31 May 2023


From St Thomas Aquinas Seminary. You may follow the Office at Divinum Officium.  

The Holy Rosary

Wednesday, the Glorious Mysteries, in Latin with Cardinal Burke.

Crowning Our Lady, the Queen Mother

Another sermon for today's Feast. Please, remember to say 3 Hail Marys for the priest.

Benediction and Rosary

From St Thomas Aquinas Seminary.

Hungary's Past: King Stephen's Powerful Legacy!

The story of St Stephen the First Crowned, Apostolic King of Hungary.

Today, we're diving into the fascinating story of St Stephen, Szent István király, the first King and Patron Saint of Hungary. We'll explore his incredible journey from his pagan roots to becoming an uncontested ruler, the massive impact he had on Hungarian culture and government, and how he helped shape the country into a key player in Europe. Stephen's reign marked a turning point in Hungarian history. His impact on Christianity, government, and culture helped Hungary become more aligned with the rest of Europe. Stephen's efforts ultimately transformed the nomadic warrior tribe from the central Asian steppes into a prosperous European kingdom. Today, Hungary stands as a testament to Stephen's vision and dedication. His reign laid the foundation for a nation that has continued to evolve and adapt over the centuries. Despite numerous challenges and changes in the political landscape, Hungary remains a country rich in culture and history, thanks in large part to the first king and patron saint, Stephen.

The Imperial State Crown in the Crown Jewels of Great Britain - Its History, Meaning and Origin

This video tells the story of the Imperial State Crown, one of the most iconic items in the Crown Jewels of Great Britain. Tracing its origins in the late medieval and Tudor period - the video explores the meaning and purpose of the crown. It looks at the crown's various versions and manifestations during the subsequent five hundred years, its design, form, and the jewels that adorn it.

Crisis Series #31 w/ Fr. Robinson: The Feeneyite Error - Overreacting to Modernism

Spiritual Conference: The Society of St. Pius X Part 8

From the SSPX District of Asia,  by Fr. Lawrence Novak, SSPX.#

The Vatican Tries To Silence Good Bishops With New Social Media Decree

The Memoriale Rituum - Part I – The Blessing of Candles on the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary


On the Credence or other Table at the High Altar.

1. A chalice for the mass, with white veil and a burse.  If the Feast should fall on a privileged Sunday the colour will be purple.
2. A chasuble, stole, and maniple of white or purple, or above.
3. Thurible and incense boat.
4. Holy water and aspersory.
5. A dish with a small piece of bread, and vessels for the washing of hands after the distribution of candles.
6. Towel.
7. Wine and water cruets and small towel.
8. A copy of this book, for those parts which are to be recited during the procession.

On the Altar.

1. A purple antependium or frontal, and another of white covered by the purple one.  If the Mass is in purple, the white frontal will not be required.
2. Missal on a purple cushion or Missal-stand at the Epistle side. 

Near the Epistle Side of the Altar, in Plano.

1. A table, covered with a white cloth; the candles to be blessed, and these covered with a clean white cloth.
2. The processional cross.

In the Sacristy.

1. Three surplices for the servers.
2. Amice, alb, girdle, purple stole and cope for the Celebrant.
3. Lighted charcoal.





1. About the third hour of the day the three clerics (or servers) vested in cassocks, put on their surplices in the Sacristy, and prepare everything as in the preceding chapter.
2. By a festive ringing of the bells let the people be called to the Church. 
3. Having made his preparation for Mass and washed his hands, the Celebrant, assisted by the second and third servers, puts on over his cotta the amice, alb, girdle, purple stole and cope.
[If the Feast falls on a Sunday, the Celebrant, so vested, blesses the water for the Asperges as in the Missal.]
4. In the meantime the first cleric or server removes all flowers from the Altar and lights the candles.
5. The Celebrant makes, with the second and third server, the usual reverence to the Sacristy cross or statue.  The first server, with hands joined, the second and third servers holding the edges of the cope, go to the Altar with the Celebrant, who wears his biretta. 
6. At the lowest step of the altar the first server receives the biretta, and, having put it aside, uncovers the candles.
7. Having made in plano a bow to the cross or a genuflection on the lowest step if the Blessed Sacrament is in the Tabernacle, the Celebrant ascends and kisses the Altar in the middle.
[If there is to be the Asperges, the Celebrant, kneeling on the lowest step, performs the sprinkling with holy water, as in the Missal; he then ascends the altar, as above.]
8. Having kissed the Altar, the Celebrant then goes to the Epistle side, accompanied by the servers, one at each side, as in No. 5.
9. He there, with hands joined and facing the Altar, says in the ferial tone, Dominus vobiscum, and afterwards adds Oremus and the Collect Domine Sancte, etc., together with the other four Collects.
10. In the meantime the first server prepares the fire in the thurible, and the incense boat.
11. While the fifth prayer is being said by the third server, who has been standing at the left hand of the Celebrant, makes a genuflection to the Altar, retires, and taking the holy water off the credence table, approaches the Celebrant, together with the thurifer.
12. The Celebrant, having concluded the fifth collect, is offered the incense boat, with the customary kisses by the second server, who is at the right of the Celebrant, and the incense is put in the thurible with the usual blessing.
13. Then, receiving the aspersory from the second server, the Celebrant thrice sprinkles the candles - in the centre, to his left, and then to the right - saying in a low voice the Antiphon Asperges me, etc.
14. Immediately afterwards he incenses the candles in a similar manner, but does not say anything.
15. The blessing being finished, the Celebrant makes a reverence in the middle of the Altar, and, wearing his biretta, sits on a small seat placed at the Gospel side on the predella.  Here he admonishes the people, speaks seriously to them of the institution of this solemnity and the mysteries it signifies, and of the usefulness of blessed candles, and bids the people to approach with reverence to receive them.



