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The Problem of Evil: Exonerating God

Exonerating God


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CCD: Crisis in Catholic Doctrine

Crisis in
Catholic Doctrine:

the Grave State of Religious Education in America



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Boston Catholic Journal

Todays Martyrology


 

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)

 

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.

 

Pope Francis and the smoke of satan in the sanctuary

The Odor of Sulfur ... not Sanctity

 

Who has not smelled it?
 

Who is not confused? In the face of daily assaults 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 — 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.

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 ...?

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

Pray for Pope Francis whom satan has sought to sift like wheat. 1  And sadly, it would appear, to great measure ...

But take heart, despite these present evils: “When Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Saint Matthew 9.36)

But Jesus 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)

 

Scandal of Unprecedented Magnitude in the Church

Alas, under the papacy of Francis it is the Shepherd himself who ruthlessly scatters the flock. The Faithful increasingly persecuted — by the bishops and hierarchy under Francis. This is scandal of unprecedented magnitude in the Church!

Indeed, as noted German Philosopher Robert Spaemann, laments, “It was easier during Nazi times to be a faithful Christian than today.”

Hold fast to the Faith of our Fathers! Cleave to Christ and to what He has spoken — and fear nothing, and no one — no matter his power or how ruthlessly it 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.

________________________

Saint Luke 22.31

 

Editor
Boston Catholic Journal
October 20, 2017

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Feminism: the Bride of the Beast, the devil

 

 

BEHOLD THE BRIDE OF THE BEAST!

HER NAME IS ... FEMINISM

 

And I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy … having a golden cup in

her hand, full of the abomination and filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: A

mystery; Babylon the great, the mother of the fornications, and the abominations of the earth.



And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus … ”

                                                                                                                                                  (Apocalypse 17.3-8)

 

 

 

Gender Wars



GENDER WARS:

 

the loss of Masculinity, Femininity and ultimately our Humanity




There is something as conspicuously absent in as many men today as something else is extraordinarily absent in many women. And both pertain to a dearth though an extraordinary permutation. What are they?


Manly men

Womanly women


It is the ideological repudiation of unmitigated gender.

What do I mean? The clear (readily apprehensible) distinction between men and women, both in behavior, appearance, and expectations, has radically diminished in the present generation; in fact, by a very clear agendum — a political and social correctitude foisted upon us by the liberal apparat — the distinction has become so attenuated in some circles as to have become permeable. This is particularly true in academia, and exceptionally true in the Church.

Before the priest-pedophile scandal — the epicenter of which was here, in Boston — it was not uncommon to find a parish priest with all the effeminate mannerisms, vocal inflections, and physical sashaying associated with “liberated/outed” homosexuals. The excessively affected hand gestures more typical of a woman than a man, the lisping speech and delicate affectations did little to conceal his being homosexual. We all knew it. And we “correctly” said nothing … until he raped our little boys and scores of other boys. It was only when the secular law took the moral high-ground (to the damnable shame of the bishops) that we recognized our own complicity in it by giving the “gay” priest a pass through overlooking the obvious.


The Cross and Dressing … or Cross-Dressing?

Men have become increasingly feminized and submissive and women have become increasingly masculinized and dominant. Effeminate men and butch women. How did this happen? And how did it manage even to pervade the Church despite three millennia of unequivocal teaching explicitly prohibiting it?


Thou shalt not Cross-Dress

God Himself is quite clear about this:

“A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel, neither shall a man use woman' s apparel: for he that doeth these things is abominable before God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)

Part of carrying ones Cross has always been radicated in gender and the temptations of the flesh — as we see above for both men and women. This is the clearest proscription against homosexuality together with that of Saint Paul:

“For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.” (Romans 1:24-27)

How have the divine commandments been supplanted by municipal ordinances, state and federal sanctions? And how can we conscionably comply with these ordinances when:

“Peter and the Apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men.” (Acts 5.29)

 

The loss of Masculinity, Femininity and ultimately our Humanity

How is a society to be deemed “free” when it not only prescinds from, but legislates against the most fundamental freedom of the individual conscience that has been informed by over 2000 years of Christian teaching — teaching which explicitly contradicts current State “policy”? With whom, then, do we stand? With God or man? With the Apostles or the politicians?

