28 February 2018

The Czech Legion

The Cuter and Shorter Half is half Czech by descent. Her Mother was 100% Czech, born in a Czech town (here in Wilber). Wilber has a Czech Museum, a Czech Outdoor Theatre, the assisted living housing is called the Czech Village, the stores on the main street have Czech signs, they are gradually converting all the street name signs to Czech/English, the grocery store is called the Food Mesto ('mesto' being 'city' in Czech), We have a PA system along the main street that plays Czech polka music all day, and which is used during the largest Czech Festival in the country every year, where the National Czech Queen is selected. Several decades ago, Wilber was declared the 'Czech Capital of the United States' by a joint resolution of Congress.

When our second son was born, my Mum wanted the 'details' to put in our hometown newspaper. When I told her that one set of his Great Grandparents were named 'Crha', she said there weren't enough letters in the name!

When I used to visit here 30 years ago, it was not unusual to hear Czech spoken on the streets and in the bars, and many of the older people, who had been born here, spoke English with a heavy Czech accent. Even now, you still hear it occasionally. Just recently, I was at the Monday night community supper, sitting at a table with friends who make me look young! A fellow walked in and my friend, Leonard, a very young 91, greeted him in Czech. They chattered away for a bit in the language they had learnt before starting school in English.

As a result, I have a personal interest in Czech history and culture. One part of Czech history that is pretty much forgotten outside Czechia itself, is the story of the Czech Legion. Patriotic Czechs who were fighting on the Eastern Front when the Bolsheviki betrayed their Allies by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, they wanted to go home and fight the Germans. The tale of their journey across Siberia to Vladivostok is epic! Here are two videos from one of my favourite Youtube channels that encapsulate the story.

Eucharist Rising: Restoring Eucharist to the Center of Catholicism.

From Catholic American Thinker

If we are not a Eucharistic People, are we still Catholic? Restoring Eucharist to the Central Place of Honor, and turning Priests to Ad Orientem, will inevitably lead to Eucharist Rising in the hearts and minds of the Faithful.

You ain't going anywhere without Eucharist, buddy. 

And that means, first of all, recognizing Him, and acting accordingly. 

Those of us born in the 1940s and coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s were catechized and religiously formed in the Latin Mass. We knew Who Eucharist was. He was the central theme in all Catholic Churches, at the focal point of the very architectural design. The Tabernacle on the Altar was where your eyes were drawn when you first walked in. The whole Church was designed to fill the visitor with awe, to silence him, and put him in that special frame of mind that knew it was In The Presence Of Our Lord. 

Standing before the Holy Of Holies. 

That was then, this is now. We stand in the aftermath of Vatican II and institution of the Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI. 

Right up to that point, the Catholic Church was vibrant and growing, by leaps and bounds, adding millions to the fold every year. Parishes had multiple priests saying Masses almost round the clock on Sundays and Holy Days, to overflow crowds. Standing-room only on a regular Sunday, let alone Easter or Midnight Mass. New Churches being built everywhere; rocketing numbers of ordinations of Priests and consecrations of Religious. 

The most significant thing I remember is the Church always being open, never locked. You could go in there any time, day or night. 

Again, that was then, this is now. 

A degradation and degeneration of American Culture has accompanied the decline in Catholicism, since then. Now, all doors are always locked, including especially Catholic Churches. 

For the absolutely stunning numbers involved in how the Church was prospering and growing before, and how it is dwindling and shrinking after, look at the War Within Catholcism page, and click on the video presentation by Michael Voris. 
You will be, or you should be, shocked at the suddenness of it. 

Churches are closing and Catholics are leaving the faith, and many more Catholcis who are not converting to any other religion are simply not practicing the faith any more. They never darken any Church doorway except for weddings and funerals, and for them, any other Church is the same as any Catholic Church. They may still call themselves Catholic, but they are actually Practical Atheists, or those who, in the practical world, live and behave as though they were atheists. 

We're talking millions here. Tens of millions. We've lost over half of all practicing Catholics since the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass. And the numbers are still rising, and still going in the wrong direction. 

You can't blame Vatican II for all of this decline, although the odd failure of Vatican II to condemn Communism may have allowed and helped Cultural Marxism to advance even within the Church, to the greater degradation and degeneration of all of human society. In the false name of "Progress". 

The biggest destructive factor, I believe, is in the sudden changes in the treatment of Eucharist in the Novus Ordo Mass. That, I am convinced, is what did all the massive destruction within the hearts, minds and souls of the Catholic Faithful. 
We had the traditional Latin Mass. 

And then, one Sunday - Poof! 

All these new Altars appeared in Parishes, everywhere, as if by secret plan. It was just, there they suddenly were. The Priest turned around, turning his back on Eucharist, using the new Altar. We had a whole new Liturgy to learn. The Choir left the Choir Loft and came down front, in chairs almost in the Sacred Area, facing the Congregation, as if putting on a show. 

Shortly thereafter, the Altar Railing was taken out. We received on our feet, not on our knees. 

Shortly thereafter, we received in our hands, of all things. 

Shortly thereafter, we received from laymen, not Priests. 