1. The discourse being finished, the first server takes from the table the candle prepared for the Celebrant, and, unless there is a Priest present, he places the candle in the middle of the Altar.
2. The Celebrant, having made a reverence in the middle of the Altar, genuflects on the predella, his face turned to the cross.
3. While on his knees he takes the candle from the Altar, and, kissing it, hands it to the care of the first server.
[If a Priest is present, he gives the candle to the Celebrant, who stands turned towards the people.  The Priest and the Celebrant kiss the candle only.]
The Celebrant then goes to the Epistle side, and, alternately with his servers, in a loud and clear tone, after the manner of the regular clerics, they recite the Antiphon Lumen etc., and the Canticle Nunc dimittis.

Antiphona.  Lumen ad Revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Canticum.  Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace.

Antiphona.  Lumen ad Revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum.

Antiphona.  Lumen ad Revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum.

Antiphona.  Lumen ad Revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.

Antiphona.  Lumen ad Revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.  Amen.

Antiphona.  Lumen ad Revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

5. As soon as the Antiphon Lumen, after Sicut erat, etc., has been recited, the Celebrant, making a bow to the cross, turns to the people and distributes the candles - first to the Priests, if any are present, then to the servers, so placed on the predella step that the seniors in dignity are at the Epistle side.  All receive their candles kneeling, and kiss first the candle and then the hand of the Celebrant.
6. Then the Celebrant, making the customary reverence to the Altar, accompanied by two servers, goes to the Altar-rails at the Epistle side.
7. He there begins the distribution of the candles, first to the men and then to the women, the candles being carried by the first server and handed to the Celebrant by the third server, who is on his left-hand side.
8. The distribution being finished, the Celebrant washes his hands in plano on the Epistle side, the first cleric pouring the water, the others holding the towel and bread.
9. The Celebrant, having washed his hands, proceeds per longiorem to the Altar, makes the usual reverence in the middle, and goes to the Missal.
10. There, with his servers, he reads in a loud voice the Antiphon, Exsurge, Domine, etc.

Antiphona.  Exsurge Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos propter nomen tuum.

Psalmus xliii.
Deus, auribus nostris audivimus: patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.  Amen.

Antiphona.  Exsurge Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos propter nomen tuum.

11. Then, still standing in the same place, he adds Oremus; and if it is after Septuagesima, and not a Sunday, he also adds Flectamus genua, genuflecting meanwhile, as so also all present.  The second server, rising first, answers, Levate.
12. After this the Celebrant says the Collect Exaudi quaesumus Domine, etc., always holding his hands hoined as above noted.



1. The prayer being finished, the Celebrant goes to the middle of the Altar, and there receives from the first server his lighted candle and a copy of this Memoriale or a Ritual, in order that he may recite the Antiphons in procession.
2. The other two servers take their lighted candles and books for the Antiphons.
3. The Celebrant turns towards the people and says, Procedamus in pace, and the servers answer, In nomine Christi, Amen.
4. The Celebrant begins to recite the Antiphon Adorna, as below, and alternately with the servers assisting him continues the other Antiphons.
5. When the response In nomine Christi, Amen, has been made, the first server takes the processional cross, and making a genuflection to the altar, turns towards the people and proceeds, according to custom, either outside or inside the Church, directing the procession towards the right-hand side first of all, and, after making the circuit, returning to the Altar.
6. The Celebrant, wearing his biretta, and walking between the two servers, follows the cross, and recites with the servers the following Antiphons, which are here printed in verse form for greater convenience in chanting.


Adorna thalamus tuum Sion: et suscipe Regem Christum.
Amplectere Mariam: quae est coelestis porta.
Ipsa enim portat Regem gloriae, novi luminis.
Subsistit Virgo, adducens manibus Filium, ante luciferum genitum.
Quem accipiens Simeon in ulnas suas praedicavit populis: Dominum eum esse vitae, et mortis, et Salvatorem mundi.

Alia Antiphona.

Responsum accepit Simeon a Spiritu Sancto: non visurum se mortem nisi videret Christum Domini.
Et cum inducerent Puerum in templum: accepit eum in ulnas suas, et benedixit Deum, et dixit:
Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine: secundum verbum tuum in pace.
V. Cum inducerent Puerum Jesum parentes ejus, ut facerent secundum consuetudinem legis pro eo: ipse accepit eum in ulnas suas.

7. On returning to the Church if the procession has been outside, or if the procession has been in the Church at the entry to the Sanctuary, the following Responsory is chanted:

R. Obtulerunt pro eo Domino par turturum: aut duos pullos columbarum.
Sicut scriptum est: in lege Domini.
Postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis Mariae: secundum legem Moysi.
Tulerunt Jesum in Jerusalem, ut sisterent eum Domino.
Sicut scriptum est in lege Domini.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut scriptum est in lege Domini.

8. The server with the cross, having made a genuflection at the Altar, replaces the cross at the Epistle side of the Altar.
9. The Celebrant concludes the Responsory in front of the Altar.



