Monthly Archives: October 2016

Earthquake shakes Norcia; Basilica of St. Benedict destroyed; Rome shaken

BREAKING: Earthquake destroys Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy

The Cathedral of St. Benedict:

http://aleteia.org/2016/10/30/breaking-earthquake-destroys-basilica-of-st-benedict-in-norcia-italy

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italy-earthquake-today-rome-vatican-tourism-safety-pope-francis-st-paul-basilica-a7387861.html

Surely there’s great symbolism behind this? Only God knows.  The Cathedral of St. Benedict, site of the birthplace of the great Father of Western Monasticism, was destroyed, but his statue was left standing.  The earthquake was felt in Rome and damaged the Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls, causing cracks to form in the ancient landmark of our holy religion.

A crack can clearly be seen 

This earthquake hit the morning of the Feast of Christ the King.  Christ the King who is dethroned and dishonored in the Church and will be all the more when the Pope travels to Lund, Sweden to explicitly endorse the false religion of Protestantism, placing it on par with the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Might this be a warning to the Pope, who is about to travel to Lund, Sweden to celebrate the Protestant Revolution and vindicate Martin Luther?

Readers, what are your throughts?

St. Benedict, pray for us and for the Pope, that his destructive path of heresy will be destroyed.

~Damsel of the Faith

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christum imperat!

October 29th marks the glorious Solemnity of Christ the King.  Here is my post from last year:

https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/christ-the-king/

Please give Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical on the Feast of Christ the King a read.  A very important Encyclical on the Social Kingship of Christ the King:

http://www.catholictradition.org/Encyclicals/primas.htm

Let us pray that Christ will once again be King over Society and dare we say, acknowledged as King within the Church, for He has been dethroned.

Viva Christo Rey!  Our Lord is our King and He rules over His Kingdom, the Catholic Church, forever and ever!

A Blessed Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King to all!

The following is a sermon from Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for the Feast of Christ the King, given October 28, 1979:

My dear brethren,

In the magnificent encyclical Quas Primas of His Holiness Pope Pius XI, instituting the Feast of Christ the King, the Pope explains why Our Lord Jesus Christ is truly King, and he gives two particular and profound reasons. There are indeed many scriptural proofs. We have just read the Gospel in which Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaims Himself King. There are many passages from the Psalms and in the New Testament which express this same quality of Our Lord Jesus Christ as King. But His Holiness Pius XI takes care to deepen our knowledge of the reasons of this royalty.

The first reason is what the Church calls the “hypostatic union,” the union of the Divine Person of Our Lord with His human nature. Our Lord is King because He is God. Indeed, there are not two persons in Our Lord, there is not one Divine Person and one human person. There is only one person—the Divine Person who directly assumed a human soul and a human body without passing by the intermediary of a human person. Consequently, when we speak of Jesus Christ, we say the Person of Jesus Christ. Now, this person of Jesus Christ is a Divine Person. Certainly, Jesus Christ is both God and man since He assumed a human soul and a human body. Thus, the human soul and the human body of Our Lord Jesus Christ have become so intimately united to God that they cannot be separated. It is the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ which is entirely Divine and by His Person, His body and soul are “deified.”

Thus, Our Lord Jesus Christ as He presented Himself along the route of Palestine and even as He presented Himself as an infant in Bethlehem, is King. Not only does He possess the character of this royalty but also the Church teaches us that by this union of God with human nature, with a soul and with a body, which He assumed, Our Lord Jesus Christ is essentially, by nature—Saviour, Priest, and King. He cannot but be the Saviour, for He alone may say that He is God. He alone is able to say that He is the Priest, the Pontiff—He who truly makes the link between heaven and earth—and also He alone is able to say that He is the King. He is not king according to the kingships of this world, that is to say, over a given territory and limited to the earth, to men. Indeed, Our Lord is King not only of the earth but also of heaven. This is the first profound reason of the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of this we must be convinced in order to see Our Lord as King, our personal King. Our Lord Jesus Christ is our King.

But He is King for another reason as well. Pope Pius XI explains well that Our Lord Jesus Christ is King by conquest. By what conquest?

It is because Our Lord Jesus Christ has conquered all by His Blood, by His Cross and by Calvary.Regnavit a ligno Deus, God has reigned by the wood, i. e., by the Cross, Our Lord has conquered all souls, whomsoever they may be, by right—a strict right. All souls since they are created by God, even if they live for only a moment here on earth, are by right subjects of Our Lord Jesus Christ because He conquered them by His Blood. He wants to save them. He desires to redeem them all by His Blood, His Divine Blood, in order to lead them to heaven. Yes, Our Lord, by His Precious Blood and by His Cross, is by right Our King. This is the very reason why in the early centuries after the peace of Constantine, when the Christians were officially able to present the Cross in their churches, in their chapels and in other places of worship, they usually represented Our Lord Jesus Christ as a crowned King; crowned with the crown of Kings. Christ is surely our King and He is King by His Cross.

We must then consider the principles of this nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King, of this conquest which Jesus has made upon our hearts and our souls by His death upon the Cross. Is Our Lord Jesus Christ daily in practice, in all of our actions, in all of our thoughts, truly our King? Pope Pius XI continues in his encyclical to describe the manner in which Our Lord must be our King. He must be the King of our intellects and of our thoughts because He is the Truth (Veritas). Jesus Christ is the Truth because He is God.