All that, I believe, is what did it. Eucharist went from being God, to being a common snack, in the minds of Catholics. Mass had become man centered rather than God centered. People went for what they could get out of it, rather than what they could put into it. The Celebration part of it overwhelmed the Sacraficial part of it, and it almost became a feel-good party-time. Shaking hands all around just before Communion with God, which had been reduced to someone handing you a Host, and you consuming it.

It, not Him. 

With this obvious, to me, lowering of recognition of Eucharist, it should have been predictable that He would be moved off to a closet somewhere to be "out of the way" of the normal activities, including even the Mass itself. Look at the architecture and the design of the new "Catholic" Churches. The Tabernacle is no longer the central focal point of all the whole design. In fact, it's out of sight. As a Catholic Church, from the outside, it may be unrecognizable.  From the inside, it takes on the appearance of a theater, with plenty of room on the "stage" that has supplanted the Sacred Area. Lots of room for such things as Interpretive Dance being incorporated into the Liturgy. 

I am convinced that all of this it the real reason for the decline. 

And I am convinced that turning it around will reverse the trend. 

In the Catholic RESISTANCE! movement, among all the many things we need to address, two stand out as vitally important. 

  1. Moving Tabernacles back to the center of the Main Altar, or behind/above it so that it is visible from everywhere in the Church. 
  2. Having Priests turn Ad Orientem to always face the Tabernacle while offering Mass. And, if possible, getting rid of the second Altar altogether. 
These things may be impossible in a lot of the modern (Modernist?) Catholic Churches because the architectural design is so radically different from the ancient Catholic tradition. But we should strive to come as close as we can to the ideal. 

That ain't all, by a long shot, but it's a good beginning. If we can convince Bishops to do these two things, recognition of Eucharist will begin to return. He is where all the attention will be focused, once again. With increased recognition of Eucharist, other changes can be placed on the agenda and more easily achieved. 

A good Novus Ordo Mass model exists in the Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit Michigan. When we visit Michigan, we go to the 9:30 Latin Mass. But if you ever attend a Novus Ordo Mass there, you will see something beautiful. The whole Mass is sung in Latin. The Priest is Ad Orientem. You receive at the Altar Railing on the tongue from a Priest or Deacon. There is no Gift Of Peace. There is none of the Liturgical nonsense you see in most other Novus Ordo Masses. 
Now, unfortunately, not many remember the old Latin days, and a whole lot of practicing Catholics now prefer the Novus Ordo. It's what they're used to. Going Latin all at once might be too much for them. 

This is understandable. We were caught up in it too, because we had no choice. All Churches (in our knowledge) offered only the Novus Ordo Mass. For many years, that's how we worshiped. I was a Lector, an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister, an Altar Boy. But there was always this nagging feeling about the unseriousness of it all. 

So many people never genuflected; there was always such loud, even boisterous conversation going on before or after Mass; the Gift Of Peace often almost became an aisle-crossing glad-handing party-time. And, more seriously, a little deeper conversation with Parishioners sometimes revealed a shocking lack of knowledge of the Catholic faith. Including even wishes to change the faith. To change Catholic Doctrine

Well, why not? It's not as if that were God up there in that Tabernacle. 
Ultimately, we gave that all up and joined Holy Family, a Latin Mass Church; it was sad parting with "family" and starting over somewhere, but - that really is God up there. He is most important. It wasn't easy leaving Priests and Parishioners we know and love, but - again - that's God up there. And He's the Point of it all. He's the Reason. 

Moving Eucharist back to the central place of honor in Novus Ordo Churches, and getting Priests standing Ad Orientem while offering Mass, will go a long way toward turning this decline around. Restoring simple recognition of Who it is we go to Mass for, and Who it is we are striving to give Him His due, will at least slow the decline, if not turn it. 

What would absolutely reverse it, in my humble opinion, is a Papal decree reversing the 1962 Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo. Making the Latin Mass the "Ordinary" Mass, and making the Novus Ordo the "Extraordinary" Mass, would have an immediate response, in old Catholics coming back to the Mass, and new Catholics drawn in. 

Of course, that may take a new Pope. But the Catholic Church always has new Popes. No Pope is permanent. Popes are "episodic" in the history of the Catholic Church. And Liturgy belongs to the Magisterium, not to the rest of us. There is little we laymen can do to restore proper recognition of Who Eucharist is, but there is much that a Pope can do. 

Younger Priests I have known, I believe, really want to offer the Latin Mass. They would prefer it over the Novus Ordo. I can't say this with anything like ontological certitude, but I can feel it; I sensed it every time I served Mass with one, or observed him offering the Holy Mass. They now learn the Latin Mass in Seminary, and they love it. 

You can recognize these guys in their extreme reverence to the Eucharist, and their precise manner of following the rubrics. And sometimes in their ornate, beautiful, Latin-Mass style vestments, which they (or someone) went to a lot of trouble and expense to acquire. There is a vast difference even in the vestments between most Novus Ordo Churches and Latin Mass churches. 

But, that's daydreaming. We have to start somewhere, and the best place to start, in my view, is in once again centering Eucharist, and going Ad Orientem. 
Remember this little nugget:

Proper fear of God is just the bare beginning point of wisdom. 

If you internalize that, and put it at the beginning of all your reflections, you will seldom go wrong in whatever you do. 