1. The Responsory being finished, the first server receives the candles of the Celebrant and his servers.  The candles, having been extinguished, are placed on the credence table.
2. The Celebrant, having made a genuflection to the Altar, goes to the Epistle side in plano to the Minister's bench.  Assisted by the second and third servers, he removes his cope and purple stole, and vests in white maniple, stole and chasuble if the Mass is of Our Lady; if the Mass is of the Sunday, he removes the purple cope, and puts on purple maniple and chasuble.
3. In the meantime, if the Mass to be celebrated is of the Feast, the first server removes from the Altar the purple frontal, thus uncovering the white frontal, and places vases of flowers between the candlesticks; he also takes the chalice to the Altar, and opening the corporal, arranges the chalice, etc., in the middle of the Altar ready for Mass.
4. The Celebrant proceeds to celebrate Mass, during which, if it is of the Feast, the servers hold their candles lighted at the Gospel, and from the Elevation until after the Communion.
5. While the Celebrant is reading the Communion Antiphon the first cleric removes the chalice from the Altar to the credence table.
6. The Mass being ended, the Celebrant, with joined hands, and preceded by his servers, returns to the Sacristy.
7.  He then takes off his vestments and makes his thanksgiving, as usual. 
8. The servers carry the things used to the Sacristy, and put them away.

Catholic Archduke Habsburg of Hungary Says Service and Humility are the Bedrock for a Virtuous Society

His Imperial and Royal Highness is Hungary's Ambassador to the Holy See.

From ChurchPOP

By George Ryan

"You're never bigger than when you kneel in front of God."

Can royal principles of duty and humility illuminate the path towards personal growth and societal virtue?

The answer and more unfolds in an engaging episode of The Catholic Gentleman, featuring Archduke Eduard Habsburg and hosts John Heinen and Sam Guzman.

In their conversation, Habsburg draws attention to the inherent virtues of monarchy, highlighting the intimate bond between royalty and service.

"You grow up as a future king or queen or grandeur, you grow up in an attitude of service all your life. You know that you have to serve your country,” Habsburg said.

His personal experiences as a Habsburg offers him a unique identity, shaped by the weight of his family's history and societal expectations.

Habsburg emphasizes the transformative power of faith in shaping one's perspective:

"You're never bigger than when you kneel in front of God. This is something that strongly influenced me all my life. The humility to know I take my thought, I take everything I do from the hand of God," he shares, advocating for a return to humility and faith-centered values.

The Archduke also speaks with deep reverence of the Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria, whose selfless dedication and strong faith inspire him.

"Blessed Emperor Charles is for me the most chivalric of all Habsburg emperors... he offered his life, his family, and his job to God," he explains.

Habsburg's reflections extend to the contemporary political landscape, where he champions the principle of subsidiarity as a counter to globalism.

"Subsidiarity is the absolute antidote to globalism... The United States is built upon this system.”

In a profound exploration of life's ultimate journey, Habsburg also contemplates the notion of a "good death" as an integral part of life, something to prepare for and accept rather than fear.

"The way I die will decide about my eternal life… you cannot just believe that when you are going to die that you will be ready for God if you don't prepare your entire life for this.”

Drawing from the Archduke’s insights, we can each strive to embody the principles of service, humility and faith in our daily lives:

Capitalism at Its Worst

Today is the 134th anniversary of the Johnstown Flood.

The Hymns From the Office for Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen

From Matins:

Above the heavens reignest thou,
O Virgin Queen forever blest;
Above all creatures thou art now
Adorned with beauty, golden dressed.

Creation's culminating work
Thou shinest in thy Maker's sight,
Whose destiny it is to bear
The Son who made thee, God of light.

As Christ reigns King from high upon
The Cross, empurpled by his Blood,
Thou art the Queen of all to whom
Redemption came from Holy Rood.

Thou who with such glories art adorned,
Look down upon us as we sing,
Accept the grateful praises now
We offer thee, our blessed Queen.

All honor, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-Born, to thee;
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Ghost, for evermore.

From Lauds:

O glorious lady! throned on high
Above the star-illumined sky;
Thereto ordained, thy bosom lent
To thy Creator nourishment.

Through thy sweet offspring we receive
The bliss once lost through hapless Eve;
And heaven to mortals open lies
Now thou art portal of the skies.

Thou art the door of heaven's high King,
Light's gateway fair and glistering;
Life through a Virgin is restored;
Ye ransomed nations, praise the Lord!

All honour, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete.

From Vespers:

Ave, star of ocean,
Child divine who barest,
Mother, ever-Virgin,
Heaven's portal fairest.

Taking that sweet Ave
Erst by Gabriel spoken,
Eva's name reversing,
Be of peace the token.

Break the sinners' fetters,
Light to blind restoring,
All our ills dispelling,
Every boon imploring.

Show thyself a mother
In thy supplication;
He will hear who chose thee
At his incarnation.

Maid all maids excelling,
Passing meek and lowly,
Win for sinners pardon,
Make us chaste and holy.

As we onward journey
Aid our weak endeavour,
Till we gaze on Jesus
And rejoice forever.

Father, Son, and Spirit,
Three in One confessing,
Give we equal glory
Equal praise and blessing.

Lighting a Candle to Rainbow Zeus

The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, not to the Capital Sin of Pride. Pray for the Instauration of the Social Reign of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.

From Crisis

By Austin Ruse

This June, say no. Don't bow down to the Rainbow Zeus. The rainbow nonsense is not a grassroots thing. It is purely top-down, forced on us by the rich and powerful.