Conscience cannot be “legislated”. We have learned nothing from Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. The Nuremberg Laws of 1933 were State policy: Jews, Slavs, and the handicapped are non-persons. It was law. It was policy. It was the steel fist of the state driven by the engine of uncompromising ideology. Its stamp was final. You either thought “correctly” — or literally ceased to think. Are there parallels here? If there are not, then we are blind … or there are no such things as concurrent lines perpetually equidistant.

But we digress. Let us look a little more closely at this mutation, or permutation, between the sexes that is the fundamental ideology behind the superficial agenda of feminism and how it appears to have unfolded under the guise of “equality”. Being equal is not being the same. Being equal in the polity does not equate with being the same in gender, still less the broader effort to abolish the concept of gender despite its biological intransigence.

Men and women — if we admit to the distinction. Often they wear the same clothes and the same hair styles (women with hair as short as men, men with hair as long as women — though, happily, less so now than 30 years ago) and more than once you have asked yourself in genuine perplexity, “Is that a man or a woman … a manly women or a womanly man?” Sometimes you have been unable to reach an honestly definitive conclusion.

Perhaps the precursor to the vector of this mutation lies in “Rosie the Riveter” of the World War II era when women assumed jobs in dominantly male industries (welders, riveters, machinists, etc.) because the men were shipped off to war and needed the matériel to sustain it). Dressing themselves appropriately for the job, they donned slacks and other forms of erstwhile exclusively masculine attire — which they promptly put aside upon returning home and disposed of altogether when the war ended.

However, another war followed; one that did not pit nation against nation, or one political theory against another antagonistic to it, but something far more fundamental — a unilateral war, in fact, between biology and ideology; a war instigated and perpetrated by man — upon his very nature as human. Biology (apart from man’s manipulation of it), most would agree, is, at its most basic level, immutable: your gender, the color of your eyes, your anatomical structure, is determined at the most irreducible cellular level — in the DNA encoding that determines every physiological aspect pertaining to you even before your birth.

In Hollywood’s G.I. Jane of 1997, Demi Moore sports a recruit haircut to the scalp, ambitious to prove herself (as a paradigm for all women) as equally masculine, physically strong and strong-willed; as adept at close-hand combat, mano-a-mano, as in uttering a string of expletives after soundly stomping her seasoned, war-tested (Ranger, Navy Seal, Green Beret) drill instructor, 100 pounds heavier and one foot taller — as any man. In fact she just beat the best of them! The other (male) recruits, following the tiresomely predictable script, adulate her with cheers and embrace her as one of their own, as “one of the guys”, and off they go to have a beer, spit lungers, adjust their crotches, and pepper their speech with F-bombs. G.I. Jane is definitely “high-speed”.

Another, and far more likely contributor, was the implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which mandated that public education treat males and females equally: dresses could not be required of female students and dress codes changed in public schools across the United States.


The Mother of All Wars

Apart from sin against God, this gender war, which — illogically — is at the same time a gender transmutation, is the most vile and contemptuous war ever waged. It is the most basic war ever waged — greater than nation against nation, culture against culture, or religion against religion. All such wars pale in significance because the malice is far more fundamental, cutting across all borders, all languages, all ethnicities in every culture and in every civilization in which this poisonous seed has been sown, nourished, and cultivated by Militant Feminism and an absolutely intolerant homofascist lobby that sashays through the halls of Congress, state houses, and the halls of academia (not having children, there is much money to spend lobbying, and no small number of venal politicians). It is the mother of all wars, to use one madman’s infamous phrase.

