New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Friday, October 10, 2008

Papal Texts regarding Abortion

It seems that our American brothers and sisters have a big election coming up and abortion is one of the major issues. Let us read and understand what the Popes (magisterial teachings) have to say about this grave sin. In the following passages the Popes talk about abortion leading to a weakening of the social fabric and eventually its destruction.

Papal texts:

* "Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority by appropriate laws and sanctions to defend the lives of the innocent, and this all the more so since those whose lives are endangered and assailed cannot defend themselves. Among whom we must mention in the first place infants hidden in the mother's womb. And if the public magistrates not only do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cries from earth to Heaven.”(1) Pius XI

* "But another very grave crime is to be noted, Vener­able Brethren, which regards the taking of the life of the offspring hidden in the mother's womb. Some wish it to be allowed and left to the will of the father or the mother; others say it is unlawful unless there are weighty reasons which they call by the name of medical, social, or eugenic `indications.' . . . There are those, moreover, who ask that the public authorities provide aid for these death-dealing operations, a thing, which, sad to say, everyone knows is of very frequent occurrence in some places... What could ever be a sufficient reason for excusing in any way the di­rect murder of the innocent? This is precisely what we are dealing with here. Whether inflicted upon the mother or upon the child, it is against the precept of God and the law of nature: 'Thou shall not kill.' The life of each is equally sacred, and no one has the power, not even the public authority, to destroy it." (2) Pius XI

* "Moreover, every human being, even the child in its mother's womb, receives its right to life directly from God, not from his parents, nor from any human society or authority. Therefore there is no man, no human authori­ty, no science, no 'indication' whether medical, eugenical, social, economic or moral, that can show or give a valid juridical title for a deliberate and direct disposing of an in­nocent human life, that is to say, for an action which aims at its destruction, whether such destruction be intended as an end or as a means towards some other end which may itself be in no way illicit. So, for example, to save the life of the mother is a most noble end, but the direct killing of the child as a means to that end is not lawful. The direct killing of the so-called 'valueless life,' whether born or un­born, which was practiced a few years ago in numerous in­stances, can in no way be justified." (3) Pius XII

* "Indeed, all must regard the life of man as sacred, since from its inception, it requires the action of God the Creator. Those who depart from this plan of God not only offend His divine majesty and dishonor themselves and the human race, but they also weaken the inner fiber of the commonwealth." (4) John XXIII

* "Vatican II reiterated the point: 'Abortion and in­fanticide are abominable crimes.' . . . The first and most fundamental right of man is the right to life, that is, to the protection of his life. And no one can have a con­trary right where an innocent person is concerned. The weaker the subject is, the more he needs protection, and the more all have a duty to protect him. The mother is particularly accountable as long as she has the baby in her womb." (5) Paul VI

* "I do not hesitate to proclaim before you and before the world that all human life—from the moment of con­ception and through all subsequent stages—is sacred, be­cause human life is created in the image and likeness of God. . . . Let me repeat what I told the people during my recent pilgrimage to my homeland: "If a person's right to life is violated at the moment in which he is first conceived in his mother's womb, an indirect blow is struck also at the whole of the moral order, which serves to ensure the inviolable goods of man. Among those goods, life occupies the first place. The Church defends the right to life not only in regard to the majesty of the Creator, who is the first giver of life, but also in respect to the essential good of the human person." (6) John Paul II

* "I wish to recall emphatically to your memory to­day only the following: the killing of unborn life is not a legitimate means of family planning. I repeat what I said on May 31st of this year to workers in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis: 'The first right of man is the right to life. We must defend this right and this value. In the contrary case, the whole logic of faith in man, the whole program of really human progress, would be shaken and collapse.' " (7) John Paul II

* "On my part I owe it to my apostolic office to reaf­firm as clearly and as strongly as possible what the Church of Christ teaches in this respect, and to reiterate vigorously her condemnation of artificial contraception and abortion. Yes, from the moment of conception and through all sub­sequent stages, all human life is sacred, for it is created in the image and likeness of God." (8) John Paul II

* "Dear brothers and sisters: on this evening when we celebrate life, we are also mindful of the many threats to life which exist in our technological society. Of incalcula­ble danger to all humanity is the rate of abortion in society today. This unspeakable crime against human life which rejects and kills life at its beginning sets the stage for despis­ing, negating and eliminating the life of adults, and for at­tacking the life of society." (9) John Paul II

* "Over the last twenty years, many states have re­nounced their dignity as defenders of innocent human life, enacting laws permitting abortion. A real slaughter of the innocents is being carried out every day throughout the world ." (10) John Paul II

