Fr. Daniel Cooper, RIP

news-header-image

Fr. Daniel Cooper, beloved Priest of the Society, passed away peacefully on May 1, first day of the Month of Mary & the Feast of St. Joseph, after a difficult battle with cancer. He will be remembered as a very kind & holy priest, faithful to the True Faith & Mass. He was instrumental in my own pastor’s transition into the Society & his ordination to the Priesthood. May he rest in peace.  Below read his own beautiful account of his priestly ministry:

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/journey-econe-fr-coopers-journal-recounting-his-ordination-1987

 

As our plane descended into Geneva’s airport, the first thing that struck me was the beauty of the countryside—it was so green and all the homes looked so clean and bright. Father Bourmaud and I still had a long way to get to Ecône; by train, it’s another two hours from Geneva. Along the train route the majestic mountains caused me to gasp—I didn’t think a country could have so much natural beauty.

The train stop for Ecône is the town of Martigny. We were met there (much to my surprise) by my father who had taken an earlier flight to Europe and had rented a car. As we drove up the road to the seminary I felt I had been there before. This was my first trip outside of North America, but I had seen so many pictures of the Society’s first seminary that it was not entirely new to me.

We arrived just at lunch time and two American seminarians, James Doran and Timothy Pfeiffer, introduced me to several seminarians at Ecône, especially those who spoke English. (I spoke only English; two years of high school French did not help me much at all, though the longer I was there the more I began to recall the little French I had learned.) It was rather surprising however, how many did indeed speak English. I had one slightly embarrassing moment when I asked an Irishman if he was British. Since he was good-natured, I escaped unharmed. It’s a good thing I didn’t speak French too or I might have caused several international uprisings.

Another thing that we Americans might find surprising is the way they eat at Ecône. They eat and drink out of the same bowl at breakfast. At dinner, soup, salad and the entree are also eaten in the same soup plate. For me, that was not any problem, but I did miss cold drinks of orange juice or milk at breakfast (they always drink hot milk and coffee). And all over Europe it was difficult to get ice water. I might have raised a few eyebrows at how little wine I drank, but like most Americans I prefer water at my meals, a horror to the French, I’m afraid.

During the five days before my ordination I tried to spend the time in a private retreat. It was not easy as Ecône is a bustle of activity during that week. Those days became increasingly tense for me. I suppose as the day of my ordination approached I realized better the great responsibilities of the priesthood and my own weaknesses. The retreat I had made under Father Snyder in Boston, Kentucky before going to Europe had helped me considerably to prepare myself, but I still felt somewhat afraid.

Ordination Day

The day dawned sunny and warm as I rather expected. The reason I expected it is that I was told every year the local people make a novena in honor of Padre Pio for good weather. Since 1978, the good Padre has not failed them—always good weather. This year, some said they should have prayed for overcast skies as the sun was brutally hot and caused a few to pass out during the long ceremonies.

We knew there was a huge crowd but we kept our eyes lowered as we progressed to the huge outdoor tent where the ceremonies would be held. The clicking of cameras and the organ music was all I really heard. The procession seemed endless. I had never seen so many priests gathered together in one place. All that day I marveled at the number of priests united in their love for the traditions of the Catholic Faith and later, when we sang Vespers together, I felt very proud to be a member of such a Fraternity, joined with so many good men.

Though the ceremonies lasted four hours it all went rather fast for me. I thought I would be shaking like a leaf but instead I was calm and resigned to whatever responsibilities God would ask of me in the priesthood. After Archbishop Lefebvre placed his hands on the head of each one of us (the matter of the Sacrament), so did all the priests in attendance. Just this part of the ceremony probably lasted twenty minutes or more. All during that time I invoked every priest in heaven I could think of by name from Sts. Peter and Paul to Sts. John Bosco and Pius X. I included also some priests not canonized but most probably in heaven, like Padre Pio, Pius XII and Father Solanus. I asked Our Lord to make us priests according to His Own Heart as He made all of them.

Soon afterwards, Monseigneur Lefebvre sang the preface of the ordination and said the words that are the form of the Sacrament. We were priests. I was slightly dazed as I kept saying to myself, “I am a priest.” Then I could only add, “Please make us good and holy priests.” The rest of the ceremony seemed to move quickly.