"With fear and trembling, work out your salvation" --Phil 2:12
Seek the Truth; Find the Way; Live the Life.
Please God, and Live Forever.

Stalin's Daughter Died a Catholic!

Alliluyeva in 1970

It was on this date in 1926, that Svetlana Alliluyeva was born. She was the youngest and only daughter of Joseph Stalin. She defected from the Soviet Union and denounced her father and the Soviet Union. She was baptized a Russian Orthodox Christian in 1963, and even considered becoming a nun. In 1967, she received a letter from Father Garbolino, an Italian Catholic priest from Pennsylvania, who invited her to make a pilgrimage to Fátima, in Portugal, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the famous apparitions there. In 1969, Father Garbolino visited Svetlana Alliluyeva, who at the time was living in Princeton, New Jersey. From 1976 to 1978, she lived with Michael and Rose Ginciracusa, a Catholic couple in California. She read books by Catholic authors such as Raissa Maritain and on December 13,1982, Saint Lucy's Day, Advent, she converted to the Catholic faith in Cambridge, England and remained a faithful Catholic for her remaining life. She died on 22 November 2011 in Richland, Wisconsin.

Chevalier Charles Coulombe on the SSPX

Just For Fun!

As I've mentioned, Londonist started out doing mostly train videos. It seems they may have exhausted that topic. They are now doing a variety of videos on London related topics. This is a fascinating one. These budgies are theoretically wild, but they are obviously quite used to humans!

The Sacrifice of the Eucharist

From the Anglicanorum Cœtibus Society blog

The Eucharist is the Source and Centre of Christian Life– Lumen Gentium
The above statement is the core truth of the Catholic Faith and that many in the Personal Ordinariates, created for groups of Anglo-Catholics seeking union with Rome, have sacrificed greatly for: that the celebration of the Eucharist were Christ is Truly Present is not possible with invalid Anglican orders. Communities have been split, friends turned enemies and even marriages have ended as many Anglo-Catholics sort to enter the fullness of the Catholic faith in the Catholic Church. As our Lord said:
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Mark 10:34-36
The sword referred to is the sword of Truth, which always comes into conflict with falsehood: in this case you cannot truly be Catholic outside the Catholic Church. A good article of the conversion experience of an ex-Episcopalian Anglo-Catholic priest, now Catholic layman, outlines this journey of awakening.
Have you been to an Ordinariate parish? There are no more zealous Catholics than converts, and most Ordinariate parishes are entire communities of converts who have fled the Liberalism and Protestantism of the Anglican Communion, and uphold the dignity of their Eucharistic liturgy- a Form of the Roman Rite referred to as Divine Worship. If you are in the UK, Canada, USA or Australia (and Japan), there might be an Ordinariate community near you!

The Frank Friar Discussing St John of the Cross's 'Dark Night of the Soul

St John of the Cross. or San Juan de la Cruz, is a Doctor of the Church, one of the great spiritual writers, and a Carmelite. He and St Teresa of Jesus (St Teresa of Avila) were the 'rebels' who founded the Discalced Carmelites, the 'other Carmelite Order' to the Order of the Brethren of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in which I am a Tertiary. However, they are Carmelite and their teachings are valued in both branches of the Order.

These are the first two videos in which Fr Nicholas Blackwell, the 'Frank Friar', discusses St John's 'Dark Night', one of the great works of spirituality.


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 28 FEBRUARY – WEDNESDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT...: Epistle – Esther xiii. 8‒17 In those days Mardochai besought the Lord, and said, “O Lord, Lord, Almighty King, for all things are in yo...

1 March, The Roman Martyrology

On the morrow we keep the feast of the holy Confessor David, Archbishop of Caerleon upon Usk. 
March 1st anno Domini 2018 The 14th Day of Moon were also born into the better life: 

At Rome, two hundred and sixty holy martyrs whom for Christ's name's sake the Emperor Claudius first condemned to dig sand outside the Salarian Gate, and then to be shot to death with arrows in the amphitheatre. 
Likewise the holy martyrs Leo, Donatus, Abundantius, Nicephorus, and nine others. 
At Marseilles, [in the year 290,] the holy martyrs Hermes and Hadrian. 
At Heliopolis, [in 114,] the holy martyr Eudocia [of Samaria, now Balbek in Turkey-in-Asia,] during the persecution under the Emperor Trajan. 
She was baptized by Theodotus, Bishop of [Heliopolis,] and, armed for the battle, the President Vincentius ordered her to be smitten with the sword, and thus she received the crown of martyrdom. 
Upon the same day, the holy martyr Antonina. During the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian she laughed at the gods of the Gentiles, for the which cause she was diversly tortured, shut up in a barrel, and drowned in the marsh at the city of Cea. 
At Werdt, [in the year 713,] holy Swibert, Bishop of that city, [Apostle of the Frisians,] who in the time of Pope Sergius preached the gospel to the Frisians, Hollanders, and other peoples of Lower Germany. 
At Angers, [in the year 550,] the holy Confessor Albinus, Bishop of that see, a man of eminent graces and holiness. 
At Mans, [in the year 687,] the holy Siviard, Abbot [of Saint Calais.] 
At Perugia is commemorated the translation [in the year 547] of the holy martyr Herculanus, Bishop of that see, of whom mention is made upon the 7th day of November. He was beheaded by order of Totila, King of the Goths, and it is written by holy Pope Gregory that, forty days after his head was cut off, head and body were found united again, as though the iron had never touched him. 
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

Memes of the Day

27 February 2018

Andy Warhol-Catholic?