1. On Christian Marriage, St. Paul Editions, Boston, pp. 33-34.
2. Ibid., pp. 31-32.
3. Address of Pope Pius XII to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives, The Clergy Review, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 382-383.
4. Mater et Magistra, St. Paul Editions, Boston, p. 55.
5. The Pope Speaks, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 334-335.
6. Homily at the Mass on the Capitol Mall, Washington, D.C., October 7, 1979, Sacred in All Its Forms, St. Paul Edi­tions, Boston, pp. 160-161.
7. Homily at the Mass for families, in Cologne, Germany, November 15, 1980, Sacred in All Its Forms, St. Paul Editions, Boston, p. 196.
8. Homily at the Mass for families, in Cebu City, the Philip­pines, February 19, 1981, Sacred in All Its Forms, St. Paul Editions, Boston, p. 204.
9. Address to the youth, to the aging, and the disabled in Van­couver, B.C., L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, October 8, 1984, p. 17.
10. L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, April 11, 1988, p. 6.

St. Francis Borgia - 10th October 2008

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis Borgia. Lets us contemplate the life of this saint through the words of Dr. Plinio Correa.

(The adoration of the Eucharist in the hands of St. Francis Borgia is the subject of one of the quadrants of the dome of the Gesù.)

Biographical selection:

For the Church, the 16th century was a dolorous epoch. The rebirth of Paganism, the spread of Protestantism and then Jansenism devastated Catholic Europe, while Islamism became an arrogant and menacing danger. In Golkun, Holland, 40 Catholics were martyred; in England St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More were beheaded, and Blessed Ignatius of Azevedo along with his 39 blessed companions were massacred by the Calvinists on their way to Brazil.

To remedy so many evils, Divine Providence raised up saints all over Europe. In Spain, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Ávila, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Paschal Baylon, and St. Thomas of Villanova carried out spiritual reforms that encompassed all Christendom. Others, such as St. Charles Borromeo, St. Felipe Neri, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis of Paula, St. Jerome Emilianus and the great St. Pius V spread light over Christendom in their fight against the darkness of heresy.

During that stormy century, St. Francis Borgia shone for his nobility, virtue, and combativeness in Catholic Spain. He was born in Valencia into a family of royal blood that was related to the principal reigning houses of Europe, including that of Emperor Charles V. When Francis Borgia entered his service and came to court at age 17, the Emperor was so impressed by his noble and modest behavior that he determined to keep Francis always at his side. Charles V maintained this admiring friendship all his life.

After he became a widower, however, Francis Borgia made the decision to enter the Society of Jesus. St. Ignatius advised him to ask the Emperor’s permission. Since Charles V was in the Netherlands, Francis addressed a letter to him there. The Emperor replied with these words:

“I am very sorry to lose the company of a man of your merit, a shining light of counsel, a model in the exercise of the highest offices of State, and, because of your virtue and piety, a factor of edification for all my court. But I recognize that it would be unreasonable to dispute over you with the Master you have chosen to serve. It is, therefore, with sorrow that I grant you the permission you are requesting. I authorize you to renounce your fiefs and titles in favor of your firstborn son.

“The number of those who will envy you will be greater than those who will imitate you, since it is easy to admire beautiful examples, but difficult to follow them. I recommend myself to your prayers and I count upon you to attract divine blessings over me, my States, and all Christendom.”

After holding the office of Superior of the Society of Jesus in Spain, Portugal and the West Indies, St Francis Borgia was elected the third General of the Order when Fr. Laynes died in 1560.

One of the first tasks he faced was that of refuting and fighting the calumnies that the Lutherans and other enemies of the Church were spreading about the Society of Jesus in attempts to bring it to ruin. They were trying to stimulate dissension between the Dominican Order and the Society of Jesus. When Cardinal Alessandrini, a Dominican, was elected Pope, a member of the College of Cardinals tried to influence him to suppress the Jesuits. St. Pius V answered:

“God preserve me from so great a sin. The Lord wants to use these priests for His glory. Their Society is called to produce great fruits for the Church.”

The next day St. Pius V was to be crowned Supreme Pontiff at the solemn ceremony in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. He was carried in the gestatory chair followed by all the dignitaries of the Roman Court. An enormous multitude filled the streets. When the cortege arrived in front of the House of the Society of Jesus, the Pope ordered it to stop. St. Pius V called for St. Francis Borgia, who respectfully approached. The Pope embraced him and offered his friendship and support for whatever he would need. He also thanked him for the service the Order had already given to the Church and expressed his warmest wishes to see their members work for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The cortege then continued on its way.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

This selection has two distinct parts. The first is a brief description of the life of St. Francis Borgia when he was a layman, and the second presents an episode from his government as General of the Society of Jesus.