Father Bourmaud knelt next to me as I, along with the other ordinands, celebrated with the Archbishop the Holy Mass. That was a great joy for me, and during the distribution of Holy Communion I had plenty of time to thank God for such great graces and joys given to me on that day. Father Hannifin was right. He had told me back in Kentucky, “This will be the happiest day of your life.” At the time I thought I’d only be very nervous, but he was right, happiness and joy came over me.

 

A Priestly Journey Begins

The next day, June 30, we would offer up our first Masses. Monsignor Hodgson had come all the way from Pittsburgh to attend the ordinations and assist me at my first Mass by preaching. When I was fourteen he had been one of our priests in the Detroit mission, so it was quite a pleasure to have him here now to assist at my first Mass. Father Brandler, an American professor at Ecône was also there and Father Bourmaud again assisted me at the altar. Though I kept trying, it was difficult for me to realize the greatness of this moment because I was rather distracted trying to get all the ceremonies correct.

On July 1, I was in Ars, France, saying Mass on the same altar St. Jean Vianney once did. I had asked the sacristan there if I might say Mass and he allowed me to, not knowing I was going to say the Latin Tridentine Mass. He also said I could celebrate Mass on the altar where the body of St. Jean Vianney lies, but in that case, I would be concelebrating with an English priest. I said, “No, thank you,” and went to say Mass privately. I probably made a mistake in wearing my own vestments for this Mass, as their bright red color and Roman cut drew too much notice, including the sacristan’s, who then realized I was saying the old Mass. But it was the Feast of the Precious Blood and I didn’t want to wear the single white cloak he had laid out for me. However, he didn’t interrupt me and I nervously completed the Holy Sacrifice.

I enjoyed very much the town of Ars and its sights. After dinner that evening, I went for a walk with my family and we saw a sign saying “Recontre Monument—2 Km.” Not knowing much French at all, I thought it meant “resistance” or something similar and said, “must be a war monument of some kind.” Well, we walked there and were very pleased to find it was the monument of the meeting of the young Cure’ of Ars and the little boy who came out to greet him. “Show me the way to Ars,” said the saint, “and I will show you the way to heaven.” I didn’t think I would see that statue as I had no idea where it was, so perhaps that little boy came again to show us the way. My family and I also visited Paray-le-Monial where the Sacred Heart appeared to St. Margaret Mary; Nevers, where St. Bernadette lived as a nun and the city of Paris.

A Return Home

After my family returned to the United States I traveled to Rome and spent nearly a week visiting the beautiful basilicas and shrines there. I walked almost everywhere I went and sometimes in Rome it can be difficult to cross the street. I’m used to cars stopping for pedestrians, but in Rome its more like everyone goes where he likes. They do have traffic lights, just a lot less than we do. So I started getting behind big Italians who just walked out in front of oncoming traffic. Its amazing how they all avoid collisions. Still the most frightening was the cab driver who drove backwards. When I arrived in Albano I had no idea where our Society’s house was, so I showed the address to a cabbie. He had me get in, but since the house was just down the street (and his cab was facing the other way) he didn’t bother turning around. He just drove backwards in the face of oncoming traffic! My gripping the dashboard and screaming “turn around!” didn’t phase him at all. We just went backwards, stop and go, all the way to the house.

I would have to say the greatest delight for me (besides the ordination) was the unity among the priests of the Society. Everywhere I went to say Mass—Paris, Saarbrucken, Basel, Albano—I was treated very kindly and hospitably by my fellow priests, even though I had come without previous notice. Everyone went out of their way to be friendly, even though my lack of foreign languages made it rather difficult to communicate.

I was grateful for my Latin in the Seminary which enabled me to speak with a professor from Brazil who was visiting Albano and also to communicate more easily with my fellow priests. Who said Latin was a dead language?

