29 February 2024

Dewi Sant (Saint David), Patron of Wales

Dewi Sant (St David) is the Patron of the Principality of Wales. As in Ireland with the shamrock on St Patrick's Day, the Welsh wear leeks and daffodils in honour of their Patron.

According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of South Wales and St. Non. He was ordained a priest and later studied under St. Paulinus. Later, he was involved in missionary work and founded a number of monasteries. The monastery he founded at Menevia in Southwestern Wales was noted for extreme asceticism. David and his monks drank neither wine nor beer - only water - while putting in a full day of heavy manual labour and intense study. Around the year 550, David attended a synod at Brevi in Cardiganshire. His contributions at the synod are said to have been the major cause for his election as primate of the Cambrian Church. He was reportedly consecrated archbishop by the patriarch of Jerusalem while on a visit to the Holy Land. He also is said to have invoked a council that ended the last vestiges of Pelagianism. David died at his monastery in Menevia around the year 589, and his cult was approved in 1120 by Pope Callistus II. He is revered as the patron of Wales. Undoubtedly, St. David was endowed with substantial qualities of spiritual leadership. What is more, many monasteries flourished as a result of his leadership and good example. His staunch adherence to monastic piety bespeaks a fine example for modern Christians seeking order and form in their prayer life. His feast day is March 1.

The legendary story of Dewi Sant from Storynory, a site with stories for children, including tales of the Saints.

David’s father was the King of Ceredigion, and some say that he was the nephew of the famous English King Arthur, whose knights sat around a round table. David’s mother was a poor but beautiful young woman, and the King did not look after her. When she was ready to give birth to David, she found that she was caught outside in a storm. The sky was filled with great flashes of lightning, and there were terrifying crashes of thunder. Hail and rain were coming down everywhere, except on the spot where she got herself ready to deliver the child. All around her was dry and lit by the sun.
David was baptised by a blind monk. Some of the water from the font splashed onto his eyes, and immediately he could see.
When David grew up he became a monk, and he travelled around Wales and England. He founded monasteries and churches including the famous Abbey at Glastonbury where it is said that King Arthur is buried. You can still see the beautiful ruins of the Abbey to this day.
David told his followers to be vegetarians and, of course, they ate a lot of leeks which grow very well in Wales. The monks who joined him had to give up much more. They didn’t use animals for farming – and they even pulled ploughs themselves instead of using oxen. They weren’t allowed to own any possessions, and if one of them said “My book” he had to do a penitence, which is a kind of punishment.
Despite his tough ways, St. David became very popular – perhaps because he had the gift of working miracles. For instance, when his neighbours' land was drying up, he stuck his staff into the earth and a spring sprung out of the ground. A local ruler became very jealous of his popularity, and his wife told him to send slaves with sticks to beat David and his monks – but as they came to attack the monks, their arms lost all their strength, and all they could do was to hurl filthy insults at them. When they returned home, they found that all their cattle had died. They returned to the monks and asked forgiveness. This time when they went back, all their cattle had come back to life.
Another time, some of St. David’s monks turned against him and decided to poison his food, but a friend of his in Ireland foresaw this in a dream and he sent St. Scuthyn to warn him. There were no ships ready, to carry Scuthyn across the Irish sea to Wales, but he waded into the water and a sea monster picked him up on his back and carried him across. When he arrived he warned St. David that his cook had put some deadly poison into his bread. At dinner time, St. David broke the bread into three pieces. He gave one piece to a dog, and another to a crow – both immediately died. Then he blessed the third piece, which he ate himself. Everyone watching thought that he would surely die too – but he was perfectly alright.
His most famous miracle happened at a great religious meeting. There was a vast crowd of people in the audience, and not one of the bishops who spoke could make themselves heard – except for David. The ground beneath him rose up into a hill so that he stood high up above the crowd, and a dove landed on his shoulder. His voice rang out as clear as a trumpet. St. David is often pictured speaking with a dove on his shoulder.
David became Bishop, not just of the Welsh, but of all the Britons. At that time, the Britons often had to fight off Saxon invaders from Europe. Before one great battle, St. David told the army of the Britons to wear leeks in their hats as a kind of uniform. They won the battle, and ever since leeks have been a welsh symbol. To remember the victory, Welsh soldiers eat raw leeks on the eve of St. David’s day.
St. David lived to be more than 100 years old, and as he was dying, the monastery in which he lay was filled with angels. His last words were “Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd,” which means, “Do the little things in life,” and to this day, it’s a common saying in Wales.
The only picture I could find
with his name in Welsh!

Happy St David's Day!

A Mass Worth Sacrificing For

A cri de cœur from a Catholic woman who has been attending the TLM in St Mary's Cathedral, Austin, TX and her anguish at its cancellation on Francis's orders.

From Crisis

By Amanda Farnum

Our family endured many hardships to attend the traditional Latin Mass. Now it's being taken away from us.

Four years ago, right before Covid changed the world, my husband and I decided to embrace all the obstacles that came with attending the nearest Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). We had moved back to our hometown two years earlier and could not find a parish home. We craved something that we couldn’t put into words. 