For those of us old enough to remember Warhol, Op-Art, The Factory, and Studio 54, it might come as a surprise that he was a devout Catholic. His parents were Rusyn immigrants and he was a member of the Ruthenian Rite, the Byzantine Catholic Church in the US. He regularly attended St Vincent Ferrer Church, a Roman Rite Church staffed by the Dominicans. He once said he was self-conscious about being seen in a Roman Rite church crossing himself 'in the Orthodox way'. He was more self-conscious than I am, obviously! When I was received, my Sponsor asked me if I was going to change the way I crossed myself. Almost 40 years later, I still cross myself in the Eastern manner.

He was almost a daily Mass goer, and whilst openly homosexual, strove to live a celibate life.

Below is an article from The Catholic Herald about him and an art show the Vatican is putting on.

Andy Warhol’s devotion was almost surreal

Andy Warhol (Photo: Getty)

The Vatican Museums exhibition will be something of a homecoming for the artist

On April 1, 1987, the most popular artists, actors, fashion designers, writers and musicians in America converged on St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Liza Minnelli showed up, along with Calvin Klein, Tom Wolfe and George Plimpton. Yoko Ono arrived a bit early; she was giving a speech.

One could have easily mistaken Andy Warhol’s memorial service for a society event rather than a religious one, were it not for the eulogy given by the artist’s friend John Richardson. He spoke of Warhol’s “secret piety”, which “inevitably changes our perception of an artist who fooled the world into believing his only obsessions were money, fame and glamour, and that he was cool to the point of callousness. Never take Andy at face value.”

It is this secret piety that the Vatican Museums hope to uncover in their major exhibition of his work next year. Indeed, the Catholic faith is the only constant theme in his strange life.

Warhol’s parents were born in a village on the northern border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They were Ruthenians: members of a small Byzantine Catholic Church that grew out of Cyril and Methodius’s mission to the Carpathian Mountains. In 1909, his father moved to Pittsburgh, home of the largest Ruthenian community outside Europe. His mother followed in 1921, and their son Andrew was born seven years later. His father worked as a coal miner until he died when Warhol was 13.

In 1955, the shoe brand I. Miller hired Warhol to illustrate its advertisements in the New York Times. Critics compared the results to Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters. This drawing upon commercial themes in the pursuit of high culture came to define the Pop Art movement. It also placed Warhol at the centre of the New York avant garde, and his studio (nicknamed “the Factory”) became its headquarters.

The contrast with his working-class, immigrant Catholic boyhood could not be starker. All the hallmarks of the Sixties were there: drugs, sex, radical politics, more drugs. Several of the Warhol Superstars – minor artists whose work he promoted – overdosed or committed suicide in their twenties or thirties.

Religion kept Warhol from going over the brink. He attended Mass almost daily. Other days he would just slip into St Vincent Ferrer on Lexington Avenue, drop into the back pew and pray. He spent his Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters volunteering at a soup kitchen, and befriended the homeless and poor whom he served. He put his nephew through seminary. Though openly gay, he endeavoured to remain celibate throughout his life. When he refused to support the gay rights movement, many of his friends blamed his faith.

He lived with his mother until she died, and every morning they would pray together in Old Slavonic before he left for the Factory. He always carried a rosary and a small missal in his pocket.

Warhol’s aloof façade forbade him from talking about his spiritual life in any depth with interviewers, but Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, the last employee hired at the Factory, identified a conservative streak in his religion. “Being brought up Catholic gives a sense of hierarchical order, discipline and faith. Faith, when embraced, anchors the creative” – even for “unconventional traditionalists” like Warhol, she told Rolling Stone.

So how did Catholicism anchor the creativity of this “unconventional traditionalist”? Perhaps there are traces of it in his screen prints of Hollywood stars, which are widely hailed as “secular icons” in a society that venerates fame. The most popular of these is of Marilyn Monroe, declared a martyr by our cult of celebrity.

But the greatest insight is gained from the last year of Warhol’s life, when he became obsessed with Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. He produced hundreds of variations on this theme, many of them with colourful brand logos – Dove Soap, General Electric – stamped on top of a black-and-white stencil of the masterpiece. The ordinary overwhelms the extraordinary. The implication is that our appetites distract us from the vision of Christ.

Even more strikingly, Warhol draws on his faith while avoiding the two pitfalls of Pop Art: pompous sneering at all things “bourgeois” and outright blasphemy. He was reflecting on our society, not passing judgment on it. As Warhol himself said: “People are always calling me a mirror, and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?”

The Vatican Museums have clearly decided that there is something to see. Sceptics will accuse the Vatican of cheap populism worthy of Warhol himself, but they may be unaware of the artist’s almost surreal devotion to the Church. At any rate, there can be no doubt that Warhol would have been overwhelmed by the honour.