And so, the worst month of the year begins. June—the month of the Sacred Heart—has been taken over by perversion. The love that dares not speak its name screams all month long in our faces. You cannot get away. Rainbows everywhere. You are tempted to stay inside, lower the shades, like the three days of darkness, praying for the demons to pass by.

You can count on seeing their anti-Christian hate rainbow everywhere. There will be a rainbow sticker on the ATM at the bank. You want cash? You get the rainbow, too.

Rent a car for a summer drive, and the person behind the desk will have a rainbow lanyard for their name badge.

Your local grocery store will have a colossal rainbow display right inside, even before you get to the peaches. They will sell you rainbow balloons for Junior’s birthday party.

You work in a corporate milieu? You can’t get away. Human resources will ensure you rainbow-remember every single day. They’ll serve rainbow cake in the lunchroom, with more sashaying than usual.

Your kids in government schools, and even in some Catholic schools, will chalk rainbows on the asphalt in the playground. They will learn about such rainbow heroes like pedophile Harvey Milk.

Are you in the military? You will snap a sharp one to the rainbow flag. If you don’t, kiss your promotion goodbye.

Rainbow nights at the ballpark, even in little league. You will eat rainbow Double Stuffs, drag rainbow corn chips through rainbow salsa, pour rainbow milk over rainbow Cheerios. Dare we hope that corporate co-optation will drain the gay rainbow of meaning? We can only hope.

You have to hand it to the rainbows. They make up no more than 1.6 percent of the adult population. That’s a mere four million people who “identify” as rainbow, about the size of Los Angeles or the state of Oklahoma. There are more Methodists. Of course, they want you to think they make up 10 percent of the total population, roughly 33 million. That was always a lie ginned up in the criminal work of wicked Alfred Kinsey, high priest of the Rainbow Zeus.

So successful has been that lie that youngsters now believe that 25 percent—83 million—of the population are rainbow. Of course, calling yourself non-binary gets you cost-free into the Rainbow Club, and it is a safe harbor that comes with all sorts of societal huzzahs. Even if the numbers lie, hats off to the rainbows for their achievements. They have made us all if not worship Rainbow Zeus, at least acknowledge him or grit your teeth as you look away.

“Rainbow Zeus” was coined by my friend Professor Matthew Mehan, Associate Dean of the exalted Hillsdale College’s D.C. campus. Rainbow Zeus is a false god, an angry god who demands our attention if not our worship. This is why so many people think they have to bend the knee.

You have to light the candle to get along, not get fired. You must wear the rainbow lanyard, salute the rainbow flag, even if you utterly reject the gay rainbow; even if you understand that the LGBTQ+ rainbow is a giant middle finger to the Triune God. It is. The rainbow is His. It was His promise that He would not destroy mankind again. The LGBTQ+s say, “Oh yeah, try this!”

Christians have faced this kind of totalitarianism before. “Just step on the image of Christ and we will leave you alone. Use mental reservation and just step right there. All will be well. It doesn’t mean anything. Just do it.”

This June, say no. Tell human resources, “I am a Catholic, and in good conscience, I cannot wear the rainbow lanyard.” If your grocery store puts up that hideous display, march up to the manager, as my wife did two years ago, and tell him the display is offensive because it cancels women. The display went away.

In a very kindly way, ask the girl at McDonald’s, “Did they make you wear that rainbow nametag?” You just might get an eyeroll, a shared secret that she agrees with you. And you would let her know she is not alone in her disdain.

Do more. Buy a Sacred Heart flag and put it up in place of your American flag. For the month of June, we will be hoisting a huge Sacred Heart flag of the Vendée peasants who resisted the French revolutionaries and were slaughtered for it.

The rainbow nonsense is not a grassroots thing. It is purely top-down, forced on us by the rich and powerful. Remember Chick-fil-A Day, when millions turned out to buy a sandwich in solidarity with the owner’s support of man-woman marriage? That was grassroots, and that is us. And it scared the rainbows half to death to know so many do not go along with their propaganda.

And always remember this: our God is awesome, and He stands against this Rainbow Zeus who is, after all, Satan.

Ember Wednesday in the Octave of Pentecost

Today's Holy Mass from Corpus Christi Church, Tynong, VIC, Australia. You may follow the Mass at Divinum Officium.

St Petronilla, Virgin ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

Wednesday in Whitsun Week ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

St Petronilla, Virgin

From Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year

Though the Church makes but a simple commemoration of this illustrious Virgin in the office of this day, we will not fail to offer her the homage of our devout veneration. On the twelfth of this month, we kept the feast of the noble Virgin and Martyr, Flavia Domitilla; it is probable that Aurelia Petronilla was also of the imperial family of the Flavians. The early traditions of the Church speak of her as being the spiritual daughter of the Prince of the Apostles; and though she did not, like Domitilla, lay down her life for the Faith, yet she offered to Jesus that next richest gift—her Virginity. The same venerable authorities tell us, also, that a Roman Patrician, by name Flaccus, having asked her in marriage, she requested three days for consideration, during which she confidently besought the aid of her Divine Spouse. Flaccus presented himself on the third day, but found the palace in mourning, and her family busy in preparing the funeral obsequies of the young Virgin, who had taken her flight to heaven, as a dove that is startled by an intruder’s approach.