To evaluate the biographical data in this selection, one needs to consider the general panorama of the times. His Sovereign was Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman and German Empire. He was Emperor, and also King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, Lord of numerous Italian territories, and King of Spain, and, therefore, of the Spanish colonies spread all over the world. It was at this time that it became common to say that the sun never set on his Empire. That is, when the sun was rising in one part of his Empire, night had not yet fallen in another. There was always daylight within the domains of his Empire.

He was one of the most powerful Monarchs in History. The 16th century was certainly already a decadent century in comparison with the Middle Ages, but it was not that distant from those blessed centuries, and many of its values were still alive at that time. One of these values was that people still appreciated justice more than power. It was generally recognized that Charles V, as Emperor, deserved the most honor and reverence. The Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was considered the natural head of all Christendom, superior to all Kings. Above him was only the Pope.

St. Francis Borgia was a man of high lineage who descended from a royal family that had reigned over Valencia. The different kingdoms of Spain had united to face the Moorish invasion, and even though many of those royal families no longer had thrones, they were still very highly considered. St. Francis Borgia was a descendent of one of those families, which still had fiefs. His situation was similar to that of a prince.

As a youth he was sent to Charles V’s court. Since it was the highest court in the world, it attracted countless men of value: nobles, personages, famous artists, financial magnates, reputed diplomats, and brilliant military officers. It was a gathering point for the best of Europe. Over all them was the Emperor, who successfully ruled over his numerous Kingdoms. Into this extraordinary scenario an adolescent of 17-years entered. He was so remarkable that he attracted the attention of the Emperor. That is to say, he stood out among those countless princes and outstanding men who were there vying for the Emperor’s attention.

The selection tells us that he was very noble and modest, which means he possessed a great superiority and dignity in manners. We should not think of modest in the modern sense of the term, as describing a man who is trying to flee social life. Rather, the word would retain its old-fashioned meaning, coming from modus – that is, someone who had distinguished and reserved manners in his way of being.

The sanctity of St. Francis Borgia attracted the Emperor so much that he wanted him always near to give him counsel. St. Francis was Duke of Gandia, which he governed. He married and founded a large family with many descendants. That is, he had many temporal matters to deal with on a daily basis.

In 1539 the wife of Charles V, Empress Isabel, was struck with fever and died. As the Marquis of Lombay, Francis Borgia was required to head the funeral cortege to Granada, where a Requiem Mass was sung and official identification of the body made before burial. When Francis opened the coffin and lifted the cloth from the face of the dead Empress, the cadaver had already beginning to deteriorate. This sight made a strong impression on St. Francis Borgia, who realized the futility of all the glories of the world. He resolved to abandon them and ask St. Ignatius to enter the Society of Jesus.

One condition that St. Ignatius made was that he must obtain the Emperor’s permission. Then Charles V wrote him the beautiful letter we just read. It is a high eulogy of St. Francis Borgia, which ended with the line that expresses well the spirit of the time: Many people will admire you, but only a few will follow you.

This explains the difference between that time and the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, many admired the good examples, and many followed them. In the time of Charles V, many admired the good examples, and just a few followed them. Today the good examples are neither admired nor followed. You have here the different steps of the Revolution.

St. Francis Borgia entered the Society of Jesus and became its General. There was a rivalry between the two Orders: the Dominicans and the Jesuits. The enemies of the Church were interested in destroying the Society of Jesus because of its more zealous combativeness against the Protestants. So they stimulated rumors and calumnies that were spread against the Jesuits. When St. Pius V, a Dominican, was elected Pope, those same enemies found ways to influence Vatican ecclesiastics, who immediately tried to maneuver the new Pope to close the Jesuits. Instead, St. Pius V planned a way to do the opposite, to confer added prestige to their Order.

You know that until Paul VI, the Popes used the gestatory chair, which was a portable throne for the Pope carried on the shoulders of a dozen men so that the Pontiff could be seen by all the public. That custom, which began in the early days of the Church, was enriched as time passed with a ceremonial cortege and trumpets.

St. Pius V resolved to break the long established protocol of the cortege of coronation. He did so, stopping its progression in front of the House of the Jesuits and calling for St. Francis Borgia, who most probably was standing outside with the other directors of the Society of Jesus waiting for the Pope to pass.

