New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Video I really Like

This is a video I really like. What I specifically like about it is that it mentions that we fostered the scientific and investigative approach. Also we started the college (university) system. Just for my dear readers information these events happened in the middle ages (which the liberal media claims were a horrible time).

St Elzear - 25th September 2008

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Elzear. To be honest I have never heard of this saint and have enjoyed reading up about him from the commentary of Dr. Plinio Correa

Elzear of Sabran (1285-1325) was born in Saint-Jean de Robians in Provence, France. He was son of the Count of Ariano from the Kingdom of Naples, Italy. His mother consecrated him to God as soon as he was born and raised him with good customs. He was well educated in the eternal and human sciences, as well as in the exercise of weapons. He became an outstanding knight and a champion in the tournaments. He married Delphine of Glandèves. By common agreement, they lived a life of continence. Both belonged to the Third Order of St. Francis.

When his father died in 1309, he inherited the County of Ariano and went to Italy to assume the government. With John, the brother of the King of Naples, he commanded an army against Emperor Henry VII, who led the anti-papist Ghibelline party in Italy. After two battles, Elzear defeated the German sovereign, who died soon afterward in 1313. As reward for his victories, Count Elzear received many honors and prizes.

King Robert of Naples chose him to be head of the Counsel of the Kingdom of Naples. As a judge he acted with supreme severity against the guilty, be they corrupt nobles or the lawless bandits who infested the whole Kingdom, and often condemned them to death. But he always took great care of the souls of those men, providing them all spiritual assistance possible and asking the priests to remain with them from the moment of condemnation until the hour of death. He was also chosen to be tutor of Prince Charles, heir to the throne.

After four years of separation, Delphine joined him from France and found her husband among the brilliant courtiers wearing magnificent clothes. She feared that during this period of separation Elzear had forgotten his duties of religion and became worldly. He sensed her thoughts, and when the two were alone together, he opened his habit and revealed his hair-shirt underneath. He always remained faithful to the Franciscan spirit.

God granted Count Elzear the grace of an inalterable serenity. His face was always tranquil, communicating peace. Once he revealed to his wife that it was continuous meditation on Our Lord’s Passion that gave him this gift.

In addition to being a skillful warrior and politician, he was also an adept diplomat. He was sent to Paris as a representative of King Robert to ask the hand of the daughter of the Count of Valois for the Prince Heir of Naples. During this mission he became seriously ill and died on September 27, 1325.

He was buried in the Franciscan habit in the church of the Minor Conventuals at Apt. Many miracles were worked through his intercession. He was canonized 44 years later by Pope Urban V. His wife, Countess Delphine, was still alive.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

We are given a picture of St. Elzear as a saint who was principally a warrior, a winner of battles and tournaments, a governor of his provinces, and a judge.

In that epoch war was preponderantly an ensemble of individual fights, knight against knight, and soldier against soldier. No one could be weak to fight. In today’s wars, a feeble man can be behind a machine gun and do a lot of damage. In that time, men of war had to be courageous, strong, and skillful in martial deeds. This was St. Elzear. He did not abandon the world with platitudes of hatred for war and love for peace. All his life he engaged in war or exercises preparing for it. Doing this, he became a saint. St. Elzear attained sanctity practicing the heroic virtues that shine in the life of a warrior.

Since he was from a very noble family, the Sabran family, he inherited the fief of his father and became Count d’Ariano in Naples. At that time, the Kingdom of Naples was governed by French Princes. So he also became a saint through the wise governance of his fief. Contrary to the images of saints normally put forth by a sentimental piety, which is also a little progressivist, St. Elzear lived the normal life of a noble at court, which at the time implied among other things, wearing magnificent clothes.

As a reward for his military conquests, the King of Naples made St. Elzear head of the Counsel of the Kingdom. To be charged with handing down Justice is a difficult mission. The fair-minded judge often has to rule against the great, powerful, and wealthy in favor of the small and poor. This kind of judge raises the scorn and anger of many important persons. St. Elzear was a judge who acted before God, making no compromises with men. He combated the corrupt nobles, but also the bandits.

You know that in Italy there is an organized drove of bandits – in Sicily and Calabria it is called the Mafia, and in Naples the Camorra. At that time similar groups of bandits were probably in existence and found in St. Elzear an implacable enemy. But as a perfect Catholic, his behavior was entirely balanced: he condemned the guilty to death for the necessity of the common good, but then he took an exquisite care of their souls, trying to save them by all possible means. Death for the body, yes; but life for the soul.

One would say that a man with such extraordinary qualities to direct a fief and distribute justice, a prince in the court and a lion in the war, would be a pretentious man, quick to anger, stern and arrogant. But he was not that at all. He was most affable and serene with a pacific physiognomy. Here we have a harmonic contrast characteristic of a soul that lives in sanctifying grace.

Another contrast in his life appears in another episode from the selection. St. Elzear held an important position at court; he was a noble in the fullest sense of the word who carried out with dignity his duties as courtier. Therefore, he dressed in magnificent clothes.

When his wife joined him in Naples after four years she was surprised by the magnificence of his clothes and company, and feared that he had become worldly. When they were by themselves, he opened his fine outer clothing a bit and showed her the discipline that he wore under it. That is to say, he remained the same penitent, detached person he had been before. He wore those magnificent garments to properly fulfill his noble duties and uphold the situation he occupied at court. It is another contrast that is the fruit of grace.

The life of St. Elzear is very rich in contrasts and examples for those who do not have a religious vocation, but are called to live in the world as laypeople.

Let us ask him for confidence in the power of grace, and balance to live our vocation with the needed dignity, brilliance and nobility while maintaining a detached spirit. Like him, we should do everything for the glory of God, and not for ourselves.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina - 23rd September 2008

Today we celebrate the feast of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. For a short biography of this saint please refer to this link.

It is best that we read some of the words of this saint and let them stir in us a love for God.

In my greatest sufferings, it seems to me that I no longer have a mother on this earth, but a very compassionate one in Heaven.

Remember that God is within us when we are in a state of grace and outside of us when we are in a state of sin; but His angel never abandons us. . . He is our most sincere and faithful friend even when we sadden him with our bad behavior.

Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.

You must always humble yourself lovingly before God and before men, because God speaks only to those who are truly humble and He enriches them with His gifts.

Humility and purity are the wings which carry us to God and make us almost divine.

Hold on tightly to the Rosary. Be very grateful to the Madonna because it was she who gave us Jesus.

Love our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible.

Imagine Jesus crucified in your arms and on your chest, and say a hundred times as you kiss His chest, "This is my hope, the living source of my happiness; this is the heart of my soul; nothing will ever separate me from His love."

If only we read these words and observe them how much we will gain in our journey to the Father's house.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Competition Time - 8x10 Unframed picture of Padre Pio

Well its time for a competition, a time to win a prize.
I received a 8X10 picture pf Padre Pio whose feast is coming up on the 23rd September 2008. If you would like this picture please leave a comment under this post.
I will hold a draw on the feast day and I will post the picture to the lucky winner.
So far I have not got any comments. Did I mention that I will pay for postage anywhere in the world. Yes this refers to you who look at the blog from Lazio Italy and Prague and Singapore