Is then Our Lord Jesus Christ truly King of our thoughts? Is it He who truly orients all of our thoughts, our reflections, our intellectual life, in the life of our Faith? Is it truly Our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the light of our intellects? Is He King of our wills?

He is the Law. If the Tablets of the Law were found in the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament, they represented precisely Our Lord Jesus Christ Who today is found in our tabernacles. But today with a tremendous superiority have. we the Law in our tabernacles, in our “arks of the covenant.” It is no longer the cold stones of the Old Testament but rather it is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who is the Law. The Word of God is the Law by Whom all has been made, in Whom all things have been created. He is the Law not only of souls, of minds, of wills but He is the Law of all nature. All the laws which we discover in nature come from Our Lord Jesus Christ-come from the Word of God. It suffices to consider that all creatures follow with incomparable fidelity the laws of God, that they follow physical laws, chemical laws and all the laws of vegetative nature, of animal nature. These laws are followed impeccably.

And we, too, must follow in a diligent manner, in a free manner, the laws of God inscribed in our hearts. It is precisely due to our liberty that we must attach ourselves to this law which is the path of our happiness, the way to eternal life.

Man has turned away from this law.

Our Lord Jesus Christ must then be—must again become—the King of our wills and we must conform our wills to His law, to His Law of love, to His law of charity, to the Commandments which He has given us and which He Himself told us encompass all other Commandments: To love God and to love one’s neighbors. Are not these two in fact one and the same Commandment? It is He Who tells us so. Do we then truly conform our wills to the law of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Is Jesus Christ truly King of our wills?

Finally, Jesus has to be, as Pope Pius XI tells us, the King of our hearts. Are our hearts trulyattached to Our Lord Jesus Christ? Are we conscious of the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ is our ALL—Omnia in omnibus.Jesus Christ is all and in all things. It is He in ipso omnia constant as St. Paul says. In Him all is sustained, in Him we live, in Him we are and we act. It is this that St. Paul explains in his discourse to the Areopagite: In ipso vivimus, in ipso movemur, in ipso summus—He holds all in His hand.

We must then wonder what the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph must have thought. I believe that there is an admirable example for us. If we truly desire that Jesus Christ be our King we must try to imagine what Nazareth must have been. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. What must Mary have thought of Jesus? What must Joseph have thought of Jesus? It is incredible! It is a great mystery, an impenetrable mystery of the goodness, of the charity of God. To think that He permitted two creatures chosen by Him, to live with Him! For St. Joseph during thirty years, for the Blessed Virgin during thirty-three years, in the intimacy of Jesus, in the intimacy of He Who is God. It is He without whom neither Mary nor Joseph could speak, think, nor live. Mary bearing Jesus in her arms, bearing God in her arms! As the Gospel often says it was not she who was bearing Jesus but Jesus who was bearing her. For Jesus was much greater than she for He is God. Just think what must have been in the soul, will and heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary living with Jesus, seeing Him with His young companions, seeing Him working with St. Joseph.

We also have the joy to live with Our Lord.

Even under the delicate envelope of her body, the Blessed Virgin Mary adored the living God for she knew—she knew that the living God was in her home. She knew this through the Annunciation by the angel. And St. Joseph knew it perfectly as well.

We, too, know that we have the living Jesus in our tabernacles under the delicate Eucharistic species. Jesus is there! Not only do we have Him in our tabernacles, but moreover in a manner which I would say is almost more intimate than that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph, when Our Lord gives Himself to us as our spiritual food.

Imagine, that truly in our bodies, in our hearts we bear Jesus—we bear God who sustains us, for without Him we would not be able to live nor exist nor say a single word nor even think a single thought. And we bear this God in the Holy Eucharist!

Let us ask Our Lord Jesus Christ when we receive Him in us that He be our King—that He may give us the thoughts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph; that our wills be as theirs, submitted to His law; that He may grant us the affections of the hearts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, these creatures whom He chose from all eternity to be His guardians, to be those with whom He was to live.

Ask them—ask Mary and Joseph—to help us live under the sweet Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ. One day, we hope that we shall be in that Kingdom and that we shall see Him in His splendour and in His glory as we say so often when we recite the Angelus ut per passionem ijus et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur—in order that by His Passion and Cross we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.

Indeed, we also must pass now by the Passion and Cross of Jesus upon the earth in order that one day we be able to join in the glory of His Resurrection, this glory which illuminates heaven, which is heaven, for God is heaven. Thus Our Lord Jesus Christ is heaven. In Him we will live in the grace of God by the grace of God. If we have Him already as our King here on earth, then we shall have Him as our King for all eternity.

Beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph today, not only for us, but for our families, for all those who surround us, that they may come to the light of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that they recognize evil, and also for those who do not obey Him or who withdraw themselves from Him. Have pity on all these souls who do not know the King of Love and of Glory, in whom we have the happiness to believe, in whom we have the happiness to love. Beseech Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph to convert all these souls to Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

 

 

The Catholic origins of Halloween

Image result for catholic origins of halloween

With All Hallows Eve, or as we usually shorten it, Halloween, being just a few days away, I wish to clear up some misconceptions about this often misunderstood and maligned day. It is unfortunately true that those with evil intentions have attempted to corrupt this date and make it into essentially a holiday in honor of the Devil.  However, it would also be incorrect to condemn everything associated with Halloween and to claim that good Catholics who would practice any traditional customs or take any part in it whatsoever are taking part in “devil-worship”.  This would be the excess of the Protestants, still fairly common in this country, dating back to the Puritans.  It is my hope that our readers may be inspired to find virtue in the middle ground and celebrate their Halloween properly and well.  I provide a few selections below to highlight the traditional Catholics origins and customs of Halloween and tips on how to apply them to our day.

I highly recommend this recent article by Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., which, despite perhaps a couple of slightly inaccurate statements, explains well the Catholic origins of Halloween:  http://ucatholic.com/blog/the-catholic-origins-of-halloween/

I also provide a couple of selections below.  The first is taken from The Catholic World (November 1930) and explains some classical Catholic customs of Halloween (and All Souls Day, as well!)  The second is taken from the November 2015 issue of The Carpenter, the monthly SSPX newsletter in Michigan.  Fr. Richard Boyle, SSPX, notes the Catholic symbolism of a jack-o-lantern as it is being carved.  It is written in the “Fun and Games” section of the newsletter for both younger children and their parents, thus accounting for its more simple tone, which we can all cherish!

May we all properly commemorate this Holy Day in a true Catholic spirit!

The Catholic World:

“The ancient Celts were much preoccupied with the thought of death and the mysterious life beyond so that nowadays, in countries populated by a Celtic stock, as Ireland, Brittany, Wales, Gaelic Scotland, or in certain English counties permeated in the past by Celtic influences, we find extant survivals of old traditions and customs associated with the season of the Holy Souls. Some of these observances will appeal to Catholics, others are distinctly superstitious; on the whole, however, whatever may have been the actual origin of many of these practices, they have been impregnated and transmuted, with Christian thought and feeling.

Brittany is the last great stronghold of old ways and manners. In that country, the people have—if one may thus express it—an intimate association with the departed souls, the “anaon,” or “souls of the ancestors” as they are generally called.

The suffering souls are thought of as sometimes fulfilling their purgatory close at hand, in farmsteads, fields, or unfrequented lanes. If in conversation, the name of an ancestor, even a neighbor’s ancestor, is mentioned, someone will have the pious wish ready—“Peace to their souls.”

Naturally, the continual remembrance or the departed has influenced Breton character and life considerably, while as might he expected from devout Catholic peasantry, this devotion to the “anaon’s” welfare reaches its climax on the “Night of the Dead,” our Hallowe’en. Then for 48 hours—so the Breton believes—the poor souls are liberated from Purgatory and are free to revisit their old homes, so that, of course, everything possible must be done to make them welcome.

It is a day of prayer, without a trace of the merriment of a Scotch or Irish Hallowe’en. All through the day, members of each household have prayed by the family graves; then in the late afternoon, everybody goes to “black Vespers” in the parish church; men and women kneeling round the catafalque [i.e., the false full-sized casket draped in black—Ed.] which throughout the year stands in a conspicuous position in the church.

In country parishes, as soon as Vespers is said, the congregation proceeds to the charnel-house—an important building in many churchyards—where bones from an over-full graveyard are kept. This night the doors are opened, some peasants kneel inside among the bones, others on the grass outside. In the dark, lit up only by the candles burning on each grave, they sing the Complaint of the Charnel-house, a Breton hymn, which first calls on Christians to gather together, then follows an appeal, as though issued by the bones themselves, beseeching for prayers and again for more prayers.

The ceremonies of the “veille” are by no means ended when the worshipers leave the churchyard. In the some districts, after supper is cleared away, each housewife spreads a clean cloth on the table, puts on it hot pancakes, curds, and cider. The fire is well banked up, chairs are put round it, and the family, after another De Profundis (Psalm 129), goes to bed.

Soon after nine o’clock, a messenger goes through the streets, ringing a bell to remind everyone to go indoors, as it is unwise to meet the souls streaming home at midnight. Later still, a band of singers—the “chanters of the dead”—go through the village, rap at each door to wake the sleepers; where upon they chant another Breton hymn asking for prayers, the Complaint of the Souls.

Then all is quiet, unless someone waking in the night, hears murmurs in the kitchen, or catches sounds of work. Then he knows the ancestors are back, warming themselves at the fire, for the poor souls are always cold; or trying their tools at their old labor.

Next day is “Toussoini” when the whole household goes to early Mass; the “Anaon,” go too, for it is said on this day families are reunited—living and dead assist at Mass together.

Some districts had their special customs. In the Isle of Sein, four young men stayed in church during the night, tolling the bells hourly. [The number “four” is the classic number of man. It symbolizes the four temperaments of man; choleric, sanguine, melancholic, and phlegmatic. It also stands for the four seasons and the four cardinal virtues; prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.—Ed.] Four other men went to every house on the island where someone had died during the previous year, and called on the inmates to say the De Profundis with them.