You can imagine the scene: St. Pius V a man who had been Inquisitor, tall, thin, with a great sharp nose like an eagle, already advanced in years, sublime, approaching the highest phase of his life where he would shine brilliantly as the militant Pope who broke the Muslim power at the Battle of Lepanto. St. Francis Borgia, General of the Society of Jesus, with the air of a grand-seigneur beneath his Jesuit cassock. St. Francis Borgia approached the Pontiff with respect and admiration, venerating the Saint whom God had sent the world to be the Pope of the Church. He knelt before him, and St. Pius V bent to embrace him. Then they exchanged some words.

St. Pius V said that he loved the Society of Jesus with all his heart, that he wished every good for its priests, and that he considered himself its protector. His only desire was that the Society of Jesus fight for the glory of God. St. Francis Borgia thanked the Pope and promised the complete fidelity of the Order to St. Pius V and the Papacy.

Then the cortege continued on. St. Francis Borgia and his Jesuits entered the Church of Gesù, next to the Jesuit house in Rome, to make an act of thanksgiving before the Blessed Sacrament. What splendor, what an exquisite perfume emanates from the encounter of those two saints!

I think it is legitimate for us to turn our eyes from the contemporary epoch – filled with corruption and treason – to end the day admiring the encounter of those two saints. That encounter, the words they exchanged, and their mutual admiration for one another express something of the supreme happiness we will have in Heaven.

Let us ask St. Francis Borgia to give us his Catholic spirit, which impressed everyone in his life, including Emperor Charles V, and his dedication to the Papacy, which was the main characteristic of the Society of Jesus in its first times.

(God, Francis Xavier, Francis Borgia, and Ignatius Loyola are the subjects of the quadrants of the dome. Note the railing below and high up a part of the name of Alessandro Farnese, a cardinal and Pope Paul III's nephew, whose financial patronage made the Gesù possible.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

St. Denis and Companions - 9th October 2008

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Denis and his companions.

This martyr and patron of France is traditionally held to have been the first bishop of Paris. His popularity is due to a series of legends, especially those connecting him with the great abbey church of St. Denis in Paris. He was for a time confused with the writer now called Pseudo-Dionysius.

The best hypothesis contends that Denis was sent to Gaul from Rome in the third century and beheaded in the persecution under Valerius in 258.

While still very young he was distinguished for his virtuous life, knowledge of sacred things, and firm faith, is proved by the fact that Pope Fabian (236-250) sent him with some other missionary bishops to Gaul on a difficult mission. The Church of Gaul had suffered terribly under the persecution of the Emperor Decius and the new messengers of Faith were to endeavour to restore it to its former flourishing condition. Denis with his inseparable companions, the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius, arrived in the neighbourhood of the present city of Paris and settled on the island in the Seine. The earliest document giving an account of his labours and of his martyrdom (Passio SS. Dionsyii, Rustici et Eleutherii), dating from the end of the sixth or the beginning of the seventh century and wrongly attributed to the poet Venantius Fortunatus, is interwoven with much legend, from which, however, the following facts can be gleaned.

On the island in the Seine, Denis built a church and provided for a regular solemnization of the Divine service. His fearless and indefatigable preaching of the Gospel led to countless conversions. This aroused the envy, anger and hatred of the heathen priests. They incited the populace against the strangers and importuned the governor Fescenninus Sisinnius to put a stop by force to the new teaching. Denis with his two companions were seized and as they persevered in their faith were beheaded (about 275) after many tortures. Later accounts give a detailed description of the confessors' sufferings. They were scourged, imprisoned, racked, thrown to wild beasts, burnt at the stake, and finally beheaded.

According to one of the legends, after he was martyred on Montmartre (literally, "mountain of martyrs") in Paris, he carried his head to a village northeast of the city. St. Genevieve built a basilica over his tomb at the beginning of the sixth century.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

" Well ! Well....! Mr. Advani ! "

What follows below is a letter from Fr. Cedric Prakash in response to LK Advani dealing with the recent religious violence against Christians in India

" Well ! Well....! Mr. Advani ! "

- Fr. Cedric Prakash sj *

Well....! Well....! Mr. Advani ! Well "spoken" indeed !

You have called for "inter-religious dialogue" and in no uncertain terms you say (there are media reports quoting you) "I strongly condemn these acts of violence and vandalism which cannot be condoned or justified. The law must take its course and the culprits must be brought to justice..."