When we found the Latin Mass, and learned more about it, we knew that this beautiful Liturgy was exactly what we were in search of. Unfortunately, attending this Mass seemed next to impossible. This Mass was at the cathedral in downtown Austin, and we lived 26 miles north of this treasure. Depending on traffic, this Mass was anywhere from 35 minutes to over an hour away, and getting to this Mass required us to skip a very important part of every growing family’s day: naptime. 

A 3:30 Mass time meant we had to leave our house by 2:15 to arrive in time to find a spot to sit. At the time, there was only one Mass time—and it was usually standing room only. Mass was over by 5 p.m., which then affected dinner. Eating out was required in order to ensure our hungry children could be fed in a timely manner and still get to bed at a reasonable time. (Our children were still attending Catholic School at this time.)

When we first started attending the TLM, we had three children: two school-aged children and a 2-year-old, and we were pregnant with our fourth child. Mass with a 2-year-old, as any parent will tell you, is always an adventure. The narthex at the cathedral is very small, very hot in the summer, and very cold in the winter. I spent a lot of time in that narthex with a squirmy or fussy baby and toddler. Even though it is separate from the nave of the church, it is not soundproof—it almost seems to make noise louder—so when a child gets especially inconsolable, stepping outside is the only option. 

Outside of St. Mary’s Cathedral, a mother will find the following: homeless people who are friendly with the parish community but will ask you for money; an armed security guard who guards the parish grounds seven days a week; 105-degree weather in the summer; and lots of wind in between the tall buildings in the cold winter months. Mass with small children at the cathedral is quite the experience. 

Covid lockdowns didn’t bring much goodness to the world. It did, however, eventually bring our TLM community another Mass time. Because of the social distancing requirements, the space available in the cathedral, and the number of people attending this Mass, we were blessed with a morning Mass time: 7:30! While we were overjoyed to have another Mass option, 7:30 a.m.—with now five children—is no joke. 

If we want to arrive in time for my son to altar serve, we must leave between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m. In spite of this incredibly early start time, we are not the only parents with multiple children and babies who make the effort to get there on time. It is a beautiful sight to see all the young families who fill the pews at this early Mass. And the silence that is still able to be maintained is quite remarkable. 

A particularly penitential part of our experience of attending Mass at the cathedral with small children is the sliding kneeler. The kneelers alone are enough to tempt one to throw in the towel and find another parish. These easily-sliding kneelers are every toddler’s dream Mass distraction—and every parent’s nightmare. And yet we, along with many other parents, choose to endure them. 

While it was initially very difficult to overcome and accept all of these obstacles and attend Mass here, after a short time it was no burden at all. We looked at our weekly trip to Mass as a pilgrimage, a small penance to take on. It changed our Sundays completely, and for the first time we understood what it meant to keep holy the Sabbath. Our entire Sunday became oriented toward the most important thing we do all week: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

In 18 years of marriage, my husband and I have never felt more welcomed at a parish. We have never found more community. In 42 years as a faithful Catholic, I have never attended a Mass more reverent and more infused with the three Transcendentals: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. In 20 years as a Catholic convert, my husband has never understood Catholicism more. What first appeared as insurmountable obstacles eventually became small and inconsequential. 

On February 11, 2024, we got the news everyone in the community was holding their breath to hear. In accordance with the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, and by the instruction of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Traditional Latin Mass will no longer be celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral as of March 19th. We are heartbroken. The other night, I thought about those kneelers that have made Mass with toddlers very difficult, and I cried at the thought of not having them anymore. I would do anything to be able to continue to worship with those kneelers in that beautiful cathedral with all of those obstacles. 

Our time at St. Mary’s, worshipping in the Traditional Latin Mass, has completely changed our family life. When you find the Traditional Mass, you also find Traditional Catholic devotion and Traditional Catholic piety. Our spiritual lives have been enriched so greatly by this beautiful, timeless, ageless Liturgy. We are overjoyed that we overcame all the obstacles to be a part of it in this beautiful space, if only for a short time. We hope and pray this Liturgy will continue to be a part of our lives and that other families will come to know it and be enriched by it as well. In spite of whatever obstacles are keeping you from attending your nearest Traditional Latin Mass, I assure you, they are worth embracing; and God will surely bless you for it. 

Ireland Is Burning

'Ireland is a crippled democracy where an authoritarian and unaccountable elite force their will on a disillusioned and disenfranchised electorate.'

From The European Conservative

By Eoin Lenihan, PhD

Ireland’s deeply dissatisfied electorate increasingly looks like a disenfranchised one as well.

As tensions mount over mass migration and a spate of brutal crimes by immigrants, Ireland is beginning to burn. Nationalist sentiments last seen in the twilight years of British colonial rule are reawakening, as a disenfranchised native population resorts to desperate measures to make their opposition to reckless migration policies heard. 

