ghastly apocalyptic narrative unfolding
before our very eyes, the
strikes the sheep
— and they are scattered! Unfaithful to his trust and careless
of the sheep entrusted to him, the shepherd not only abandons
them to the wolves who have prowled the fences for 500 years
… but he himself strikes them so that they are forced
to leave the sheepfold; with his staff he strikes the necks
and the backs of the defenseless sheep — not even sparing the
Little Lambs — who cry out in their pain as they flee, seeking
a fold where they will find pasture and protection. They are
confused and frightened, and no other shepherd seems to have
the courage to gather the lost and the scattered — not
one other shepherd! Homeless and shelterless they are prey
to wolves — wolves even more remorseless than the wolves who
drove them from the sheepfold.
of the LGBT Movement
as Satan cannot create, but only mimic, imitate,
in the LGBT Movement we find his (Satan’s) effort to contrive a
spurious — a completely counterfeit and totally perverse
mockery — of the genuine family. It is a diabolical
attempt to pass off what is a fiction for what is real — with the
willing collaboration of a profoundly sexually and militantly perverse
But there is an impediment to this epic exploit
in Western culture as it devolves into de-civilization and debauchery:
As long as the nuclear family of husband,
wife and children still remains intact, it is an indictment
of the sterile sexual perversity that the LGBT fascists embrace
and promote. It stands as an unassailable reproach to the
counterfeit, for it is genuinely procreative
and naturally perpetuates itself — as every
other species has from the dawn of creation.
carefully at this emblematic vision of Vatican
II in the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall.
It is, for want of any other aesthetic description,
demonic and blasphemous, hideous and frightening — a
sign of times to come — that are now here.
60 Years After
its Defection from Catholicism
and its Conversion to the
Hideous — is it not?
It has not changed much — apart from
its growing defection from what the Holy Catholic Church
taught for 2000 years before that most pernicious council.
It is increasingly elderly, gray,
and disheveled. Its children — fewer and fewer every year — are
largely the children of the world, checking off the boxes branded
on their young minds by a perverse generation that has lost its
Catholic Faith and Identity: for Abortion (yes), Homosexuality (yes),
Lesbianism (yes), Transgenderism (yes), Gender Identity Choices
(yes), Gender Re-assignment (yes), Euthanasia (yes), Cremation (yes),
Pre-Marital Sex (yes), Co-Habitation (yes), “Social Justice” Issues
(yes!) — the proper formation of a Catholic Conscience (NO!),
Chastity (NO!) Virginity until Marriage (NO!) Sanctity (NO), learning
the most fundamental aspects of the Catholic Religion into which
they were summarily Baptized (NO!) the Priesthood (NO!), Religious
Life (NO!) — Missionary zeal and the conversion of sinners and those
who do not know Christ — which Francis (perhaps heretically) calls
“solemn nonsense.” (NO!) When they look about them at their fellow
“Catholics” and” Priests”, “Nuns” and “Religious” — even the papacy
of Francis and the current Episcopacy (bishops and cardinals) —
who can blame them? The Faith is not even authentically lived out
by the highest prelates — and sadly enough by Francis himself
who gives scandal on a routine basis.
Martyrology for Today
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after Vatican II
Wednesday March 3rd
In the Year of Grace 2021
Season of Lent
This Day, the Third Day of March
At Caesarea, in Palestine, during the persecution of Valerian,
the holy martyrs Marinus, soldier, and Asterius,
senator. The former was examined by the judge on the charge laid
against him by his fellow-soldiers of being a Christian, and as he admitted
the accusation in no uncertain tone, he was beheaded and thus received
the crown of martyrdom. His mutilated body was taken up by Asterius
on his shoulders, and wrapped in the garment which he himself wore.
This service gained for Asterius immediately
the palm of martyrdom as a reward for the honors which he had given
to a martyr.
In Spain, the birthday of the holy martyrs Hermiterius
and Cheledonius, soldiers in the army at Leon, a city of Galicia.
On the approach of a persecution they went to Calahorra, in order to
confess the name of Christ, and after enduring many torments there,
they were crowned with martyrdom.
The same day, the passion of the Saints Felix,
Luciolus, Fortunatus, Marcia, and their companions.
Also, the holy soldiers Cleonicus, Eutropius,
and Basiliscus, who gloriously triumphed by the death of the
cross under the governor Asclepiades during the persecution of Maximian.
At Brescia, St.Titian, bishop and confessor.
At Bamberg, the empress St. Cunegundes,
who preserved her virginity with the consent of her husband, the emperor
Henry I. She terminated a life rich in meritorious good deeds with a
holy death and worked many miracles afterward.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors,
and holy virgins.
Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte 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
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
Boston 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.
INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY
By J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore
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,
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THE APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION
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’
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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