Published in The Angelus, August, 1987

Advertisements

SSPX couple barred from being godparents – Diocese of Baffalo

Related image

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/diocese-buffalo-denies-catholicity-society-st-pius-x

The persecution of the Society continues. How the Modernists tout these lies is beyond me. How is it that the Faith the Saints practiced is now non-Catholic & the religion of a false sect?  Let them eat their own words, for the religion they profess as Catholicism no sane Pope, Saint or Catholic for the past 1,950 years would recognize as even remotely Catholic. Kudos to the family for having the child baptized at an SSPX chapel, where the child can most assuredly be raised in the entirety of the Faith, without compromise.

A married couple who attend the SSPX chapel in NY were denied the ability by the local Diocese to be Baptismal Godparents for a relative’s baby.

An unfortunate and unsettling incident concerning the Society of Saint Pius X has unfolded over the past several weeks in Buffalo, New York. When officials of the Diocese of Buffalo learned that a married couple attending the local SSPX mission had been asked to participate as Godparents in their niece’s scheduled baptism on Sunday, April 15, 2018, they sprung into action.

Mr. and Mrs. X of Batavia, parishioners of the Society’s Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Buffalo, were informed by the diocese that they could not act as Godparents at the baptism. Instead, they were told they could assist only as “witnesses” (according to Canon 874 §2). The decision was made by Sister Regina Murphy, SSMN, interim chancellor of the Diocese and confirmed by Buffalo’s auxiliary, Bishop Edward Grosz.

The Diocese Clarifies Its Position

Despite a Wednesday, April 11 phone meeting with U.S. District Superior Fr. Jürgen Wegner, and the Society providing explanatory documents regarding its canonical status, Sr. Regina insisted in an email on Thursday, April 12 to the District that it would be impossible for Catholics attending a Society chapel to act as Godparents, writing:

The Society of St. Pius X is not in full communion with the Pope and does not recognize the validity of many of the decisions of Vatican Council II. While a baptized Roman Catholic who attends a church sponsored by the Society of St. Pius X could be a witness at a Roman Catholic Baptism, he or she may not be a sponsor for the child being baptized for the following reasons: The person practices his or her Catholic faith within a church that is not in union with the Church of Rome and which has rejected the absolute authority of the Holy Father and many of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council[.]
. . .

A child should not be put in the position where confusion could result from parents attending a church in union with Rome and the Godparents attending a Catholic Church not in union with Rome. This is not a judgement on the faith life or sincerity of any individual person, but it is simply a case of finding sponsors who are living the Roman Catholic Faith in order to help pass on that Faith.

There is a considerable difference between a Godparent and a witness. The presence of a Godparent goes back to the early Church: they make the profession of faith in the name of the one to be baptized and contract a real spiritual relationship with obligations. A witness merely testifies that the baptism took place validly.

A Contradictory Statement

It is contradictory to recognize that the faithful who attend Society chapels are “baptized Roman Catholics” who “practice[] [their] Catholic Faith” yet are not “living the Roman Catholic Faith” and cannot “help pass on that Faith.” They are instead recognized as being able to assist only as witnesses, under Canon 874 as they do not belong to the Catholic Church, but are instead baptized members of a “non-Catholic ecclesial community.”

Mr. Y of Eden, New York, the father of the newborn who had scheduled the baptism at his parish (Saint Anthony of Padua in Buffalo, which hosts a diocesan Traditional Mass) logically asks:

What makes the Society [of Saint Pius X] not Catholic? They’re simply continuing to worship and teach as Catholicism has done for 2,000 years. Yet the Diocese of Buffalo and the Bishop have no problem in doing things always condemned by the Church. They participate in and promote false, non-Catholic worship. Last year, the Bishop prayed with the Lutherans and celebrated 500 years of their schism, a real schism. The Diocese has also scandalously sold off beautiful churches like Queen of Peace, Saint Gerard and Saint Agnes to become Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples. There’s a huge discrepancy here which can’t be ignored.

His brother (the chosen Godfather), stated:

I feel insulted, to say the least, that we were not recognized as Catholics, and that it was suggested we assist as ‘Christian witnesses.’ How can it be admitted that attending Mass at a church of the Society [of Saint Pius X] fulfill one’s Sunday obligation, yet we aren’t considered Catholic?

An Injustice Committed

The Diocese of Buffalo clearly considers the Society of St. Pius X a non-Catholic denomination. Further, simple attendance at Mass at an SSPX chapel is interpreted as a formal act of defection from the Catholic Church. This, in spite of even current canonical legislation!