In the 8th Century, the holy Pope Paul I had the body of Petronilla taken from the Cemetery of Domitilla, on the Ardeatine Way. Her relics were found in a marble sarcophagus, the lid of which was adorned, at each corner, with a dolphin. The Pope had them enshrined in a little Church, which he built near the south side of the Vatican Basilica. This Church was destroyed in the 16th Century, in consequence of the alterations needed for the building of the new Basilica of Saint Peter; and the Relics of St. Petronilla were translated to one of its Altars on the west side. It was but just that she should await her glorious Resurrection under the shadow of the great Apostle who had initiated her in the Faith and prepared her for her eternal nuptials for the Lamb.

Thy triumph, O Petronilla, is one of our Easter joys! We lovingly venerate thy blessed memory. Thou disdainedst the pleasures and honors of the world, and thy virginal name is one of the first on the list of the Church of Rome, which was thy mother. Aid her, now, by thy prayers. Protect those who seek thine intercession, and teach us how to celebrate, with holy enthusiasm, the Solemnities that are soon to gladden us.

Wednesday in Whitsun Week

From Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of  thy love.

We have seen with what fidelity the Holy Ghost has fulfilled, during all these past ages, the Mission he received from our Emmanuel, of forming, protecting and maintaining his Spouse the Church. This trust given by a God has been executed with all the power of a God, and it is the sublimest and most wonderful spectacle the world has witnessed during the eighteen hundred years of the new Covenant. This continuance of a social body—the same in all times and places—promulgating a precise Symbol of Faith which each of its Members is bound to accept—producing by its decisions the strictest unity of religious belief throughout the countless individuals who compose the society—this, together with the wonderful propagation of Christianity, is the master-fact of History. These two facts are not, as certain modern writers would have it, results of the ordinary laws of Providence; but Miracles of the highest order, worked directly by the Holy Ghost, and intended to serve as the basis of our faith in the truth of the Christian Religion. The Holy Ghost was not, in the exercise of his Mission, to assume a visible form; but he has made his Presence visible to the understanding of man, and thereby he has sufficiently proved his own personal action in the work of man’s salvation.

Let us now follow this divine action,—not in its carrying out the merciful designs of the Son of God, who deigned to take to himself a Spouse here below,—but in the relations of this Spouse with mankind. Our Emmanuel willed that she should be the Mother of men; and that all whom he calls to the honor of becoming his own Members should acknowledge that it is she who gives them this glorious birth. The Holy Ghost, therefore, was to secure to this Spouse of Jesus what would make her evident and known to the world, leaving it, however, in the power of each individual to disown and reject her.

It was necessary that this Church should last for all ages, and that she should traverse the earth in such wise that her name and mission might be known to all nations; in a word, she was to be Catholic, that is, Universal, taking in all times and all places. Accordingly, the Holy Ghost made her Catholic. He began by showing her, on the Day of Pentecost, to the Jews who had flocked to Jerusalem from the various nations; and when these returned to their respective countries, they took the good tidings with them. He then sent the Apostles and Disciples into the whole world, and we learn from the writers of those early times that a century had scarcely elapsed before there were Christians in every portion of the known earth. Since then, the Visibility of this holy Church has gone on increasing gradually more and more. If the Divine Spirit, in the designs of his justice, has permitted her to lose her influence in a nation that had made itself unworthy of the grace, he transferred her to another where she would be obeyed. If, at time, there have been whole countries where she had no footing, it was either because she had previously offered herself to them and they had rejected her, or because the time marked by Providence for her reigning there had not yet come. The history of the Church’s propagation is one long proof of her ever living and of her frequent migrating. Times and places, all are hers; if there be one when or where she is not acknowledged as supreme, she is at least represented by her Members; and this prerogative, which has given her the name of Catholic, is one of the grandest of the workings of the Holy Ghost.

But his action does not stop here; the Mission given him by the Emmanuel in reference to his Spouse obliges him to something beyond this; and here we enter into the whole mystery of the Holy Ghost in the Church. We have seen his outward influence, whereby he gives her perpetuity and increase; now we must attentively consider the inward direction she receives from him, which gives her Unity, Infallibility, and Holiness,—prerogatives which, together with Catholicity, designate the true Spouse of Christ.

The union of the Holy Ghost with the Humanity of Jesus is one of the fundamental truths of the mystery of the Incarnation. Our divine Mediator is called “Christ” because of the anointing which he received; (Psalm 44:8) and his anointing is the result of his Humanity’s being united with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 10:38) This union is indissoluble: eternally will the Word be united to his Humanity; eternally, also, will the Holy Spirit give to this Humanity the anointing which makes “Christ.” Hence it follows, that the Church, being the body of Christ, shares in the union existing between its Divine Head and the Holy Ghost. The Christian, too, receives, in Baptism, an anointing by the Holy Ghost, who, from that time forward, dwells in him as the pledge of his eternal inheritance: (Ephesians 1:13) but, whilst the Christian may, by sin, forfeit this union which is the principle of his supernatural life, the Church herself never can lose it. The Holy Ghost is united to the Church for ever; it is by him that she exists, acts, and triumphs over all those difficulties to which, by the divine permission, she is exposed while militant on earth.