Irish state broadcaster RTE recently reported that, since 2018, 23 buildings linked to planned migrant centres have been badly or completely damaged by fire. Ten of these fires have occurred since November of 2023. After Ross Lake House Hotel in County Galway, which was due to house 70 asylum seekers, burned on 16 December 2023, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar stated, “There is no justification for violence, arson, or vandalism in our Republic. Ever.” Green Party member and Minister for Integration Roderick O’Gorman called the fire “deeply sinister” and “designed to intimidate people seeking international protection here in Ireland.”

Despite the condemnations, the burnings continue. If we accept the government’s position that these are deliberate acts of arson, then we are witnessing a grassroots movement by locals across the nation in resistance to migrant centres being opened in their tight-knit communities. The last example of such a movement was during the Irish War of Independence and the ensuing Civil War which ended British rule and established the Irish Free State. In the period from 1920-1923, 275 Anglo-Irish landlord houses were burned to the ground. The parallels are impossible to ignore. Now, like then, the native population is turning to methods reserved for a disenfranchised people against a hated ruling class. How did this happen?

From partnership to subservience

Since 1932, every government has been led by either Fianna Fáil (FF) or Fine Gael (FG). Arising out of the different sides of the Irish Civil War, both parties bitterly opposed one another based on their acceptance (FG) or rejection (FF) of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty that established the Irish Free State. The parties’ identities were so tied up in fighting Civil War differences that neither one fleshed out a coherent party platform. As a result, their policies have always largely echoed one another with differences reduced to hair-splitting. In 1950, FG’s then-leader, John A. Costello, is reported to have said there are “really no essential differences between the two [parties].” This observation was confirmed before the most recent 2020 General Election. The Journal published a comparison of the two parties’ manifestos which were identical in several places: planning exactly 2,600 new hospital beds nationwide, a 70% renewable energy target by 2030 and a promise to raise old age pensions by €5 a week each year to 2025, to name only a few. It confirmed what Irish people had long known—that the only difference between the two parties is the name. It was unsurprising when they formed a coalition government with the Green Party after both suffered historically low election returns due to voter apathy and the desire for an alternative in 2020.  

The decline of the two big parties can be traced back to the devastating collapse of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland’s economic boom that stretched from the late ’80s until Ireland’s humiliating bailout by the IMF, ECB and EU in 2010. From the late ’80s to 2008, Ireland’s economy grew quickly, based on strong native population growth, low wages, low taxation, a sustained building boom, massive U.S. investment, and EU structural subsidies. In this period, Ireland’s GDP growth outpaced the rest of Europe by degrees and was comparable only to eastern Asian developing nations. Ireland’s unemployment rate dropped from a staggering 15.9% in 1993 to 3.6% in 2001. Up to the turn of the millennium, Ireland was an organic economic miracle wherein development was sustained by a native population.  

The backbone of the later Celtic Tiger economy was a 12.5% corporate tax rate that was introduced in 2003. This substantially undercut the rest of the EU and led to an influx of overseas and largely U.S. multinationals including Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and Ebay among others. With this influx of companies came a reliance on mass immigration. Having reached 3.6% unemployment by 2001, Ireland looked abroad for bodies to support its growing economy. By 2007, a year before the global financial crisis, Ireland had the third highest migration rate in the EU with 14.5 migrants per 1000 residents. The transformation from peripheral developing nation to globalist EU partner was complete. Then came the collapse.

The 2010 bailout of the Irish banking system to the tune of €85 billion included the humiliating step of handing over the financial sovereignty of the nation to a team of financial regulators from the IMFECB, and EU. Fianna Fáil, who had guided Ireland through boom and bust, was hounded out of government by a public terrified of losing their jobs, homes, and futures. The issue, however, was that there was no meaningful political opposition. Chasing FF out of office simply meant swapping it for FG. As was to be expected, FG continued where FF had left off. The sacred 12.5% corporation tax rate became the engine house of the post-collapse recovery. By 2015, only three Irish companies made the top 10 list of companies operating in Ireland according to gross turnover; and, in total, there were 700 US companies operating in Ireland employing 130,000 people. No lessons were learned. With the renewed boom came a return to mass immigration. By 2022 almost one million—or one in five—people living in Ireland had not been born there. 

Tension about cultural displacement and the dilution of Irish identity due to mass immigration of legal workers was not the only issue. In addition, Ireland had long been a soft touch for economic migrants posing as refugees. In 2023, Ireland’s broad list of nations from which one could claim asylum included Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Serbia, and South Africa—nations which are considered safe by most other EU countries. It took the mass stabbing of three young school children and their teacher outside of a school in Dublin by an Algerian immigrant, and an ensuing riot in November 2023, for the government to add Algeria to its list of safe countries

Added to this rampant abuse of the refugee system, Ireland has taken in unsustainable numbers of Ukrainian refugees since the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war in February 2022. By October 2023, Ireland paid the highest weekly benefits to Ukrainian refugees in the EU and was taking in ten times the EU average of Ukrainians. There are currently more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees living in Ireland. 

A crippled democracy

The lasting tragedy of the 2010 financial bailout and government collapse was that the parties emerging as an alternative to the FF/FG hegemony were chiefly left-wing or socialist: People Before Profit, an ‘eco-socialist’ party; the Progressive Democrats under Holly CairnsLabour, who went into coalition with FG in 2011; and current coalition partners, the Green Party. They all support mass immigration policies. 