It is nothing less than the seed of destruction for every nation, every religion, every population … and in the end, of humanity itself.

More accurately understood, it is a bitter, uncompromising, unilateral and ideological war by one species of humans against another species of humans (an intraspecific war, if you will, between species of the same genus) predicated solely on biological and ontological differences inherent within and constituting the definition of the genus itself to which both species belong. This is not simply a philosophical and biological perspective, but is necessary to understand the magnitude and the madness inherent in such a war.

It is instigated solely by one species to the end of effectively abrogating the differentiation within the genus itself, either by eliminating the species (which would eo ipso eliminate the genus) or, that failing, attempt to assimilate the species by negating any differentiation between them.

The insanity, or perhaps better yet, madness, is instigated by an unrelenting malice toward one human gender by the other: the malice toward men as men by women as wannabe men.


Simply put, it is Feminism ...

Its genesis lies in the unabashed triumph of masculinated Feminism over a once unapologetic masculinity. Let me explain.

It has little to do with the aspiration to acquire what are viewed as the prerogatives of men, and much, apparently, to do with the aspiration, not to abolish masculinity, but to acquire it; and if this cannot be achieved biologically, then it attempts to acquire the semblance of it, the closest proximity to it, through legislation, agitation, “social action”, and so on. There are, apparently, many women who, quite frankly, envy men. No, not just the presumed prerogatives of men, but masculinity itself. Far from being the champions of women, Feminism, in its ideological DNA, appears to wish to abolish women, to extirpate femininity, as though womanhood were inferior to manhood; as though femininity were an epithet rather than a virtue. Many do not simply want parity with men, or even superiority over them … but to be men. Hence, the masculinized woman: short hair, assertive, aggressive, powerful, working out with weights, body-building, tattooed, having Harleys and helmets as much as business “powersuits” … any similitude that accrues to masculinity. Didn’t Freud say something about this?

But this is the logical surd: women ideologically antagonistic to men and expressing this antagonism by striving for masculinity, that is to say, for the very thing they purportedly detest. Another way of looking at it is the desire to abolish the masculinity of men by supplanting it with the masculinity of women. Unable to abolish it biologically, they co-opt it (as von Clausewicz would say) “by other means”. They will avenge themselves on the other species … by becoming the other species!


Allies

Of course, there is a reciprocal partnership is this war on biology: the men who wish to be women. It is the complete inversion of Feminism. Attempting to abolish their own masculinity, they strive precisely for what Feminism repudiates. They are not the casualties of feminism; to the contrary, they are its closest allies. Homofascisti and Feminofascists. This alignment forms, well, an Axis around which complementary ideologies revolve. Neither Hitler nor Mussolini tolerated any opposing view, and any opposing party was summarily dealt with — demonized, marginalized, and worse. There is little difference between character assassination and summary execution: the opposition is rendered ineffective, inert. The propaganda machine of feminism and homofacism is no different. Intolerance is not to be tolerated! There is only one correct way of thinking. And if you value your livelihood, your character, your own integrity … you had better step in line …


Watch what you say

In a free and open society that is less afraid of its own government than any foreign enemy possibly lurking at its borders, the right to freedom of speech, expression, and especially religious belief is the definition of a free and open society. There is no Party line to toe … and which to breach, would cost you your freedom. But who is the guarantor of this freedom of speech, expression, and especially religious belief and its observance? In America it is not invested in a person, but in a much abused parchment we call the United States Constitution. The freedoms we cherish are indited therein. While a small, elite, moneyed, and privileged few are allowed and encouraged to enjoy their curious perversities … “We the people” (at large) exercise them at our peril. In our history was our own freedom ever more precarious?

 

Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

 

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Salus Animarum
 

the Salvation of Souls

Hell
 

Whatever became of this most Fundamental Imperative …
indeed, the very reason for the establishment and existence of the Church?