St. Augustine thus admirably expresses this doctrine in one of his Sermons for the Feast of Pentecost: “The spirit, by which every man lives, is called the soul. Now, observe what it is that our soul does in the body. It is the soul that gives life to all the members; it sees by the eye, it hears by the ear, it smells by the nose, it speaks by the tongue, it works by the hands, it walks by the feet. It is present to each member, giving life to them all, and to each one its office. It is not the eye that bears, nor the ear and tongue that see, nor the ear and eye that speak; and yet they all live; their functions are varied, their life is one and the same. So is it in the Church of God. In some Saints, she works miracles; in other Saints, she teaches the truth; in others, she practices virginity; in others, she maintains conjugal chastity: she does one thing in one class, and another in another; each individual has his distinct work to do, but there is one and the same life in them all. Now, what the soul is to the body of man, that the Holy Ghost is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church: the Holy Ghost does in the whole Church, what the soul does in all the members of one body.” (Sermon 267, In die Pentecostes)

Here we have given to us a clear exposition, by means of which we can fully understand the life and workings of the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ, and the Holy Ghost is the principle which gives her life. He is her soul — not only in that limited sense in which we have already spoken of the Soul of the Church, that is, of her inward existence, and which, after all, is the result of the Holy Spirit’s action within her — but he is also her Soul, in that her whole interior and exterior life, and all her workings, proceed from Him. The Church is undying, because the love, which has led the Holy Ghost to dwell within her, will last forever: and here we have the reason of that perpetuity of the Church, which is the most wonderful spectacle witnessed by the world.

Let us now pass on, and consider that other marvel, which consists in the preservation of unity in the Church. It is said of her in the Canticle: “ONE is my dove; my perfect one is ONE.” (Song of Solomon 6:8) Jesus would have but One, and not many to be his Church, his Spouse: the Holy Ghost will therefore see to the accomplishment of his wish. Let us respectfully follow him in his workings here also. And firstly; is it possible, viewing the thing humanly, that a society should exist for eighteen hundred years and never change? nay, could it have continued all that time, even allowing it to have changed as often as you will? And during these long ages, this society has necessarily had to encounter, and from its own members, the tempests of human passions, which are ever showing themselves, and which not infrequently play havoc with the grandest institutions. It has always been composed of nations, differing from each other in language, character, and customs; either so far apart as not to know each other, or when neighbors, estranged one from the other by national jealousies and antipathies. And yet, notwithstanding all this—notwithstanding, too, the political revolutions which have made up the history of the world—the Catholic Church has maintained her changeless Unity: one Faith—one visible head—one worship (at least in the essentials)—one mode for the deciding every question, namely, by tradition and authority. Sects have risen up in every age, each sect giving itself out as “the true Church:” they lasted for a while, short or long, according to circumstances, and then were forgotten. Where are now the Arians with their strong political party? Where are the Nestorians, and Eutychians, and Monothelites, with their interminable cavillings? Could anything be imagines more powerless and effete than the Greek Schism, slave either to Sultan or Czar? What is there left of Jansenism, that wore itself away in striving to keep in the Church in spite of the Church? As to Protestantism—the produce of the principle of negation—was it not broken up into sections from its very beginning, so as never to be able to form one society? and is it not now reduced to such straits that it can with difficulty retain dogmas which, at first, it looked upon as fundamental—such as the inspiration of the Scriptures, or the Divinity of Christ?

While all else is change and ruin, our mother the holy Catholic Church, the One Spouse of the Emmanuel, stands forth grand and beautiful in her Unity. But how are we to account for it? Is it that Catholics are of one nature, and Sectarians of another? Orthodox or heterodox, are we not all members of the same human race, subject to the same passions and errors? Whence do the children of the Catholic Church derive that stability which is not affected by time, nor influenced by the variety of national character, nor shaken by those revolutions that have changed dynasties and countries? Only one reasonable explanation can be given—there is a divine element in all this. The Holy Ghost, who is the soul of the Church, acts upon all the members; and as he himself is One, he produces Unity in the Body he animates. He cannot contradict himself: nothing, therefore, subsists by him which is not in union with him.

Tomorrow, we will speak of what the Holy Ghost does for the maintaining Faith, one and unvarying, in the whole body of the Church; let us today limit our considerations to this single point, namely, that the Holy Spirit is the source of external union by voluntary submission to one center of unity. Jesus had said: Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church: (Matthew 16:18) now, Peter was to die; the promise, therefore, could not refer to his person only, but to the whole line of his successors, even to the end of the world. How stupendous is not the action of the Holy Ghost, who thus produces a dynasty of spiritual princes, which has reached its two hundred and fiftieth Pontiff, and is to continue to the last day! No violence is offered to man’s free will; the Holy Spirit permits him to attempt what opposition he lists; but the work of God must go forward. A Decius may succeed in causing a four years’ vacancy in the See of Rome; anti-popes may arise, supported by popular favor, or upheld by the policy of Emperors; a long schism may render it difficult to know the real Pontiff amidst the several who claim it: the Holy Spirit will allow the trial to have its course, and, whilst it lasts, will keep up the faith of his children; the day will come when he will declare the lawful Pastor of the flock, and the whole Church will enthusiastically acknowledge him as such.

In order to understand the whole marvel of this supernatural influence, it is not enough to know the extrinsic results as told us by history; we must study it in its own divine reality. The unity of the Church is not like that which a conqueror forces upon a people that has become tributary to him. The members of the Church are united in oneness of faith and submission, because they love the yoke she imposes on their freedom and their reason. But who is it, that thus brings human pride to obey? Who is it, that makes joy and contentment be felt in a life-long practice of subordination? Who is it, that brings man to put his security and happiness in the having no individual views of his own, and in the conforming his judgment to one supreme teaching, even in matters where the world chafes at control? It is the Holy Ghost, who works this manifold and permanent miracle, for he it is who gives soul and harmony to the vast aggregate of the Church, and sweetly infuses into all these millions a union of heart and mind which forms for our Lord Jesus Christ his one dear bride.