His “icons” will come to rest above the catacombs of true saints and martyrs. He will be among – if not necessarily one of – the great artists of Christendom, whose work so powerfully reflected a God that remained just out of reach in his own.

As it happens, Warhol travelled to Rome in 1980 to meet John Paul II. It is said he wore his tamest wig and his plainest tie as a gesture of respect to the Holy Father. A photo shows him squeezing the Pope’s hand, squinting and smiling faintly, as though holding back tears. It is the only photo of Warhol that betrays his “secret piety”. For once, he looks like a person, not a symbol or a caricature. The Vatican Museums exhibition will be something of a homecoming.

What Muslims Believe...

with citations from the Quran.

Chevalier Charles Coulombe on the Federal Reserve

I have two questions that I like to ask my American friends, 'How many British colonies were there in North America on 4 July 1776?', and 'Who owns the Federal Reserve Bank?' I invite answers to the first in the comments, but the answer to the second is answered in this video.

The Chevalier is much kinder to the Fed than I am. There might be a future post in that!

The Virgin Mary Is Our Mother!

I developed a devotion to Our Blessed Mother as a young Protestant boy. Some 25 years later She got tired of waiting, slapped me upside the head, and said, 'C'mon son, it's time to go home!' A year or two after I was received into the Church, I joined the Third order of Mount Carmel or Lay Carmelites. Mother, Ornament of Carmel, pray for us!

This video is from a fairly new channel, called 'The Frank Friar' (link in the sidebar), a/k/a Fr Nicholas Blackwell, a Carmelite Friar. I find his insights very helpful, and I will be posting other videos of his.

Reminds Me of Maximus Barker! LOL!

The Feast of St Baldomer

Who knew locksmiths had a Patron Saint?! The things I find out writing this blog. As I was praying Prime yesterday, I found this in the Martyrology,
At Lyon, [about the year 660,] holy Baldomer, [locksmith and subdeacon,] the man of God whose grave is famous on account of the miracles which are oftentimes wrought there. 
Curious, I did a web search for him. Not a whole lot of information available, but I did find this at Saints & Angels -Catholic Online,
Patron saint of locksmiths, a monk of Lyons, France. Baldomerus was a locksmith until he entered the monastery of St. Justus. He is depicted in liturgical art as carrying blacksmith tools and pincers.
And this (in French, translated by my friend, Mr Google Translate, since my French is abysmal!), from the article 

Monk at the Monastery of St. Just (✝ v. 650)
Saint Galmier or Baldomer. 
His name would be a distortion of the Germanic name Waldemar, Latinized in Baldomerus.  Humble blacksmith, he was noticed by the abbot of Saint-Just de Lyon "as gold hidden under the ashes". Archbishop Gandesic ordained him sub-deacon and, after his death, miracles flourished on his tomb.
His native parish (42330 Saint-Galmier) took his name thereafter. source: 
 Saint Timothée parish in Forez . 
"Saint Galmier (Baldomerus, 27 Fertilizer) Gulmier, Baldomer, Waldemer, locksmith or blacksmith at Auditiacus (Saint Galmier) where Viventius, abbot of Saint-Just, met him and took him to his monastery in Lyon. he died at Saint-Just in 650.
His tomb became a goal of pilgrimage until its destruction by the Huguenots. However, an earlier translation had taken place at the monastery of Savigny near l'Arbresle ... It is still the eponym of Puy-Saint-Gulmier in Auvergne. He is the boss of the blacksmiths."
(Source: Great book of saints cult and iconography in the West of Jacques Baudoin)
Roman Martyrology

Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Since In Lumine Fidei only posted the link to Wikipedia about St Gabriel, here's a bit more information from a Catholic source.

Also known as
  • Francesco Possenti
  • Francis Possenti
  • Gabriel of the Blessed Virgin
  • Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother
  • Gabriel Possenti
  • Gabriel Marie Possenti
  • Gabriele dell’Addolorata
  • 27 February
One of thirteen children. After a youth devoted to the world and society, attending the theatre, chasing women and the hunt, he was led to the Passionist Order by Our Lady, making his profession on 22 September 1857. His life was not marked by great events or controversy, but given to prayer, sacrifice, and a devotion to Our Lady and the contemplation of her sorrows over the suffering of Jesus. Many miracles are attributed to him after his death. Cured Saint Gemma Galgani when she prayed for his intervention. Pope Benedict XV gave him as a pattern for young people.
  • 1 March 1838 at Assisi, Italy
  • 27 February 1862 at Abruzzi, Italy of tuberculosis
Name Meaning
  • God is my strength; God is mighty; strong man of God; the strength of God
  • 14 May 1905 by Pope Pius X
  • 31 May 1908 by Pope Pius X
  • 13 May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV
  • Abruzzi, Italy (proclaimed on 1 June 1964 by Pope Paul VI)
  • Catholic Action
  • clerics
  • students
  • young people in general


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 27 FEBRUARY – TUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT: Epistle – 3 Kings xvii. 8 ‒ 16 In those days the word of the Lord came to Elias the Thesbite, saying, “Arise and go to Sarephta of t...


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 27 FEBRUARY – SAINT GABRIEL OF THE MOST SORROWFUL ...: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_of_Our_Lady_of_Sorrows Also on this day according to the ROMAN MARTYROLOGY: At Rome, the b...