Another most touching custom prevails. It is not usual for women to go out in the fishing boats, but when a sailor or fisherman has been drowned, and his body has never been recovered, on All Souls’ Day the women from the bereaved family sail far out with the men, and all say the De Profundis for their dead relative.

Irish folk, as is well known, keep Hallowe’en with great zest. In the West, after the young people’s games with nuts and apples are finished, the housemother builds up the fire with sods, sets the chairs round in a semicircle, spreads the table with a clean cloth, and puts ready for the Holy Souls a large uncut loaf and a jug of water. In parts of Kerry, a pot of tea is put out on Christmas Eve for the poor souls, and it is noteworthy that the pious legends of Breton say that the ancestors are liberated from Purgatory on Christmas Eve and St. John’s Eve, as well as Hallowe’en.

That infamous killer of Catholics, Queen Elizabeth of England, forbade all observances connected with All Souls’ Day. In spite of her ordinance, “souling” customs—mentioned historically both before and after the Reformation—went on in English and Welsh counties for centuries, and indeed, have not quite disappeared yet from a few Shropshire villages.

The practice itself was very homey. On All Souls’ Day, women and girls visiting well-to-do neighbors’ houses, begged for and received “soul cakes” (shortbreads). The older forms of request are interesting as they show pre-Reformation Catholic phraseology, for in return for the cakes, prayers were apparently offered for the donor’s soul: “A soul-cake; a soul-cake, have mercy on all Christian souls, for a soul-cake.” [Note how the “treating” part of today’s Hallowe’en was originally sanctified as an opportunity to pray for one’s neighbor!—Ed.]

As time went on, prayers for the poor souls were forgotten, and the making of special soul-cakes ceased also. Apples, buns, and money were dispensed to children. The only “soulers” left came round singing country rhymes instead of the old time request for “a soul-cake, good mistress, I pray thee, a soul-cake.” The following verse is typical of the rhymes:

Soul, soul, an apple or two,
If you haven’t an apple, a pear will do,
One for Peter, two for Paul.
Three for the Man Who made us all.”

It is rather surprising to find that in East Yorkshire, where the people are of mixed Saxon, Danish, and Norse descent, a similar custom prevailed. There it was the bakers who gave their customers, on November 2nd, “saumas (soul-mass) loaves” small square buns with currants [i.e., small seedless raisins—Ed.] spread in the shape of a cross on top. One bun was supposed to be kept in the house during the following year for “good fortune.”

Though not connected with Hallowe’en or All Souls’ Day, the remarkable funeral custom of “sin eating” is worth mentioning. In the 18th century and later, when someone died in Wales and Hereford, the “sin eater” of the parish, generally a very poor and humble man, was brought to the house. Standing on one side of the corpse, a crust of bread, a mug of ale (in some districts, milk) and a sixpenny were handed him over the dead body. The “sin eater” ate and drank, thereby signifying that he had taken on himself, i.e., “eaten the sins” of the deceased and thus prevented the soul from haunting the old home.

(While this practice may seem strange to us, it evokes the Catholic dogma of Our Lord’s propitiation for all our sins. “Him, Who knew no sin, He hath made sin for us that we might be made the justice of God in Him [Christ]”—II Corinthians 5:21. The same dogma is recalled at Holy Mass when the priest spreads his hands over the bread and wine, soon to become Our Lord; an image of the rite in the Old Testament when the priest spread his hands over a goat, bringing down upon the animal the sins of the people, then letting it escape alone into the wilderness. [This “sin-laden” goat was call the “scapegoat”—Ed.]

Nominally in 18th century custom, “sin eating” or traces of it seemed to have lingered in Wales until the middle of the 19th century, while in Herefordshire, the ceremonial drinking of port wine by pall bearers and visitors in the room in which lay the corpse, looks much as though it were a reminiscence of the same custom. [Until disallowed by community hygienic laws, wakes were held in the homes of the deceased, especially among the Irish.—Ed.]

When a funeral takes place in some districts of London, the mourners make efforts to have among the floral displays, at least one “gate,” which, as its name suggests, consists of flower or greenery-covered “bars,” with a white bird also represented in flowers. Now it seems as if this cherished floral “gate” might well be a folk memory, taking tangible form, of a once widespread belief that when a man died, his soul escaped through his lips in the form of some little creature, in Brittany a gnat or a mouse, in England and Ireland, a white butterfly or bird. There is another vestige of the superstition in Derby and Yorkshire, where white night-flying moths are called “souls” by country people.

Past beliefs never quite disappear; some part should be made to live on, though perhaps changed here and there, so that among our children and in our Catholic parishes at least, among the everyday materialistic business and hubbub, we Catholics give physical expression to the truth that departed souls wind their way through the gates of death to the life beyond—Heaven, Hell, Purgatory.

In pre-Christian times, food was put out for the dead. Catholics have sanctified this pagan custom and now bake special breads in honor of the holy souls and bestow them on children and the poor. “All Souls’ Bread” (Seelenbrot) is made and distributed in Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, Hungary, and in the Slavic countries.