Well, Mr. Advani.... I, for one, would like to believe this statement. Unfortunately, your track record exposes your double speak and well, your insincerity.

As somebody aspiring to be a future Prime Minister of the country, (and the fact that you are the icon of the BJP), you will have to first rein in all the fascist forces that support your ideology and your agenda. How about booking the many from the Bajrang Dal, the RSS and the VHP who have systematically been attacking Churches and killing innocent Christians in different parts of the country ? (Orissa and Karnataka are just current examples of this reality.) How about disassociating yourself from them completely ? and perhaps, joining vast sections of the country who call for their ban ?

When you call for "inter-religious dialogue", I don't suppose you mean that men and women of faith should talk or dialogue with terrorist organizations ? Or do you ?

You say you have a "soft corner" for Christians but then, how is it that you have never raised your voice when the Christians of Gujarat were attacked in 1998/99 by these same fascist forces and when they continue to be attacked in several other parts of the country ? You thought it prudent enough not to make a statement on Sunday 14th September when Christians and Churches were being attacked in Karnataka - just as the National BJP meeting was concluding in the State. It amuses me that you had to go to Shillong and make a statement several days after thousands of Christians have been hounded from their homes and property in Orissa. Do you think such hollow statements can actually give the BJP votes there ? In your wisdom, did you not think it would have been more appropriate, if in Bangalore, your party passed a resolution condemning the attacks on Christians and other minorities in this country ? So why go to Shillong to make your statement ....? Do you think that the "Aaam aadmi" (ordinary person) – cannot see through your ploy.... ?

However, can we start from the very beginning....?

What about 1990 when you began the Rath Yatra with much fanfare ? In an attempt to destroy the secular fabric of our Constitution, your "Rath of Death" polarized Gujarat and several parts of the country as never before. Yes, it definitely garnered you votes and perhaps put your party in power (for which they are eternally grateful ! ). But any one with conventional wisdom will tell you that narrow short-term gains normally negate long-term acceptance and solutions. Hitler and his Nazi party is a classic example.

As of now, you represent my Constituency in Parliament. When hundreds of innocent Muslims were burnt alive and gang-raped in our streets, you declared that it was the ISI that was responsible for setting the S6 coach on fire ! Have you ever condemned the brutality and the inhumanity taking place in your own Constituency ? When you speak of "justice", can you echo and re-echo the words of your mentor (the former PM), to your protégé here (the Chief Minister (Narendra Modi) of this land dedicated to Satyagraha and Ahimsa) that he should be following "Rajdharma" ? How about raising your voice for victims of the Gujarat Carnage ?

Today in your Constituency, if one is a Muslim, one cannot buy or own a shop. Besides, in many areas, Christians too are treated as second-class citizens.

Some housing societies have very clearly stated in their byelaws that Muslims would not be allowed to stay in that society. The irony is, we have the byelaws of one society which clearly state that "Muslims and Sindhis" will not be permitted to live in that housing society. So why don't you try buying a house in that society ?

Well....Well....Mr. Advani, this is your Constituency ! Your goons came for the Muslims first, then for the Christians....It is only a matter of time before they come for the "Sindhis" (caste group that Mr Advani belongs to) !

It is definitely not too late Mr. can still show India and the world that you still cherish the values that were imparted to you through a Christian education : of tolerance, compassion, sense of justice and fair play, of equality, of respect for all religious, of not allowing people to take law and order into their own hands....and hopefully show your secular face.

You have a little over five years to prove it. And if the fascists of the country allow you or me to still be around in 2014, you may still have a chance to then aspire to be Prime Minister. Until then, just forget it .....

Well ! Well....! Mr. Advani !

(* Fr. Cedric Prakash sj is the Director of "Prashant", the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)

(A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)
Near Kamdhenu Hall
Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad 380 052
Gujarat, India
Tel: 91 79 66522333 /27455913
Fax: 91 79 27489018

2nd October 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Lady of the Rosary – 7 October 2008

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Let us read the commentary of Dr. Plinio Correa.

The feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary was instituted by St. Pius V in commemoration of the victory of the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571 against the Turks who were threatening Europe. In 1716, the feast was extended to the entire Church in thanksgiving for the defeat of the Muslim Crescent in Hungary.

The devotion of the rosary was revealed to St. Dominic by Our Lady. It was born, therefore, in a private revelation. And we know that such revelations are abhorred by the enemies of the Church – internal and external. Although it came from a private revelation, the praying of the Rosary was extended to the entire Catholic Church, and was considered by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort as the characteristic devotion of predestined souls.