The big beneficiary of 2010’s shifting political sands was socialist Sinn Fein (SF), the largest opposition party. Sinn Fein have, traditionally, been extremely in favour of mass migration. A 2001 policy document called for compulsory anti-racism classes in all schools, no upward limit on the number of refugees to be admitted, and full amnesty to be granted to all illegals. They also rejected the idea that immigrants should integrate into Irish society and called for more hate speech legislation. In 2015, a 10 point plan on the refugee crisis demanded a minimum of 4,500-5000 immigrants per year, stating: “We must not only do our fair share, but more than our fair share.” Current leader Mary Lou McDonald wants a pathway to employment for any Ukrainian refugee who wants to stay in Ireland, and her party—despite being the chief ‘opposition’ party—supported the government’s bid to bring in the most draconian hate speech laws of any Western nation in a move which has brought global attention. The bill is widely seen as an attempt to clamp down on criticism of the government’s handling of immigration. As Gript reported, rather than stand up for freedom of speech, SF submitted several amendments to the bill that would have strengthened its ability to prosecute Irish citizens for voicing concerns about mass migration. Importantly, SF have long supported the current globalist economic model and the 12.5% corporation tax which guarantees an unending flow of immigrants. 

In essence, there is no opposition in Ireland. No matter which party is in power, the result will be an open borders EU vassal state. It is a crippled democracy. The big three parties know this, and they act—as the Anglo-Irish landlords once did—without a thought for the concerns of the people. This disdain is the spark that has led to the current spate of burnings.

The Irish government has adopted a de facto non-consultation policy with local communities before showing up with busloads of migrants, often at night and with heavy police presence. Despite legitimate concerns raised by communities relating to the strain on local employment and servicescollapse in tourism income, radical demographic and cultural change, and fears of increased crime, the government has turned a deaf ear. When locals in the tiny village of Inch, Co. Clare protested the forced arrival of 30 immigrants, Prime Minister Varadkar spoke vaguely about the need to listen to the “genuine concerns” of locals before claiming that some protestors “hold racist views and we have to stand up to that.” Needless to say, the buses arrived. In January 2024, locals in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary protested that the only hotel in the town was being used to settle 160 immigrants. They were met with a large and heavy-handed police force who used violence against them. Shortly before the Roscrea debacle, Varadkar had made his position on forced settlement clear: “Nobody … has the right to veto who moves into their area or their community.” ‘Opposition’ Sinn Fein representative David Cullinane used the exact same words speaking about the Inch incident half a year before. 

One would imagine then that the strident position of the government has the widespread backing of the public, but the opposite is true. A May 2023 poll by the trusted Red C group found that 75% of people thought that Ireland was taking too many refugees. The same poll found that 76% of people appreciated the anger of local communities forced to take refugees. Supporters of FF (74%) and FG (70%) believed their own parties had taken in too many refugees. The government ploughed on regardless. Most recently, in February 2024, an Irish Times poll found that only 16% wanted a more open policy on immigration in general. Voters for all three major parties—FF, FG, and SF—overwhelmingly voted for a more closed system with SF voters (72%) being those most in favour. 

In Ireland, where the vast majority of people want less immigration and do not want refugees forcibly settled into their communities, all political options are closed to them. Their elected officials act in direct defiance of their will and the opposition would do the same should they get in. There is no way to vote out of this mess.

Ireland is a crippled democracy where an authoritarian and unaccountable elite force their will on a disillusioned and disenfranchised electorate. Is it any wonder that the big houses are burning once again?

The Economic Crisis and the Failure of Democratic Absolutism

MM looks at how democracy inevitably becomes mob rule and how the mob will spend the State into bankruptcy with panem et circenses for themselves.  

From The Mad Monarchist (30 November 2011)

The supposedly healthy, wealthy and wise modern world is in a state of near apoplexy over the current economic crisis. If a downturn like this is enough to make people call for government takeover of banks and insurance companies and make the former President of Brazil point fingers at a conspiracy of White people with blue eyes one wonders how the people of today would have dealt with something as bad as the actual Great Depression. So far, despite all the complaining, things are not nearly that bad. Today we stand in line to buy the latest ipod whereas in the Great Depression people were standing in soup lines. However, gloomy Gus types need not fear for the Obama administration is trying to get us to the Great Depression as quickly as they can. His many broken promises, blatant lies and utter incompetence is too tiresome to go into in detail at this point but in many ways he is simply proving himself to be the best example of the worst stereotype of the politician.

What we are seeing around the world today is really the result of a failure in the system of absolute democracy so many have put their faith in. In the United States, and things are even worse in some other places, the vast majority of taxes are paid by a tiny minority of the population. The least noble amongst us who have no stake in the success or failure of the economy have consistently voted for whatever politician will promise them the most with no cost to themselves. Government gets bigger, social welfare becomes more prevalent and the rich and middle class (but especially the rich) are taxed more and more to pay for it all. Socialism is now creeping in and even becoming somewhat acceptable or at least thinkable here in the United States as it has been for some time in Europe. Looking at the big picture this can only spell doom for our civilization and all of our most ancient traditions. We are seeing the rise of mob rule, a sort of neo-version of the French Revolution except that most people today are too apathetic to take in hand operating the guillotine themselves.