The recent debate over SSPX marriages is enlightening here. In the case of marriage, every Catholic is bound to submit to Church authority since jurisdiction is required for a valid marriage. Thus, a Catholic must be married by the priest that has proper authority or a priest that received delegation. If a Catholic does not follow the “ordinary form” of the marriage, his marriage is invalid. The only exceptions Canon Law foresees are situations where a Catholic cannot access a priest. Such situations can be situations in the diaspora, or, as the SSPX rightfully claims, situations where a Catholic fears that the full, integral, and uncompromised understanding of the Church’s marriage doctrine might be put in danger during marriage preparation and the celebration of marriage itself. Non-Catholics, not being under the authority of the Church, are not bound to follow the canonical form instituted by the Church. As such, their marriages may still be considered valid.

Over the past decades,  marriages witnessed by priests of the Society of St. Pius X were “annulled” through defect of form exactly because  Catholics who participated in the parish life of the Society were considered Catholic, but in an irregular canonical situation. (As a side note, for those who are scandalized at recent instances when a diocesan priest or religious received the vows of SSPX faithful, they are apparently ignorant of the fact that this has been a practice of the SSPX since the beginning. The recent legislation only formalizes what has been done on an ad hoc basis in the past. Unlike some have claimed, there is nothing new here.)

The Diocese of Buffalo apparently wants it both ways: the Society is a non-Catholic denomination when it comes to baptism, but Catholic when it comes to marriage. The irony is that, in this case, it is the SSPX that insists on following the Church’s law to the letter—and for this faithful Catholics are the ones who suffer!

A Happy End

In the end, the baby was happily baptized at the local Society chapel on Good Shepherd Sunday, with the participation of the selected Godparents. The U.S. District of the Society of Saint Pius X has informed the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei of this injustice and hopes for a clarification from Rome so that this sad situation will not be repeated. The SSPX will continue to do what the Church has always done for the good of souls, regardless of circumstances.

 

The inerrant teaching of the Church on damnation

Image result for hell

Those within the Church who reject the reality of hell would do well to remember the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the timeless teaching of the Church that hell is real and people go there. A pity the Vicar of Christ rejects this Dogma. How long will this heresy be foisted upon the Church? Time will tell.

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2018/04/antidote-to-denial-of-hell.html

TESTIMONY OF THE INERRANT SCRIPTURES:

“And they shall go out, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched: and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh.” (Isaiah 66:24)

“Woe be to the nation that riseth up against my people: for the Lord Almighty will take revenge on them, in the day of judgment He will visit them. For He will give fire, and worms into their flesh, that they may burn, and may feel for ever.” (Judith 16:20-21)

“And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire [Gehenna].” (Matthew 18:8-9)

“Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

“And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [Gehenna], into unquenchable fire: ‘Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.’ And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: ‘Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.’ And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God, than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire: ‘Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.'” (Mark 6:42-47)

“And the rich man also died, and he was buried. And in hell [Hades], lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great Chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments.” (Luke 16:22-28)

“Seeing it is a just thing with God to repay tribulation to them that trouble you and, to you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with the angels of his power, in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his power: When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed . . .” (II Thess. 1:6-10)

“. . . . the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast and the false prophet shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Apocalypse 20:9-10)

TESTIMONY OF THE INFALLIBLE CHURCH:

“O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the thief the reward of his confession, grant us the effect of Thy clemency: that as our Lord Jesus Christ in His passion gave to each a different recompense according to his merits, so may He deliver us from our old sins and grant us the grace of His resurrection.” (Ancient Collect for the traditional Roman Mass of Holy Thursday and Liturgy of Good Friday) *

“. . . And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.” (Conclusion of the Athanasian Creed, the Quicumque Vult, circa A.D. 500)

“If anyone says or holds that the punishment of devils and wicked men is temporary and will eventually cease, that is to say, that devils or the ungodly will be completely restored to their original state: let him be anathema.” (Synod of Constantinople A.D. 543, formally reaffirmed by Pope Vigilius and the Second Council of Constantinople A.D. 553)