 

It 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 be non grata in homiletics for quite nearly 50 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) in Canon Law (1752):
 

Salus animarum supemus lex esto

“The salvation of souls must be the supreme law in the Church.”
 

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.

He came with only two purposes that are really one:

  • To do the will of the Father

  • And the will of the Father is this: 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 pretensions to sophistication, and our preferences for sophistry.

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 sole mission.
 

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 asks:

“What 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:

  • Death

  • Judgment

  • Heaven

  • Hell

Everything else pales in significance. Two come once only, and two are at once 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 …” What follows seldom has anything to do with what He means. And we recognize it.

 Our own interpretation merely 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:  If only He had said …” to the fiction: “This is what He really means … 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 both be 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:


The Short List:

  • Not everyone goes to Heaven (St. Matthew 7:14)

  • People — 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 (Matthew 10:33)

  • Not everyone 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 abound.

For my part, fool that I am, I will take Christ at His word. In fact, I stake my life on it.

 

Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

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THE SACRED RULE

for Properly Celebrating the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass


The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: A Primer for Clueless Catholics

DO NOT DO at Mass  what you would never have done were you standing at the foot of the Cross with Christ visibly before you.

DO at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass what you would have done were you standing before Christ hanging on the Cross in front of you — for at Holy Mass you are at the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross — really and truly.

Had you closed your eyes for a moment while standing immediately before Christ upon the Cross, 
you would be where you are this day at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

DO, then, what you would have done ... and DO NOT DO what you would never have done.

THIS
is the proper disposition of the soul at every single Mass.


 



 

Complete Roman Martyrology in English

The Complete Martyrology in

 English

for Daily Reflection

Semen est sanguis Christianorum — The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church — Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50

 

ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

Sunday September 22nd in the Year of Grace 2017

Season after Pentecost


This Day, the Twenty-Second Day of September

At Valencia, in Spain, St. Thomas, of Villanova, Archbishop and confessor, whose birthday is the 8th of September.

At St. Maurice, near Sion, in Switzerland, the birthday of the holy Theban martyrs Maurice, Exuperius, Candidus, Victor, Innocent, and Yitalis, with their companions of the same legion, whose martyrdom for the faith, in the time of Maximian, filled the world with the glory of their sufferings.

At Rome, the martyrdom of the holy virgins and martyrs Digna and Emerita, under Valerian and Gallienus. Their relics are kept in the Church of St. Marcellus.

At Arpajon, near Paris, St. Jonas, priest and martyr, who went to France with St. Denis, and after being scourged by order of the prefect Julian, ended his martyrdom by the sword.

At Ratisbon, in Bavaria, St. Emmeramus, bishop and martyr, who, to deliver others, endured patiently a most cruel death for the sake of our Lord.

At Antinoopolis, in Egypt, the holy martyrs Irais, an Alexandrian virgin, and her companions. Having gone out to draw water at a fountain near by, and seeing a boat loaded with Christian confessors, she immediately left her vessel and joined them. Being conducted to the city with them, after many torments, she was the first to have her head struck off; and after her, priests, deacons, virgins, and all others underwent the same kind of death.

At Meaux, blessed Sanctinus, bishop, disciple of St. Denis, the Areopagite, who, being consecrated by him bishop of that city, was the first to preach the Gospel there.

In the territory of Coutances, St. Lauto, bishop.

In Poitou, the holy priest Florentius.

In the territory of Bourges, St. Sylvanus, confessor.

At Laon, St. Salaberga, abbess.

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

January February March April May June
July August September October November December

 

 

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 2  “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.


Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, 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 of 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 cannons 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 worlds 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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1   The Lapsi were early Catholics who renounced the Faith and either sacrificed to the Roman gods by edict from the emperor, or offered incense to them to escape Imperial persecution and death, and who later returned to the Faith when persecution subsided. However, Christ warns us, “Every one therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven. But he that shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in Heaven.” (St. Matthew 10.3-33)

2 St. John 13.15

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