In Poland the farmers hold a solemn meal on the evening of All Souls’ Day, with empty seats and plates ready for the “souls” of departed relatives. Onto the plates members of the family put parts of the dinner. These portions are not touched by anyone, but afterward are given to beggars or poor neighbors. In the Alpine provinces of Austria destitute children and beggars go from house to house, reciting a prayer or singing a hymn for the holy souls, receiving small loaves of the “soul bread” in reward. There, too, people put aside a part of everything that is cooked on All Souls’ Day and give meals to the poor.

In Hungary the “Day of the Dead” (Halottak Napja) is kept with the traditional customs common to all people in central Europe. In addition, they invite orphan children into the family for All Saints’ and All Souls’ days, serving them generous meals and giving them gifts.

In the rural sections of Poland the charming story is told that at midnight on All Souls’ Day a great light may be seen in the parish church; the holy souls of all departed parishioners who are still in purgatory gather there to pray for their release before the very altar where they used to receive the Blessed Sacrament when still alive. Afterward the souls are said to visit the scenes of their earthly life and labors, especially their homes. To welcome them by an external sign the people leave doors and windows open on All Souls’ Day.

In Austria the holy souls are said to wander through the forests on All Souls’ Day, sighing and praying for their release, but unable to reach the living by external means that would indicate their presence. For this reason, the children are told to pray aloud while going through the open spaces to church and cemetery, so the poor souls will have the great consolation of seeing that their invisible presence is known and their pitiful cries for help are understood and answered. [Adapted from Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs by Fr. Francis Weiser.]

O God, Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through our devout prayers they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired.” (Collect from the first Mass of All Souls’ Day)”

Fr. Richard Boyle:

“It seems as though the world is always taking things we Catholics celebrate and twisting them for its own ends. For instance, Mardi Gras has gone from a celebration before we enter a time of penance to an excuse to eat and drink to excess. Halloween is no different. It has turned from a time of thinking of the four last things and praying for the Poor Souls to a time of celebrating evil.

 

As Catholics, we can reclaim this season by seeing a jack-o-lantern as a symbol of what God wants to do in each of our souls. We, like an un-carved pumpkin, have a great deal of junk within us. The pumpkin’s junk we call pulp and seeds but our junk we call sin. In order to remove it from our lives we sometimes need to be cut open. That happens when God takes away the things we are attached to so we can rely more fully on Him.

Once we, like the pumpkins, have been cut open the junk (sin) can be removed. Anyone with experience carving pumpkins will tell you that you must remove all of the junk in order to make carving easier, make room for the candle, and to keep the pumpkin from burning when the candle is placed inside. It is the same for us. The candle and its light are symbolic of Christ’s light within us. The cleaner we are, the easier time God will have carving us into the people He wants us to be. The cleaner we are, the better our light will be able to shine. The cleaner we are the less likely we will burn (in purgatory or worse).

 

The world sees this season as a time to revel in darkness. We must see this as the time to remove the bushel basket that covers our lamp so that the world may see our good deeds and give glory to God. Let your light shine in the darkness — for the darkness will not overcome it.”

 

~ Steven C. “The Knight of Tradition”

Prayer to St. Raphael

Image result for st. raphael

October 24th was the Feast of St. Raphael, Patron of Youth and happy/holy Marriages. This prayer is especially dear to me and I highly recommend it for its power and beauty.  St. Raphael is a powerful intercessor with God, for he is “the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord” (Tobias 12:15).  He is credited with healing the blind Tobit, as well as delivering Sarah, his son’s wife, from demons  May he deliver the Sacrament of Matrimony from those who stain and soil it with sin and uncleanness, and may he intercede for all Catholics today, that they would have happy and holy marriages, in imitation of Christ’s union with the Church.

O Glorious St. Raphael, Patron and Lover of the Young, I call upon thee and plead with thee for thy help. In all confidence I open my heart to thee, to beg thy guidance and assistance in the important task of planning my future. Obtain for me through thy intercession the light of God’s grace, so that I may decide wisely concerning the person who is to be my partner through life. O Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand to find each other. May all our movements be guided by thy light and transfigured by thy joy. As thou didst lead the young Tobias to Sara and opened up for him a new life of happiness with her in holy marriage, lead me to such a one whom in thine angelic wisdom thou dost judge best suited to be united with me in marriage.

St. Raphael, loving patron of those seeking a marriage partner, help me in this supreme decision of my life. Find for me as a helpmate in life that person whose character will reflect the traits of Jesus and Mary. May he(she) be upright, loyal, pure, sincere and noble, so that with united efforts and with chaste and unselfish love, we both may strive to perfect ourselves in soul and body, as well as the children it may please God to entrust to our care.

St. Raphael, Angel of chaste courtship, bless our friendship and our love, that sin may have no part in it. May our mutual love bind us so closely that our future home may ever be most like the home of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Offer thy prayers to God for both of us and obtain the blessing of God upon our marriage, as thou wert the herald of blessing for the marriage of Tobias and Sara.

St. Raphael, friend of the young, be thou my friend, for I shall always be thine. I desire to ever invoke thee in my needs. To thy special care I entrust the decision I am to make as to my future wife (husband). Direct me to the person with whom I can best cooperate in doing God’s Holy Will, with whom I can live in peace, love and harmony in this life and attain eternal joy in the next. Amen.