“. . . The punishment for original sin [i.e., those who die unbaptised before the age of reason] is the loss of the vision of God [i.e., “Limbo,” the Limbus infantium]; but the punishment for actual sin [i.e., the wicked who die without repentance] is the torment of an everlasting hell.” (Pope Innocent III’s Epistle to the Archbishop of Arles, A.D. 1201)

“. . . [Christ] will come at the end of the world; he will judge the living and the dead; and he will reward all, both the lost and the elect, according to their works. And all these will rise with their own bodies which they now have so that they may receive according to their works, whether good or bad; the wicked, a perpetual punishment with the devil; the good, eternal glory with Christ.” (Fourth Lateran Council, A.D. 1215)

“But if anyone dies unrepentant in the state of mortal sin, he will undoubtedly be tormented forever in the fires of an everlasting hell.” (Pope Innocent IV’s Epistle to the Bishop of Tusculum, A.D. 1254)

“The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with only original sin soon go down into hell, but there they receive different punishments.” (Creed of the Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274, repeated by the Council of Florence, A.D. 1438-1445)

 

“Turning next to those who shall stand on His left, He will pour out His justice upon them in these words: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. The first words, depart from me, express the heaviest punishment with which the wicked shall be visited, their eternal banishment from the sight of God, unrelieved by one consolatory hope of ever recovering so great a good. This punishment is called by theologians the pain of loss, because in hell the wicked shall be deprived forever of the light of the vision of God. The words ye cursed, which follow, increase unutterably their wretched and calamitous condition. If when banished from the divine presence they were deemed worthy to receive some benediction, this would be to them a great source of consolation. But since they can expect nothing of this kind as an alleviation of their misery, the divine justice deservedly pursues them with every species of malediction, once they have been banished. The next words, into everlasting fire, express another sort of punishment, which is called by theologians the pain of sense, because, like lashes, stripes or other more severe chastisements, among which fire, no doubt, produces the most intense pain, it is felt through the organs of sense. When, moreover, we reflect that this torment is to be eternal, we can see at once that the punishment of the damned includes every kind of suffering. The concluding words, which was prepared for the devil and his angels, make this still more clear. For since nature has so provided that we feel miseries less when we have companions and sharers in them who can, at least in some measure, assist us by their advice and kindness, what must be the horrible state of the damned who in such calamities can never separate themselves from the companionship of most wicked demons? And yet most justly shall this very sentence be pronounced by our Lord and Saviour on those sinners who neglected all the works of true mercy, who gave neither food to the hungry, nor drink to the thirsty, who refused shelter to the stranger and clothing to the naked, and who would not visit the sick and the imprisoned.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent, A.D. 1566, on Article VII of the Creed, “From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead”)

“And after this mortal life there is no place left for repentance for justification. Therefore, all who die in actual mortal sin are excluded from the kingdom of God and will suffer forever the torments of hell where there is no redemption. Also those who die with only original sin will never have the holy vision of God.” (Schema of the First Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Principal Mysteries of the Faith, A.D. 1870 – the Council was forced to adjourn before it could approve this schema, but the schema correctly expresses what the Church believes and teaches on these points)

Rosary on the coast of the British Isles

Image result for rosary

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/rosary-coast-taking-massive-proportions-british-isles-37253

This Sunday, let us join the British in praying for the conversion of their nations & ours. Only Lady can save us through the power of her rosary.

In the United Kingdom, nearly 200 locations are ready for the prayer groups who will come to recite the Rosary on the coasts on April 29, 2017. Nine bishops have announced they will attend the event.

The mass prayer event, scheduled for 3pm on Sunday April 29, will extend from the island of Guernsey off the coast of France to St Ninian’s Isle in Shetland, between Scotland and Norway.

An online map of the 197 locations shows the greatest density of prayer groups is around Portsmouth, which covers much of the West Country.

Organizers – whose initiative follows similar events in Poland and Ireland – say the day is aimed at a “re-flourishing of the faith, for the grace to build a culture of life and for true peace to reign in the hearts of all peoples and nations”.