28 February, The Roman Martyrology

February 28th anno Domini 2018 The 13th Day of Moon

On the 28th day of February, were born into the better life: 

At Rome, the holy martyrs Macarius, Rufinus, Justus, and Theophilus. 
At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Caerealis, Pupulus, Caius, and Serapion. 
Likewise at Alexandria are commemorated the holy Priests, Deacons, and many others who cheerfully met death in ministering to the sick in the great plague which devastated that city, [in the third century,] in the time of the Emperor Valerian, and whom the godly reverence of the faithful hath been used to honour as martyrs. 
In the Jura mountains, toward Lyon, [in 460,] the holy Abbot [of Condat,] Romanus, who was the first to live there as a hermit, and becoming famous for many graces and miracles, became also the father of many monks.
At Pavia is commemorated the translation of the body of holy Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, which was brought [in the year 722] from the island of Sardinia by the care of Luitprand, King of the Lombards. 
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

Memes of the Day

St Gabriel's Feast Day is Today

26 February 2018

Sometimes, a Whole Lot of Truth Comes From Just a Few Lines of Words and a Little Illustration

Why Communion on the Tongue is More Suitable Than in the Hand

From the National Catholic Register

(José Teófilo de Jesus, ‘Institution of the Eucharist’, 1793)

Here's why Communion on the tongue is, all things being equal, the most suitable manner of reception.

The “Sacrament of Unity,” the Eucharist, demonstrates great diversity. In its celebration, ritual families from Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Armenia, and Rome make their own unique cultural contributions. Indeed, the “mystery of Christ is so unfathomably rich that it cannot be exhausted by its expression in any single liturgical tradition” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1201).

Within these traditions, the faithful may receive Holy Communion in a variety of ways. In the Latin Church alone, legitimate options include the communicant’s posture of standing or kneeling. In addition, the minister may distribute the Blood of Christ directly from the chalice, by intinction (dipping the host in the Precious Blood), or—even if not customary for most Catholics—“by means of a tube or a spoon” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal[GIRM] 245). The consecrated host can also be received in multiple ways, “either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant” (GIRM 160).

Communion in the hand, while relatively new to today’s Latin Church, is acknowledged as an “ancient usage” by the Holy See (see the 1969 Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship’s Memoriale Domini, “Instruction on the Manner of Distributing Holy Communion”). The U.S. bishops, in their Vatican-approved norms on the distribution and reception of Holy Communion, invoke the oft-cited remarks of St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 368):
When you approach, take care not to do so with your hand stretched out and your fingers open or apart, but rather place your left hand as a throne beneath your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King. Then receive him, taking care that nothing is lost. (see “Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America” 41)
Despite the “ancient usage,” however, and even within the boundaries of the current discipline, the Church has made clear that Communion on the tongue is the preferred practice. (Consider especially the entire 1969 text of Memoriale Domini, as well as Pope John Paul II’s 1980 Apostolic Letter Dominicae Cenae 11). The Church’s preference for Communion on the tongue is nearly always justified by notions of reverence, devotion, humility, respect, adoration, and decorum. And while Pope John Paul II acknowledges those “who, receiving the Lord Jesus in the hand, do so with profound reverence and devotion” (Dominicae Cenae 11), permission for Communion in the hand is accompanied by warnings of potential disrespect, profanation, weakening of Eucharistic faith, and indifference.

But more needs to be said about these connections between the manner of reception and potential reverence or abuse. Potential for abuse is often not sufficient reason to forego a valid option. Instead, a positive theology for reception of Communion on the tongue is more helpful. Why, for instance, might Communion on the tongue help one’s Eucharistic faith, increase devotion, and better express one’s love to Jesus in the Sacrament? Conversely, whydoes receiving Communion in the hand risk profanation, weakened belief, or signify a possible lack of Eucharistic faith? Indeed, I have received Communion in the hand many times and should like to think I am among those mentioned by St. John Paul II who receive “with reverence and devotion.” Similarly, reception on the tongue does not necessarily guarantee fidelity and a grace-filled spiritual life. Still: how can I more clearly understand the Church’s preference for Communion on the tongue and, more importantly, how can I benefit spiritually from this preferred practice?

Whether receiving Communion on the tongue, in the hand, or each way from time to time, every communicant should reflect upon how the outward manner of reception expresses and fosters his or her Eucharistic faith.

The Passive Action of Communion
An ancient maxim of the Church teaches that “the law of prayer is the law of belief” (lex orandi, lex credendi). Belief and prayer—and prayer and belief—are integrally connected to one another. We pray, for example, in the name of the Father and of Son and of the Holy Spirit because we believe that God is one substance in three persons. Similarly, our belief that Jesus is truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament is deepened by humble prayer on our knees during periods of adoration (See CCC 1124 and Pius XII’s Mediator Dei 46-48).

This liturgical law clarifies the Church’s discipline regarding the reception of Holy Communion. Like most things liturgical—words, music, postures, time, ministers, architecture—the manner of receiving Communion should be understood and carried out in light of our belief. Our reception—whether on the tongue or in the hand—ought to reflect our Eucharistic faith and, at the same time, foster that same faith within us and in the Church.