Western civilization is approaching death and it will be, I have come to believe, death by democracy. I am reminded of the 1939 movie “Juarez” in which a fictional conservation takes place between General Porfirio Diaz and Emperor Maximilian of Mexico on the subject of government. Maximilian agrees that, in theory, democracy is the ideal system but states that, in practice, the rule of the majority frequently becomes the rule of a mob that will follow whatever demagogue promises them the most. That is why, he states, that a monarch is necessary to stand above factions and parties and rule impartially in the best interests of his people because a monarch has a sacred duty to his ancestors and to posterity. In a subsequent scene President Benito Juarez has to re-educate Diaz about how wrong Maximilian is. Juarez states that democracy is not about freedom because Maximilian offers them freedom but is about self-rule because that is what a monarch would withhold from them. He states, quite absurdly, that since no man rules himself into oppression freedom flows from democracy as naturally as a stream. What is really almost hypocritical about this exchange is that Mexico is an ideal example of how the people will, and frequently do, rule themselves into oppression and Diaz himself later became one of the more infamous Mexican dictators.

People will rule themselves into oppression because they frequently turn to insidious politicians to help them get something for nothing. They want more benefits but no new taxes. This means that a politician must deliver the benefits but always tax someone else, the wealthy minority being an easy target. Consider how the government went after the AIG executives who were given the bonuses they were contractually entitled to. The very same party which demanded that AIG be given government money and which wrote the bill that allowed these bonuses to be paid put on a great show of mock indignation at these evil, greedy, rich people on behalf of their struggling, working class constituents (pay no attention to the fact that many of these same guys got hefty donations from AIG and others like them). The fanatical leftist activist group ACORN (for which Obama formerly worked) even drove protestors to the homes of these evil rich people to shout abuse at them. Keep in mind that none of these greedy AIG executives broke any law and most have more or less been browbeaten into giving back money that they had been promised in their contract when they first went to work for the company. This is class warfare at its lowest. This is Marie Antoinette and the whole cake fabrication all over again.

Democracy has gotten the western world into this mess and the politicians, mostly liberal but who can tell the difference any more, are forced to resort to class warfare in order to shield their failed god of popular democracy. They cannot actually go on national TV and tell the voting public that this mess is to a great extent their own fault. Who would have the courage to say that this is exactly what happens when people spend money they do not have and elect representatives to government to spend tax dollars that they do not have and keep robbing Peter to pay Paul to keep all of the government freebies flowing? Democracy gave power to the people and the people have ruled themselves into slavery; absolute dependence on the government and a total lack of real freedom which is what independence is. This great lie can be traced back almost as far as anyone would wish to pursue it but a favorite example of mine is the farcical trial and tragic regicide of the noble King Charles I of Great Britain.

Out of protest the noble Stuart monarch did not speak much at his trial for he refused to recognize that any court was competent to judge him. It was just as well for he was a dead man as soon as he fell into the hands of his enemies. However, when he did finally speak what he said was as profound as it would be unpopular for modern audiences. The part that no one will like is that he said government was the business of kings and had nothing to do with the common people sharing in it. I know, I know, most today would cut his head off for that alone (unless of course he was the leader of a communist country the rest of the world depended on for trade and cheap labor). However, what I think is too often forgotten is what the noble King said after that about what exactly it was he had been fighting for. He said, if I may paraphrase, that in defending his own rights as King he was defending the rights of every person in the land to what was truly their own. The Crown and his powers were his by legitimate, legal and ancient hereditary right. If the government could take that from him then they could take anything from anyone. So it is today.

When you boil it down, there really is no dispute over what the Greek collapse was caused by. People voted themselves money until they ran out of money at which point they borrowed money and now their bills are coming due. It is obvious and yet no one, on either side of the mainstream political spectrum, seems to understand it. We still have young idiots camping outside Wall Street demanding “free” college and forgiveness of debts and even on the right, notice how the Republicans are still terrified of admitting that social security is broke. All the senior citizens marching with the “Tea Party” shout for budget cuts and smaller government until it comes to the programs they themselves are entitled to. In Great Britain the National Health Service is the biggest economic drain in the history of the British Isles yet, because of democratic absolutism, even those politicians smart enough to realize the obvious dare not say so or make a single move against the NHS because they would be promptly voted out of office for taking away “free” healthcare from the people. No, they will reduce the army to a palace guard, scrap the royal yacht and share a navy with France before they will suggest that the people actually pay for their own healthcare themselves.

The truly maddening thing about all of this is that it is so painfully obvious and was figured out thousands of years ago. The ancient Greeks and Romans understood this. Democracy means the ‘have nots’ can vote themselves the property of the ‘haves’ until there are no more ‘haves’ and everyone is a ‘have not’ and the nation tears itself to pieces. Which is usually when the dictator steps forward and everyone had better pray he is a benevolent one.