Before Vatican II, the habits of many religious Orders had rosaries that hung on their cinctures, and good Catholics used to carry the rosary with them all day. It was considered not only an item for counting the Hail-Mary’s, but a blessed object, the seal of a special liaison of the person with Our Lady. Many times, the mere physical presence of the rosary would repel the Devil and attract special graces. It became the classic religious object to fight against the Devil.

What is the rosary? The rosary is a series of mediations on the mysteries from the lives of Our Lord and Our Lady. These mysteries are simultaneously prayers that one says vocally and meditations that one makes mentally. This mixture of vocal prayer and meditation is a splendid thing, because while the lips pronounce a plea, the mind concentrates on a point of the mystery. It is a dual activity that intimately unites one with God.

The practice of praying the rosary to beg a grace from God supposes the theological truth that Our Lady is the Universal Mediatrix of all graces. It is, therefore, a small masterpiece of spirituality and Catholic doctrine as they should be understood. The rosary is not a religious custom relying on emotions, but rather a serious, solid, and meditative pious practice, which explains why the rosary has obtained so many graces.

It is very beautiful and valuable to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, because for each decade, one contemplates a different thing with its special graces: There are particular graces for the mystery of the Annunciation, others for the Agony in the Garden, yet others associated with the Ascension of Our Lord. Each one of the decades has its special graces, and the person who meditates on all of them attracts to his soul the ensemble of graces from the lives of Our Lord and Our Lady. It is a complete circumnavigation that brings a supernatural plenitude to the soul of the person, which helps us to better understand the salutary influence of the rosary.

A Catholic, thinking and reflecting on things of the Faith, should draw conclusions that build upon each other and constitute a kind of architectural construct. This should be the spiritual life of a Catholic. It follows in accordance with the way God governs the universe. He wisely judges the weight and measure of everything. This is another reason why the rosary is an excellent devotion.

We know that the victory of the Battle of Lepanto was achieved when St. Pius V interrupted a meeting with Cardinals at the Vatican and went to a window and started to pray the rosary. He was deeply concerned about the future of the Church and Christendom that was being decided in those Mediterranean waters. After the Pontiff finishing praying the rosary, he returned to the meeting and told the Cardinals that the Catholic fleet had been victorious. That is, he had a revelation while he was praying the rosary. It was the way Our Lady showed him that she linked that victory to his praying of the rosary. Understanding this, St. Pius V instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which was extended to the whole Church in commemoration for another great victory over the Mohammedans in 1716.

The fact that this devotion is specially linked to victories over the enemies of the Church and Christendom induces us to think that it will protect all those who fight against the enemies of the Catholic cause. It is a devotion that most probably will endure until the end time, when the enemies of the Church will be more dangerous than ever.

Therefore, also during the chastisement predicted at Fatima, the assiduous recitation of the holy rosary should be a decisive factor of victory for those who would be defending the Catholic cause. The historical antecedents of the value of the rosary are a pledge of analogous future victories.

When St. Alphonsus of Liguori was already old, sick, and in a wheelchair, a lay brother used to wheel him around the cloister of his monastery in the evening so he could take some fresh air. Engaging the brother in conversation, St. Alphonsus asked him:

“Did you pray your rosary today?”
“I don’t remember,” the brother answered,
“Then, let us pray it now,” the Saint said.
“But you are already so tired. What difference does it make if we don’t pray the rosary for one day?” protested the brother.
St. Alphonsus answered: “If I did not pray my rosary for even one day, I would fear for my eternal salvation.”

This is what a Saint said. I like this episode because it teaches us that we should do precisely the same. The daily rosary is a great guarantee of final perseverance and fidelity for the times ahead when the prophecies of Fatima will be fulfilled. The victory in our everyday Lepanto is linked to the recitation of the rosary.

Let us ask Our Lady of the Rosary to bless this intention of saying the Rosary daily and give us the grace to carry it out.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Consecration at a Solemn High Mass (Usus Antiquior) held at the Toronto Oratory on 4 October 2008

This is a video of the consecration at the Solemn High Mass (Usus Antiquior) held at the Toronto Oratory on 4 October 2008

Usus Antiquior mass in Toronto on 4th October 2008

I had the opportunity to attend this mass at the Toronto Oratory Church. It was a very solemn mass and very beautiful.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Statue of Christ in Slovak Catholic Church in Michigan

Here are some lovely pictures of Christ at the Slovak Catholic Church in Michigan