So, what does the Church, and we as her members, believe about Holy Communion? While there are many (perhaps innumerable) dimensions to receiving the Eucharist, I find three particular notions enlightening to the question of Communion in the hand or on the tongue.

First, in Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, “On the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church,” the late pontiff offers a remarkable comparison between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Communicant. “There is a profound analogy,” he says, “between the Fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived ‘through the Holy Spirit’ was ‘the Son of God’ (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity with the Virgin’s faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine” (55). He goes on to liken Mary to a tabernacle—“the first ‘tabernacle’ in history” (ibid.).

If there is a lesson for the communicant, it is that, like Mary, our reception of Jesus is characterized by lowliness, humility, and docility.

A second consideration of Eucharistic Communion stems from the texts of the Roman Missal. At the end of the preparatory rites prior to the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest commands us to “Pray that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father.”

This notion of sacrifice, says Pope Benedict, is “a concept that has been buried beneath the debris of endless misunderstandings” (The Spirit of the Liturgy 27). While it is tempting to think of “sacrifice” as essentially pain, loss, suffering, and deprivation, at its heart sacrifice is union with God, divinization, and “becoming love with Christ” (76).

Consequently, if Eucharistic Communion is the fruit of Christ’s—and our own—sacrifice, that is, his action of selfless turning to the Father, our manner of reception likewise needs be characterized by our heartfelt desire to unite to God our entire freedom, memory, will, and all we possess (“Prayer of Self-Offering,”* St. Ignatius of Loyola, found in the Roman Missal).

Finally is the amazing insight of St. Augustine. Recounted by Pope Benedict in his exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, “Augustine imagines the Lord saying to him: ‘I am the food of grown men; grow, and you shall feed upon me; nor shall you change me, like the food of your flesh, into yourself, but you shall be changed into me.’ It is not the Eucharistic food that is changed into us, but rather we who are mysteriously transformed by it” (70).

If we believe that this “mysterious food” (ibid.) has the power to change us—if we believe as St. Augustine and Pope Benedict believe—our manner of eating must signify such belief. Eucharistic food is “not something to be grasped at” but is received with humility and obedience (Phil 2:7-8). Only then will we be, like Christ, “highly exalted” (Phil 2:9).

The three above reflections offer a number of common elements relative to Eucharistic Communion: humility, docility, fidelity, selflessness. Which manner of receiving (the lex orandi) best expresses and fosters these truths (the lex credendi)?

Even though, as Pope John Paul acknowledges, Communion in the hand can be carried out with reverence and devotion; and even though reception on the tongue is no guaranteed symbol of fidelity and humility; Communion on the tongue is, all things being equal, the most suitable manner of reception.
In certain cultures, including our own, the bride and groom often receive from the hand of the other a piece of wedding cake at the wedding banquet. When done with love and devotion and faithfulness, the small gesture signifies not only the care one pledges to the other, but also the concern a vulnerable spouse can expect from the other. At the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, our humble reception of the fruits of his saving work likewise show our devotion to him, our Spouse, and express our abandonment into his care.

This post originally appeared at SpiritualDirection.com and is reprinted with permission.

Chevalier Charles Coulombe on Italian Unification

The question posed is, 'Was it good or bad?' After first pointing out that prior to unification, Italy had almost no out-migration, and immediately following it, millions of Italians emigrated, he gives the historical background of the House of Savoy's conquest of the Italian Peninsula. He comes to the conclusion that it was not a good thing.

As the video ends, Mr Frankini asks him 'Garibaldi, good or bad?' Without hesitation, the Chevalier answers, 'Bad!'

Another Post on 'Altar Girls' - Girl Altar Boys and Similar Frauds

This article was originally entitled, 'Alter the Girls'. Give the current climate of 'gender fluidity' and 'gender identity politics' it's probably a good thing it was changed 

From The Remnant

By Louis J. Tofari

In recent months, several Catholic media outlets have reported that a few bishops and pastors have bravely taken the step to abolish the use of altar girls, a grave abuse “officially” approved for use in theNovus Ordo Missae in 1994. This gradual return to sanity has prompted the liberal Jesuit journal America to publish an editorial entitled “Save the Altar Girls”. As one would expect, this commentary advocates the “rights” of female altar servers replete with typical sound bites such as “sexism”, “equality”, “limiting laywomen”, “privilege of ministry”, “called by the Spirit to use one’s talents”,etcetera.

Despite the numerous errors present in this editorial, we are not required to parlay them individually to successfully demolish its argument for retaining altar girls. Fortunately for the reader’s brevity, the entirely of these corrections can be summarized in a universal principle of the Church: women cannot exercise a liturgical office.
But is this principle¾as liberals claim¾a relic of antiquated “sexist” male superiority, or rather the consequence of God’s created natural order which He further confirmed through His institution of an all-male priesthood in both the Old and New Testament, and therefore forms an integral and immutable part of the Catholic Faith?

The answer for any sensible Catholic is that this is God’s holy will and it must continue to be obeyed, despite the liberal-inspired politically-correct ideals that afflict our increasingly secularist society¾and thanks to Modernism, also the Church. So let’s examine a few points to see why this liturgical principle exists.