~Damsel of the Faith

Padre Pio and Abortion

Image result for padre pio

And how the world today has lost this Love and Sacrifice!  With Election Day in the U.S. fast approaching, it is disheartening to see such disregard and even diabolical hatred for human life. The fact that so many Americans, perhaps even a majority, are determined to elect candidates who are strong supporters of the slaughtering of innocents in the womb speaks volumes about the state of this nation.  Even worse is that so many of these candidates are elected because of the votes from American “Catholics”.  Catholics in America have consistently been voting in favor of the perverse Democratic party and have been the unfortunate “swing vote” in many elections.

There is certainly much need for proper catechesis here!  The great anger of the Good God towards this sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance was manifested through His great minister, Padre Pio.  Being such a providential instrument on Earth allowed Padre Pio to realize in a unique way the mind of God, and in our case, in His vigorous condemnation of Abortion. These words of Padre Pio, as strong as they are, reflect just how great the evil that is Abortion.

From the April 2011 issue of The Angelus:

THIS IS WHAT ST. PADRE PIO OF PIETRELCINA HAD TO SAY

“ABORTION IS NOT ONLY HOMICIDE, BUT ALSO SUICIDE”

Many people, confronted with the sin of abortion, confuse the law of the Nation—that permits and assists the interruption of pregnancy—with the law of God, where provoked abortion is always a sin against the Fifth Commandment. “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21-22) defends life independently of the human being’s age in years, months or days.

The interruption of pregnancy always creates trauma, a drama. It cannot be denied that what the woman lives through—who unfortunately doesn’t really want to be a mother—also concerns all those close to her, whose strong emotive reaction tends to justify such a great error. Confessors know those influences well, although they can never justify the suppression of a life.

PADRE PIO’S TESTIMONY

Padre Pellegrino asked St. Padre Pio one day, “Padre, this morning you denied absolution to a lady who confessed to an abortion. Why were you so rigorous with this poor unfortunate woman?”

Padre Pio answered, “The day people, frightened by the economic boom, physical damages or financial sacrifices, lose the horror of abortion will be the most terrible day for humanity. For, precisely on that day, they will have to show that they detest it.”

Then he took hold of his interlocutor’s habit with his right hand and put his left hand over his heart, as if he wanted to grab his heart, and said in an urgent tone, “Abortion is not only homicide but also suicide. And to these people we see on the point of committing two crimes…do we want to show our faith? Do we want to save them or not?”

“Why suicide?” asked Padre Pellegrino.

Full of holy anger, compensated by much sweetness and goodness, Padre Pio explained, “You would understand this suicide of the human race if with the eye of reason you could see the ‘beauty and joy’ of the earth populated by old men and depopulated by children, burnt as a desert. If you thought it over, then you would understand that abortion is even more serious. Abortion also mutilates the life of the parents. I would like to cover those parents with the ashes of their destroyed fetuses, to nail them with their responsibilities and stop the possibility of recurring to ignorance. The remains of a provoked abortion are not buried by false religiousness. It would be an abominable hypocrisy. Those ashes should be thrown at the murderous parents’ elegant faces. If I thought they were of good faith, I would not feel implicated in their crimes. You see, I am not a saint, but I never feel so close to sainthood as when I pronounce these words, undoubtedly a bit virulent, but just and useful, against those who commit this crime. I am certain that God approves of my rigor since, after those sorrowful struggles against evil, He always gives me—or rather let us say He imposes on me—moments of marvelous tranquility.”

Padre Pio observed to Padre Pellegrino that “if erroneous ideas are not eradicated from the minds of those who provoke abortions, it is useless to punish them with the rigors of the Church.” He argued, “By defending the arrival of children into the world, my rigor is always an act of faith and hope in our encounters with God on earth. Unfortunately, as time goes by, the battle gets tougher than we are. But we must fight anyway, because in spite of the certainty of a defeat on the map, our battle has the guarantee of a true victory: that of the new earth and the new heavens.”

Confronted with such considerations, what reasons could there be to justify such a great sin? It would also be a serious misdeed for the Church to cooperate with an abortion.

“GO AWAY, ANIMAL! GO AWAY!”

In the sacristy, in front of the confessional where Padre Pio received penitents, Mario Tentori waited for his turn seated on a bench. As he was examining his conscience, he heard Padre Pio shout, “Go away, animal, go away!” The Saint’s words were addressed to a man who had knelt at his feet to make his confession and who left the confessional humiliated, very moved and confused. The next day Mario got the train in Foggia to return to Milan. He sat in a compartment where there was only one other traveler, who began to look at him, visibly showing a desire to start a conversation. Finally he got the courage and asked him, “Weren’t you in the sacristy yesterday at San Giovanni Rotondo to go to confession to Padre Pio?”

“Yes, I was!” answered Tentori.

The other man continued, “We were seated on the same bench. My turn was just before yours. I am the one who Padre Pio threw out calling me an ‘animal.’ Do you remember that?”

“Yes,” Mario stated.

The traveling companion continued, “Being outside of the confessional, perhaps none of you heard the words that motivated the Padre’s reaction. Well, Padre Pio told me, and I quote, ‘Go away, animal, go away, because you have had abortions three times in agreement with your wife.’ Do you understand? Padre Pio told me, ‘You have aborted!’ He addressed me, because the initiative to abort always came from me.”