During the days of his mortal life, Jesus prayed his Eternal Father to bless us with unity: May they be one, as we also are. (John 17:11) He prepares us for it, when he calls us to become his members; but, for the achieving this union, he sends his Spirit into the world, that Spirit, who is the eternal link between the Father and the Son, and who deigns to accept a temporal mission among men, in order to create on the earth a union formed after the type of the union which is in God himself.

We give thee thanks, O Blessed Spirit! who, by thy dwelling thus within the Church of Christ, inspirest us to love and practice Unity, and suffer every evil rather than break it. Strengthen it within us, and never permit us to deviate from it by even the slightest want of submission. Thou art the soul of the Church; oh! give us to be Members ever docile to thy inspirations, for we could not belong to Jesus who sent thee, unless we belong to the Church, his Spouse and our Mother, whom he redeemed with his Blood, and gave to thee to form and guide.

Next Saturday, the Ordination of Priests and sacred Ministers is to take place throughout the whole Church. The Sacrament of Orders is one of the principal workings of the Holy Ghost, who comes into the souls of those who are presented for Ordination, and impresses upon them, by the Bishop’s hands, the character of Priesthood or Deaconship. The Church prescribes a three days’ fast and abstinence; with the intention of obtaining from God’s mercy that the grace thus given may fructify in those who receive it, and bring a blessing upon the Faithful. This is the first of the three days.

At Rome, the Station is in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. It was but right, that on one of the days of this great Octave, the faithful should meet together under the protection of the Mother of God, whose sharing in the mystery of Pentecost was both a glory and a blessing to the infant Church.

We will close this day with one of the finest of Adam of Saint Victor’s Sequences on the mystery of the Holy Ghost.


The glad and glorious light — wherewith the heaven-sent Fire filled the hearts of Jesus’ Disciples and gave them to speak in divers tongues — invites us now to sing our hymns with hearts in concord with the voice.

On the Fiftieth day, Christ revisited his Spouse, by sending her the pledge he had promised. After tasting the honied sweetness, the Rock (Peter), now the firmest of Rocks, pours forth the unction of his preaching.

The Law, of old, was given on the Mount to the people, but it was written on tablets of stone, and not on fiery tongues: but in the Cenacle, there was given to a chosen few newness of heart and knowledge of all tongues.

O happy, O festive Day, whereon was founded the primitive Church! Three thousand souls! — oh! how vigorous the first-fruits of the but just born Church!

The two Loaves commanded to be offered in the ancient Law pre-figured the two adopted people now made one; the Stone, the head of the corner, set himself between the two, and made both one.

New wine may not be put in bottles that are old, but in them that are new: the Widow prepares her vessels, and Eliseus fills them with oil: so, too, our God gives us his heavenly dew, if our hearts be ready.

If our lives be disorderly, we are not fit to receive the Wine, nor Oil, nor Dew. The Paraclete can never dwell in dark or divided hearts.

O dear Comforter, come! govern our tongues, soften our hearts: where thou art, must be no gall or poison. Nothing is joyous, nothing pleasant, nothing wholesome, nothing peaceful, nothing sweet, nothing full, save by thy grace.

Thou art light and unction; thou the heavenly Savior that enrichest the element of water with mysterious power. We praise thee with hearts made pure; we that have been made a new creature;— we that once, by nature, were children of wrath, but now Children of Grace.

O thou, the Giver and the Gift. O thou the Creator of all that is good! make our hearts eager to praise thee, and teach our tongues to sound forth thy glory. Do thou, O Author of purity, purify us from sin! Renew us in Christ; and then, give us the full joy of perfect Newness! Amen.


The gift of Knowledge has taught us what we must do and what we must avoid in order that we may be such as Jesus, our divine Master, wishes us to be. We now need another gift of the Holy Ghost, from which to draw the energy necessary for our persevering in the way he has pointed out to us. Difficulties we are sure to have; and our need of support is proved enough by the miserable failures we are daily witnessing. This support the Holy Ghost grants us by the gift of Fortitude, which, if we but faithfully use it, will enable us to master every difficulty, yea, will make it easy for us to overcome the obstacles which would impede our onward march.

When difficulties and trials of life come upon him, man is tempted, sometimes to cowardice and discouragement, sometimes to an impetuosity, which arises either from his natural temperament or from pride. These are poor aids to the soul in her spiritual combat. The Holy Ghost, therefore, brings her a new element of strength—it is supernatural Fortitude, which is so peculiarly his gift, that when our Savior instituted the seven Sacraments, he would have one of them be for the special object of giving us the Holy Ghost as a principle of energy. It is evident that having to fight during our whole lives against the devil, the world, and ourselves, we need some better power of resistance than either pusillanimity or daring. We need some gift which will control both our fear and the confidence we are at times inclined to have in ourselves. Thus gifted by the Holy Ghost, man is sure of victory; for grace will supply the deficiencies and correct the impetuosities of nature.