In the natural order of things, mankind is distinctly divided into two genders, man and woman, who also have distinctive natures, masculine and feminine, and consequently as ordained by God, different roles in society¾this is admirably exemplified in the most basic unit of the social order, the family. Furthermore, there are roles that men cannot fulfill (e.g., motherhood) and there are roles that women cannot fulfill (e.g.,fatherhood)¾this is also the case concerning liturgical offices.

A male clergy was instituted by Almighty God to provide the official ritualistic acts of religion commonly called “the liturgy”¾under the Old Covenant this consisted of the high priest, priests and Levites, while under the New Covenant, bishops, priests and ranks of lesser clergy. These lesser ranks¾what we called minor holy orders[1]¾as well as the first two major orders¾subdiaconate and diaconate¾ultimately became preparatory stages for the priesthood, whereby the man is ordained alter Christus¾the New Man.
Some conservatives have attempted to wave away the accusation that altar girls are being introduced as part of a liberal agenda to enable women priests¾but esto realis (are you kidding me?)! The agenda as well as the slippery slope of this erroneous mentality, particularly amongst impressionable young girls, is all too real. To naively think the opposite is tantamount to declaring that die-hard feminists purposefully infiltrated Girl Scouts of America to learn how to make cookies. Their self-gender-hating goal is well known: to denature girls by altering them from their God-given feminine nature thereby destroying their identity as true women. This is even more diabolical when attempted from within the sanctuary.

On the other hand, we cannot merely argue against the use of altar girls because it could be psychologically detrimental to promoting altar boys, thus leading to a crisis of priestly vocations. While a legitimate argument from the natural realm, nevertheless it is fundamentally weak. Our first argument of course is the aforementioned immutable liturgical law which is based upon God’s divine law impressed upon nature. Secondly, a crisis of vocations already existed in the post-conciliar period before the illegitimate implementation of altar girls. This was the result of a priestly identity crisis that followed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council¾hence the founding of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Thirdly¾anda fortiori¾the acolyte’s office does not actually exist for the promotion of priestly vocations, though this can certainly be an effect (as can singing in the schola). This is better realized when we understand that the acolyte’s office was intended to be fulfilled by a cleric ordained to that namesake minor order, and therefore is already committed to the priesthood. However, because parishes do not abound with clerics in minor orders, the universal Church has allowed laymen[2] the immense privilege (as opposed to a right) to fulfill certain liturgical offices such as acolyte.

Unfortunately, besides that of acolyte, other liturgical offices have been regularly abused in the New Mass for an even longer period of time¾i.e., female lectors (reading the Epistle or Lessons), extraordinary Eucharistic ministers,[3] and cantors (leading the faithful in alternating certain propers)[4] ¾and last but not least, women donning cassocks and surplices which are both clerical and liturgical garments. Yet the outcry against these contraventions has been relatively minor from conservatives in relation to opposing female altar servers. Is this perhaps an indication that opposition to altar girls is rooted more in a sentimental ideal of altar boys, rather than the principle of the liturgical office of acolyte?

It is obvious that such liturgical abuses need to be abolished as they are objectively an offense against God (note: we cannot subjectively judge the young ladies). A typical road block often raised to dissuade pastors from abolishing the abuse of female altar servers (or other aforementioned illegitimate practices) is to cite the “hurt feelings” of the many devoted girls who have sincerely embraced the ministry of serving God at the altar. The answer to this is simple and direct: God’s will, the natural order, and the Church’s liturgical laws must be obeyed, otherwise dire consequences will ensue¾like hurt feelings.

To alleviate some of this pain and suffering¾and since ecclesiastical apologies seem to be in vogue for supposed failings of the Church (you know, like male “sexism”)¾perhaps a distinguished prelate can offer a public apology to all altar girls (and women “ministers”) for a real failing on the part of churchmen. After all, these girls, whose devotion to God should not be questioned, deserve such an apology¾for being grievously misled into a position contrary to God and His Church, being put in a situation which inherently contributes to the diminishing of their feminine nature, and for being used as pawns in a liberal agenda to weaken manhood and consequently the priesthood. This prelate could also conclude that he hopes the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, will be an inspiring example for all women who truly wish to serve the Lord in the feminine capacity with which their Creator endowed them. For though she “shut up in her womb He Who the universe could not contain”, nonetheless never possessed, nor ever sought priestly powers, being content with the role that God gave her.

1 In order, Porter, Lector, Exorcist and Acolyte.

2 Consisting of both men (whether married or not) and boys, particularly the former because an ordained acolyte is an adult, not an adolescent. While it is more common to see boys serving here in the States, in England it is rather the opposite, even historically as seen in a famous photograph of Fr. Adrian Fortescue with his parish servers, who are mostly men, and testimonies of members from the 1950s and early 1960s of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen (a serving guild founded in 1905, which the SSPX has helped to restore and spread for the past twenty years).

3Which is not only a grave abuse that leads to sacrilege, but a fortiori, it was actually prohibited by the Vatican, though later overlooked with a blind eye.

4 This is part of the schola’s liturgical office of singing the propers of the Mass (e.g., the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, etc.) which in a normal parish situation cannot be sung by women (an abuse unfortunately found sometimes at the traditional Mass as well). An allowance though has always existed for female religious in their own convents.