Bishop Challoner's Meditations ~ Friday, Second Week in Lent


Consider first, that the great advantages and excellence of prayer are chiefly found in mental prayer, that is to say, in such kind of prayer as is not confined to any form of words, but is made in the secret closet of the heart, where the soul, all alone, finds her God, and entertains herself with him. The advantages of this kind of prayer beyond that which is only vocal are that it brings us nearer to God and to his heavenly light; it employs all the powers of the soul, viz., the memory, the understanding, and the will, about him; it opens the eyes of the soul to the knowledge of God, and of ourselves; and is the true school in which we learn to despise the world and its cheating vanities, and to love God with our whole hearts. O my soul, see thou daily frequent this school of divine love.

Consider 2ndly, that the Saints, and other masters of a spiritual life, have prescribed certain rules and methods of mental prayer, with a variety of subjects, to make the practice easy. According to these rules and methods, the soul begins by placing herself in the presence of her God, and by humbly imploring his divine assistance. Then the memory represents the subject of the prayer, and the understanding is employed in considering the heavenly truths discovered therein, till the will is properly affected therewith, and stirred up to the fear and love of God, to an humble confidence in his goodness, to a sense of gratitude for his benefits, to a horror of sin, to a sincere repentance for past offences, and such like affections, which ought to be followed by good and firm resolutions of avoiding evil and doing good, and in particular, of the immediate amending such failings as one is most subject to. Such is the method of mental prayer, by way of meditation, recommended by St. Ignatius, St. Francis de Sales, and other Saints, and both very easy and beneficial to Christian souls, by its serving greatly to enlighten their understanding and to inflame their will. Give thanks, my soul, to thy God, for the lights he has communicated to his Saints to direct thee in this sovereign exercise of mental prayer; and particularly practise what they recommend, with regard to the insisting principally in thy prayer upon affections and resolutions, lest otherwise thy meditations fall short of answering the chiefest end of prayer, which is the love of God, and the amendment of thy life.

Consider 3rdly, that although this method of mental prayer be excellent, and such as ought to be followed where the soul does not find herself invited and attracted another way; yet as 'the Spirit breatheth where he will,' John iii. 8, and as we must not pretend to set bounds or give rules to him who expects to be ever acknowledged as sovereign Lord and King within our souls, and to establish his reign there by mental player, if he should be pleased to advance the soul to the more perfect prayer of contemplation, (in which she finds herself drawn nearer to God, quite alone with him, and absorbed in his love,) she must not be restrained by any of these usual forms or methods, from following that happy call, and thankfully yielding herself up a captive to divine love. For it must ever be the rule of the soul which desires to have the kingdom of God established in her interior, by way of mental prayer, to follow God in his divine attractions yet so as to take a guide along with her for fear of being imposed. upon by taking the suggestions of Satan, or of her own pride and self-love, for the motions of the Spirit of God.

Conclude to exercise thyself daily in mental prayer as the great means to bring thee to God. Let no pretext of business call thee off from this exercise; nothing can be of half so much importance to thy true welfare; ‘tis the very way to heaven. The morning is the best time for it, and half an hour at least ought to be dedicated to it.

1 March, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Catholic Action

1. Catholic action is the participation of the laity, or more correctly their co-operation, in the hierarchical apostolate of the Church. It is not really an innovation. It is as old as the Church herself, although it is only on account of the peculiar circumstances of our times that it has come to be organised in a special manner. From the beginning of Christianity, the laity of both sexes worked energetically alongside the Apostles for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. When St. Paul was writing to the Philippians he urged them to assist those Christian women who had done so much to spread the Gospel, as well as Clement and his other fellow-workers. "Help them, for they have toiled with me in the Gospel, as have Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers whose names are in the book of life." It is evident that even at that time there were laymen and women working in co-operation with the apostolic hierarchy. Every Christian, moreover, should feel the need to do this. Anyone who has the true faith and is on fire with the love of God and of his neighbour cannot but exert himself so that all men may reach the truth and live in accordance with it, that is, in accordance with the precepts of the Gospel. Anyone who is not motivated by this desire cannot claim to be a genuine and enthusiastic Christian.

2. The need for a lay apostolate has grown tremendously in our day. The scarcity of priests is not the only reason for this. It is true that their numbers are entirely inadequate in many places to meet the spiritual needs of the people. But there is the additional factor that certain spheres cannot easily be penetrated by the clergy. There are many people who never even enter a church. They never have any contact with the priest, who finds it difficult to approach them. He needs a "long arm" which will bear the light where he cannot carry it himself. The lay apostolate can be this "long arm." Catholic workmen can do an amount of good among their fellow workers by word and by example. So can teachers, clerks, doctors, journalists, and the rest. This kind of environmental apostolate is very valuable today. It must be built up into a system of blood-vessels which will carry the stream of Christian life from its heart, which is the priesthood, to the farthest extremities of society. Let Christian laymen recognise that this is an honourable vocation which they have received, for it is a participation in the priestly office. Everyone should feel summoned to do everything possible in his own environment to lead souls to Christ.