There are two necessities which are ever making themselves felt in the Christian life;—the power of resistance, and the power of endurance. What could we do against the temptations of Satan if the Fortitude of the Holy Spirit did not clad us with heavenly armor and nerve us to the battle? And is not the World, too, a terrible enemy? Have we not reason to dread it when we see how it is every day making victims by the tyranny of its claims and its maxims? What, then, must be the assistance of the Holy Ghost, which is to make us invulnerable to the deadly shafts that are dealing destruction around us?

The passions of the human heart are another obstacle to our salvation and sanctification; they are the more to be feared, because they are within us. It is requisite that the Holy Ghost change our heart, and lead it to deny itself as often as the light of grace points out to us a way other than that which self-love would have us follow. What supernatural Fortitude we need in order to hate our life, (John 12:25) as often as our Lord bids us make a sacrifice, or when we have to choose which of the two Masters we will serve. (Matthew 6:24The Holy Spirit is daily working this marvel by means of the Gift of Fortitude: so that, we have but to correspond to the Gift, and not stifle it either by cowardice or indiscretion—and we are strong enough to resist even our domestic enemies. This blessed Gift of Fortitude teaches us to govern our passions and treat them as blind guides; it also teaches us never to follow their instincts, save when they are in harmony with the law of God.

There are times when the Holy Spirit requires from a Christian something beyond interior resistance to the enemies of his soul:—he must make an outward protestation against error and evil, as often as position or duty demands it. On such occasions, one must bear to become unpopular, and console one’s self with the words of the Apostle: If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10) But the Holy Ghost will be on his side; and finding him resolute in using his Gift of Fortitude, not only will he give him a final triumph, but he generally blesses that soul with a sweet and courageous peace, which is the result and recompense of a duty fulfilled.

Thus does the Holy Ghost apply the gift of Fortitude, when there is question of a Christian’s making resistance. But, as we have already said, it imparts also the energy necessary for bearing up against the trials, which all must go through who would save their souls. There are certain fears, which damp our courage, and expose us to defeat. The gift of Fortitude dispels them, and braces us with such a peaceful confidence, that we ourselves are surprised at the change. Look at the martyrs; not merely at such an one as St. Mauritius, the leader of the Theban Legion, who was accustomed to face danger on the battle-field, but at Felicitas, a mother of seven children, at Perpetua, a high-born lady with everything this world could give her, at Agnes, a girl of thirteen, and at thousands of others like them; and say, if the gift of Fortitude is not a prompter to heroism? Where is the fear of death—that death, the very thought of which is sometimes more than we can bear? And what are we to say of all those lives spent in self-abnegation and privation, with a view to make Jesus their only treasure and be the more closely united with him? What are we to say of those hundreds and thousands of our fellow creatures who shun the sight of a distracted and vain world, and make sacrifice their rule? whose peacefulness is proof against every trial, and whose acceptance of the cross is as untiring as the cross itself is in its visit? What trophies are these of the Spirit of Fortitude! and how magnificent is the devotedness he creates for every possible duty! Oh! truly, man, of himself, is of little worth; but how grand when under the influence of the Holy Ghost!

It is the same Divine Spirit who also gives the Christian courage to withstand the vile temptation of human respect, by raising him above those worldly considerations which would make him disloyal to duty. It is He that leads man to prefer, to every honor this world could bestow, the happiness of never violating the law of his God. It is the Spirit of Fortitude that makes him look upon the reverses of fortune as so many merciful designs of Providence; that consoles him when death bereaves him of those who are dear to him; that cheers him under bodily sufferings, which would be so hard to bear but from his taking them as visits from his heavenly Father. In a word, it is He, as we learn from the Lives of the Saints, that turns the very repugnances of nature into matter for heroic acts, wherein man seems to go beyond the limits of his frail mortality and emulate the impassible and glorified spirits of heaven.

O divine Spirit of Fortitude! take full possession of our souls, and keep us from the effeminacies of the age we live in. Never was there such lack of energy as now, never was the worldly spirit more rife, never was sensuality more unbridled, never were pride and independence more the fashion of the world. So forgotten and unheeded are the maxims of the Gospel, that when we witness the Fortitude of self-restraint and abnegation, we are as surprised as though we beheld a prodigy. O Holy Paraclete! preserve us from this anti-Christian spirit, which is so easily imbibed! Suffer us to present to thee, in the form of prayer, the advice given by St. Paul to the Christians of Ephesus: Give us, we beseech thee, “the armor of God, that we may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Gird our reins with truth; arm us with the breastplate of justice; let our feet be shod with the love and practice of the Gospel of peace; give us the shield of Faith, wherewith we may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one; cover us with the helmet of the hope of salvation; put into our hand the spiritual sword, which is the Word of God,” (Ephesians 6:11-17) and by which we, as did our Jesus in the Desert, may defeat all our enemies! O Spirit of Fortitude! hear, we beseech thee, and grant our prayer!

Queenship of Mary

A sermon for today's Feast. Please, remember to say 3 Hail Marys for the priest.

Crowning a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a way of acknowledging that she is Queen. In order to live this truth – the Queenship of Mary – we must understand it and believe it. The tradition of Catholic liturgy, devotions, saints, and papal teaching teach us the following: Her preeminent greatness and dignity; [2] Her royal, nearly infinite power; and [3] The tremendous efficacy of her intercession. Our Queen is so generous, that she magnificently rewards our most trifling tributes of affection. But we must honor her with [1] souls free of sin and we must persevere in our devotion to her. [The two papal encyclicals cited are Ad Cæli Reginam by Pius XII, 1954, and Adiutricem by Leo XIII, 1895.]