And he broke into sobbing, expressing his sorrow that way, as he himself asserted, and the will not to sin again with the firm determination to return and meet with Padre Pio to receive absolution and change his way of life.

Padre Pio’s rigor had saved the life of a father who, after denying life to three infants, was in danger of losing his own soul for all eternity.

RESPECT FOR THE PURPOSE OF MATRIMONY

What contributes to depopulating the earth, as our Saint says, which is “burnt like a desert” since children’s smiles are no longer seen there, is the decrease in the birth rate, chosen too often for selfish reasons or objective financial problems. Medical concerns also contribute to cause aging in the earth’s population.

One of Padre Pio’s spiritual children confessed to us, “During the second confession I made to him—he had sent me away the first time—after telling him my sins, the Padre asked me, “Anything else?” I said no. And looking me in the eye he asked me, “And in holy matrimony, have you done things right with your wife?”

“No, Father,” I answered, “because doctors forbid us to have more children.”

And he responded, “And what do doctors have to do with this?”

“They said we could procreate a monster,” I answered him.

“You would have deserved it!” shouted the Saint. And he kicked me out of the confessional again.

Taken from the Swiss District magazine Le Rocher, No. 53.

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

The necessity and power of the Rosary

The importance and necessity of the Rosary has been reiterated throughout the centuries, since Our Lady gave the Rosary to St. Dominic.  In modern times, Our Lady came to Fatima as Our Lady of the Rosary, to plead with her children to pray her Psalter, for the peace and salvation of the world. The following praise of the Rosary by many Saints and Popes give us an idea of the importance of the rosary in the life of a Catholic:

“We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy, repeating to him the words of the young shepherd: ‘Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies…and all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for this is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands’” (I Kings 17, 45-47)”   ~Pope Pius XII

“Of all the prayers, the Rosary is the most beautiful and the richest in graces; of all it is the one most pleasing to Mary, the Virgin Most Holy.”   ~Pope St. Pius X

“I beg of you to beware of thinking of the Rosary as something of little importance – as do ignorant people and even several great but proud scholars. Far from being insignificant, the rosary is a priceless treasure which is inspired by God.”   ~St. Louis de Montfort

“To vocal prayer we must add mental prayer, which enlightens the mind, inflames the heart and disposes the soul to listen to the voice of Wisdom, to savor his delights and possess his treasures. For myself, I know of no better way of establishing the kingdom of God, Eternal Wisdom, than to unite vocal and mental prayer by saying the holy Rosary and meditating on its fifteen mysteries.”   ~St. Louis de Montfort

“Now, to appease the might of an outraged God and to bring that health of soul so needed by those who are sorely afflicted, there is nothing better than devout and persevering prayer, provided it be joined with a love for and practice of Christian life. And both of these, the spirit of prayer and the practice of Christian life, are best attained through the devotion of the Rosary of Mary.”   ~Pope Leo XIII

“The form of prayer We refer to has obtained the special name of ‘Rosary,’ as though it represented by its arrangement the sweetness of roses and the charm of a garland. This is most fitting for a method of venerating the Virgin, who is rightly styled the Mystical Rose of Paradise, and who, as Queen of the universe, shines therein with a crown of stars. So that by its very name it appears to foreshadow and be an augury of the joys and garlands of Heaven offered by her to those who are devoted to her. This appears clearly if we consider the nature of the Rosary of Our Lady.”   ~Pope Leo XIII

“We well know the Rosary’s powerful efficacy to obtain the maternal aid of the Virgin. By no means is there only one way to pray to obtain this aid. However, We consider the Holy Rosary the most convenient and most fruitful means, as is clearly suggested by the very origin of this practice, heavenly rather than human, and by its nature. What prayers are better adapted and more beautiful than the Lord’s prayer and the angelic salutation, which are the flowers with which this mystical crown is formed? With meditation of the Sacred Mysteries added to the vocal prayers, there emerges another very great advantage, so that all, even the most simple and least educated, have in this a prompt and easy way to nourish and preserve their own faith.”   ~Pope Pius XII

“Among the various supplications with which we successfully appeal to the Virgin Mother of God, the Holy Rosary without doubt occupies a special and distinct place. This prayer, which some call the Psalter of the Virgin or Breviary of the Gospel and of Christian life, was described and recommended by Our Predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, with these vigorous passages: ‘Very admirable is this crown interwoven with the angelic salutation which is interposed in the Sunday prayer, and unites with it the obligation of interior meditation. It is an excellent manner of prayer… and very useful for the attainment of immortal life’ (Acta Leonis, 1898, Vol. XVIII, pp. 154, 155). And this can well be deduced from the very flowers that form this mystic garland. What prayers in fact can be found more adaptable and holy? This first is that which our Divine Redeemer Himself pronounced when His disciples asked Him: ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ (Luke xi, 1); a very holy supplication which both offers us the way – as far as it is possible for us – to render glory to God, and also takes into account all the necessities of our body and soul. How can the Eternal Father, when prayed to with the very words of His Son, refuse to come to our aid? The other prayer is the Angelic Salutation, which begins with the eulogies of the Archangel Gabriel and of St. Elizabeth, and ends with that very pious supplication by which we beg the help of the Blessed Virgin now and at the hour of our death. To these invocations, said aloud, is added the contemplation of the sacred mysteries, through which they place, as it were, under our eyes the joys, sorrows and triumphs of Jesus Christ and of His Mother, so that we receive relief and comfort in our sorrows. Following those most holy examples, we ascend to the happiness of the heavenly country by steps of ever higher virtue.”   ~Pope Pius XI