3. Spiritual formation is necessary for this task. The layman must be a sincere and earnest Christian. Otherwise, he will not be able to transmit to others what he has not got himself. He must live the life of the Church and help it to fulfil its saving mission. To say that he must co-operate with the priest is the same as saying that he must co-operate with Christ, for the priest must be another Christ. So it is a high honour which the layman assumes when he dedicates himself to the apostolate and he will enjoy many consolations.

If anyone deliberately refuses to undertake this apostolate, his faith is neither alive nor active. If our faith is to be sincere and effective, we must first of all undergo a strenuous spiritual training, nourished by prayer and by divine grace. As a consequence, we shall work generously to bring about the triumph of the life of Christ in other souls also.

Eastern Rite - Feasts of 1 March AM 7532

Today is the Feast of the Holy Venerable-Martyr Eudokia.

Holy Monastic Martyr Eudokia was a Samaritan, a native of the city of Heliopolis in Phoenicia (modern Baalbek), who lived during the reign of Trajan (98-117). Her pagan impiety took her off the good path, and for a long time, she led a sinful life. Her soul was deadened and her heart hardened.

Eudokia awoke one night at midnight and heard singing from the house of a Christian woman next to hers. A monk was reading from a book that described the Last Judgment, the punishment of sinners, and the reward of the righteous. The grace of God touched Eudokia’s heart, and she grieved because of her great wealth and for her sinful life.

In the morning Eudokia hastened to call on the man whose rule of prayer she heard the previous night. This was a monk named Germanus, returning from pilgrimage to the holy places to his own monastery. Eudokia listened for a long time to the guidance of the Elder, and her soul was filled with joy and love for Christ. She asked Germanus to stay in her home for a week, during which she secluded herself in her room, and spent her time in fasting and prayer.

The Elder Germanus told her to give away her wealth and to forget her previous life. Eudokia received holy Baptism from Bishop Theodotus of Heliopolis. She entered a monastery and took upon herself very strict acts of penitence. The Lord granted forgiveness to the penitent sinner and endowed her with spiritual gifts.

After she had become the head of the monastery, the young pagan Philostrates (one of her former lovers) heard of her conversion to Christ and longed to see her again. Aflame with impious passion, he came into the monastery in the guise of a monk and began to urge Eudokia to return to Heliopolis, and resume her former life. “May God rebuke you and not allow you to leave these premises,” Eudokia cried. Then the impostor fell down dead. Fearing that she had served as an accomplice to murder, the sisters intensified their prayer and besought the Lord to reveal to them His will.

The Lord appeared to Saint Eudokia in a vision and said: “Arise, Eudokia, and pray for the resurrection of the dead man.” Through Eudokia’s prayers, Philostrates revived. Having been restored to life, the pagan begged the nun to forgive him. After he was baptized, he went back to Heliopolis. From that time he never forgot the mercy of God shown him, and he started onto the way of repentance.

Some time passed, and another situation occurred. Inhabitants of Heliopolis reported to the governor Aurelian, that Eudokia had taken gold and silver out of the city and concealed it at the monastery. Aurelian sent a detachment of soldiers to confiscate these supposed treasures. For three days the soldiers tried in vain to approach the walls of the monastery, but an invisible power of God guarded it.

Aurelian again sent soldiers to the monastery, this time under the command of his own son. But on the very first day of the journey Aurelian’s son injured his leg and soon died. Then Philostrates counselled Aurelian to write to Mother Eudokia, imploring her to revive the youth. And the Lord, in His infinite mercy, and through the prayers of Saint Eudokia, restored the youth to life. Having witnessed this great miracle, Aurelian and his close associates believed in Christ and were baptized.

When persecutions against Christians intensified, they arrested Eudokia and brought her to the governor Diogenes to be tortured. While torturing the saint, the military commander Diodorus received news of the sudden death of his wife Firmina. In despair, he rushed to Saint Eudokia with a plea to pray for his departed wife. The monastic martyr, filled with great faith, turned to God with prayer and besought Him to return Firmina to life. As eyewitnesses of the power and grace of the Lord, Diodorus and Diogenes believed in Christ and were baptized together with their families. Saint Eudokia lived for a while at the house of Diodorus and enlightened the newly-illumined Christians.

Once, the only son of a certain widow, who was working in the garden, was bitten by a snake and died. The mother wept bitterly for her dead son and asked Diodorus to resurrect him. Learning of her grief, Saint Eudokia said to Diodorus, “The time is at hand for you to show faith in the Almighty God, Who hears the prayers of penitent sinners and in His mercy grants them forgiveness.”

Diodorus was distressed, not considering himself worthy of such boldness before the Lord, but he obeyed Saint Eudokia. He prayed and in the name of Christ he commanded the dead one to rise, and before the eyes of everyone present, the youth revived.

Saint Eudokia returned to her monastery, where she lived in asceticism for fifty-six years.