But this title of the Rosary, this mode of prayer which seems to contain, as it were, a final pledge of affection, and to sum up in itself the honor due to Our Lady, has always been highly cherished and widely used in private and in public, in homes and in families, in the meetings of confraternities, at the dedication of shrines, and in solemn processions; for there has seemed to be no better means of conducting sacred solemnities, or of obtaining protection and favors.”   ~Pope Leo XIII

“The contemplation of these august mysteries, contemplated in their order, affords to faithful souls a wonderful confirmation of faith, protection against the disease of error, and increase of the strength of the soul. The soul and memory of him who thus prays, enlightened by faith, are drawn towards these mysteries by the sweetest devotion, are absorbed therein and are surprised before the work of the Redemption of mankind, achieved at such a price and by events so great. The soul is filled with gratitude and love before these proofs of Divine love; its hope becomes enlarged and its desire is increased for those things which Christ has prepared for such as have united themselves to Him in imitation of His example and in participation in His sufferings. The prayer is composed of words proceeding from God Himself, from the Archangel Gabriel, and from the Church; full of praise and of high desires; and it is renewed and continued in an order at once fixed and various; its fruits are ever new and sweet.”    ~Pope Leo XIII

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.”   ~St. Louis de Montfort

“Our Lady wants all to wear the Scapular. The Scapular and the Rosary are inseparable.”   ~Sr. Lucy of Fatima

“May Mary, the Mother of God and of men, herself the authoress and teacher of the Rosary, procure for Us its happy fulfillment.”   ~Pope Leo XIII

“How grateful and magnificent a spectacle to see in the cities, and towns, and villages, on land and sea-wherever the Catholic faith has penetrated-many hundreds of thousands of pious people uniting their praises and prayers with one voice and heart at every moment of the day, saluting Mary, invoking Mary, hoping everything through Mary.”   ~Pope Leo XIII

“If you wish to convert anyone to the fullness of the knowledge of Our Lord and of His Mystical Body, then teach him the Rosary. One of two things will happen. Either he will stop saying the Rosary – or he will get the gift of faith.”   ~Archbishop Fulton Sheen

“But there is no need to seek for examples of this power in a past age, since we have in the present a signal instance of it. In these times – so troublous (as we have said before) for the Church, and so heartrending for ourselves – set as We are by the Divine will at the helm, it is still given Us to note with admiration the great zeal and fervor with which Mary’s Rosary is honored and recited in every place and nation of the Catholic world. And this circumstance, which assuredly is to be attributed to the Divine action and direction upon men, rather than to the wisdom and efforts of individuals, strengthens and consoles Our heart, filling Us with great hope for the ultimate and most glorious triumph of the Church under the auspices of Mary.”   ~Pope Leo XIII

“It is impossible to meditate with devotion upon the mysteries of the Rosary and live in a state of sin.”
~St. John Vianney

“I have no better way of knowing if a man is for God than if he likes to say the Hail Mary and the Rosary.”   ~St. Louis de Montfort

~Damsel of the Faith

Damsel of the Faith celebrates 2nd Anniversary

 

Image result for thank you readers

Dear friends and readers,

The Damsel has requested that I write a post for this day, being exactly two years since our blog featured its first entries.  We thank all of our dear readers very much for their support.  The Damsel and I fully intend to continue providing edifying articles and, of course, to continue spreading the TRUTH for many, many years to come.

Having followed this blog from the beginning, I have always greatly admired its true Catholic spirit.  Even though this apostolate is run on a blog format, it is actually intended to counteract the influence of typical blogs today.  Like most forms of media, the devil is obtaining an ever greater power over the Internet.  Lies, half-truths, and gossip consistently dominate.  Thank God, however, that there are still many sites that faithfully profess what is good and true.  As such, I have always appreciated the manner in which the Damsel writes about the crisis in the Church: with great firmness and strength, but with great charity and fairness.  I am very honored to have met her and to now have the privilege to assist her in her wonderful work for Tradition and the Church.

In our Sacred duty as Soldiers of Christ, let us remember these words of St. Augustine: “Do not despair, one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume, one of the thieves was damned.”  We must not despair!  Our Lord has promised us the victory!  It is assured to us!  Even though there may be a few difficult years ahead, God has meant that we live in this time for a reason- to fight for the restoration of His Kingship and become great saints! And He has given us so many graces, not the least including our faithful traditional Catholic Priests, Religious, and friends!  On the other hand, may we not presume!  Our Lord only promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church herself, not necessarily those Catholics who would lukewarmly trudge through this crisis.  Let us continue to fight the good fight for the restoration of the Church and of Christendom!

Thank you all for your continuing support! May God bless our readers!  Above all, keep the Faith!

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

 

Image result for viva Cristo Rey