After Diogenes died the new governor was Vicentius, a fierce persecutor of Christians. Having learned of the accomplishments of the saint, he gave orders to execute her. The holy martyr was beheaded on March 1, 107.

Troparion — Tone 8

With an upright mind, you bound your soul to the love of Christ. / As a disciple of the Word you turned from corruption and all that passes away, / for you were not moved by earthly beauty. / First you mortified the passions through fasting, then you put the enemy to shame by your suffering. / Therefore, Christ has granted you a two-fold crown. / Glorious Eudokia, venerable passion-bearer, entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved!

Kontakion — Tone 4

You contended well in your suffering, all-praised one; / even after your death you bless us, pouring out wonders on us. / In faith we run to your divine temple, / and as we celebrate your feast, we entreat you, venerable martyr Eudokia, / that we be delivered from spiritual afflictions and may receive the grace of miracles.


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 1 MARCH – ST. DAVID OF WALES (Bishop): Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould: St. David, or Dewi, as the Welsh call him, was born about 446, at Mynyw, which was named St David’s after...


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 1 MARCH – FRIDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT: Lesson – Genesis xxxvii. 6‒22 In those days Joseph said to his brethren: “Hear my dream which I have dreamed. I thought we were binding ...

1 March, The Chesterton Calendar

March 1st

My eyes are void with vision; I sing but I cannot speak;I hide in the vaporous caverns like a creature wild and weak;But for ever my harps are tuned and for ever my songs are sung,And I answer my tyrants ever in an unknown tongue.
When the blue men broke in the battle with the Roman or the Dane,In the cracks of my ghastly uplands they gathered like ghosts again.Some say I am still a Druid, some say my spirit showsCatholic, Puritan, Pagan; but no man knows.
Mother of God's good witches, of all white mystery,Whatever else I am seeking, I seek for thee.For the old harp better fitted and swung on a stronger thong,We, that shall sing for ever; O hear our song!
'The Seven Swords.'

1 March, The Holy Rule of St Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism

CHAPTER XXIV. What the measure of excommunication should be

1 Mar. 1 July. 31 Oct.

The measure of excommunication or chastisement should be meted out according to the gravity of the offence, the estimation of which shall be left to the judgment of the Abbot. If any brother be found guilty of lighter faults, let him be excluded from the common table. And this shall be the rule for one so deprived: he shall intone neither Psalm nor antiphon in the Oratory, nor shall he read a lesson, until he have made satisfaction. Let him take his meals alone, after those of the brethren so that if, for example, the brethren eat at the sixth hour, let him eat at the ninth: if they eat at the ninth, let him eat in the evening, until by proper satisfaction he obtain pardon.

2 March, The Roman Martyrology

Sexto Nonas Mártii Luna vicésima prima Anno Dómini 2024

March 2nd 2024, the 21st day of the Moon, were born into the better life:

In England, [about the year 672,] holy Chad, Bishop of the Mercians and of Lindisfarne, whose eminent graces are recorded by Bede. [His body was buried at Lichfield, first in the Church of Our Lady, second in the Church of St. Peter, and thirdly in the Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady and St. Chad. The town was named Lichfield on account of the number martyred and buried there under Maximian Hercules.]
At Rome, upon the Latin Way, [about the year 258,] under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, the holy martyrs Jovinus and Basileus.
Likewise at Rome, under the Emperor Alexander and the Prefect Ulpian, many holy martyrs, who were long tortured, and at length put to death.
At Porto, the holy martyrs Paul, Heraclius, Secundilla, and Januaria.
At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, the holy martyrs Lucius the Bishop, Absolom, Lorgius.
In Campania are commemorated eighty holy martyrs, who would not eat meat sacrificed unto idols, nor adore a she-goat's head, and therefore, [about the year 629,] were cruelly slain by the Lombards.
At Rome, [about the year 483,] the holy Confessor Pope Simplicius.
℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
℟. Thanks be to God.ay, [about the year 258,] under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, the holy martyrs Jovinus and Basileus.
Likewise at Rome, under the Emperor Alexander and the Prefect Ulpian, many holy martyrs, who were long tortured, and at length put to death.
At Porto, the holy martyrs Paul, Heraclius, Secundilla, and Januaria.
At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, the holy martyrs Lucius the Bishop, Absolom, Lorgius.
In Campania are commemorated eighty holy martyrs, who would not eat meat sacrificed unto idols, nor adore a she-goat's head, and therefore, [about the year 629,] were cruelly slain by the Lombards.
At Rome, [about the year 483,] the holy Confessor Pope Simplicius.
℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
℟. Thanks be to God.

Meme of the Moment

REBUTTING a Pro-Gay Documentary About the Bible

In this episode, Trent refutes the claims in the new documentary “1946” that scripture doesn’t condemn homosexual relationships.
00:00 1946 Background 01:59 Who Cares? 04:10 But Times Have Changed... 08:26 Problematic Footnotes 09:20 St Paul's Word Choice 10:44 What About Lesbianism? 13:15 Roman Excess 16:11 Comparison of Extremes 17:06 Revisionism