The angel of the trenches

3CA80070-4D8A-4415-906F-172C677160B3

The following is the little known story of the brave and heroic American military chaplain of World War I:

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/memoriam-priest-who-became-angel-trenches-37169

Just one-hundred years ago, an American military chaplain was given the nickname “Angel of the Trenches” in Apremont-la-Forêt, after several heroic acts.

Joao Baptista DeValles was born in 1879 in Saint Miquel in the Azores. At the age of 2 his family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts. His first name anglicized to John, he quickly proved himself a brilliant student, eventually being fluent in six languages. Ordained a priest in 1906, he served at Falls River at Espirito Santo Church, founding the first Portuguese language parochial school in the United States while he was there. He later served at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Bedford and was pastor at Saint John the Baptist Church, also in New Bedford.

A Heroic Military Chaplain

On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany and entered the fray in Europe. Fr. John De Valles joined the Army as a chaplain, serving with the 104th regiment, a Massachusetts National Guard outfit, part of the Yankee (26th) Division, made up of National Guard units from New England. The Yankee Division arrived in France in September 1917.

The 104th was on the front lines in all of the major campaigns of the American Expeditionary Force. For heroic fighting at Bois Brule (Burnt Woods) in Apremont, outside of Saint-Mihiel, in April, 1918, the French government awarded the regiment a collective Croix de Guerre, an unprecedented honor for an American military unit.

There were quite a few very brave men in the 104th, and among the bravest of the brave was Chaplain DeValles. For his heroism in rescuing wounded, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest decoration for valor in the United States Army. Created on January 2, 1918, this decoration rewards acts of heroism “so notable and involving a risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.”

 

The Text of the Citation

104th Infantry Regiment, 26th Division, A.E.F. Date of Action: April 10 – 13, 1918 Citation: The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to John B. De Valles, Chaplain, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Apremont, Toul sector, France, April 10 to 13, 1918. Chaplain De Valles repeatedly exposed himself to heavy artillery and machine-gun fire in order to assist in the removal of the wounded from exposed points in advance of the lines. He worked for long periods of time with stretcher bearers in carrying wounded men to safety. Chaplain De Valles previously rendered gallant service in the Chemin des Dames sector, March 11, 1918, by remaining with a group of wounded during a heavy enemy bombardment. General Orders No. No. 35, W.D., 1920

Angel of the Trenches

One of the many horrors of the trench warfare of World War I, was the plight of wounded soldiers trapped in No Man’s Land. Night after night Father DeValles would go out to rescue Allied and German wounded, risking his life to save theirs. After one such mission he was found the next day wounded and unconscious next to a dead soldier he had been trying to aid. The newspapers began to refer to him as the Angel of the Trenches.

The French government recognized his heroism with the Croix de Guerre and membership in the Legion of Honor.

Close to His Men

He was known to the men of the 104th as Father John. For his courage and good humor he was popular with his fellow soldiers. He would routinely make “loans” to the men of the 104th who needed assistance, after making certain that the money would not be used for immoral purposes. He recorded the “loans” meticulously, but when Pay Day rolled around, he would invariably tell his orderly to rip out the page of his journal containing the “loan” record.

Father DeValles’ life was brief after his service in World War I. His health had been wrecked by his wounds during the War, and especially by the mustard gas he had breathed in. He died on May 12, 1920 at age 41, a few hours before his Distinguished Service Cross arrived. But earthly decorations are nothing compared to Heaven’s reward. All of New Bedford mourned his passing.

Source: The American Catholic / FSSPX.News – 4/19/2018

Our Lord’s words on His Incarnation

Image result for st. bridget of sweden

The words of Our Lord to St. Bridget of Sweden, on the mystery of the incarnation and the descration & rejection of the Faith.

“I am the Creator of the heavens and the earth, one in Divinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. I am the one who spoke to the patriarchs and the prophets and the one whom they awaited. For the sake of their longing and in agreement with my promise, I assumed flesh without sin and concupiscence, by entering the womb of the Virgin like the sun shining through the clearest gem. For just as the sun does not damage the glass by entering it, likewise the virginity of the Virgin was not lost when I assumed Manhood. I assumed flesh in such a way that I did not have to forsake my Divinity, and I was no less God – with the Father and the Holy Spirit, governing and upholding all things – although I was in the womb of the Virgin in my human nature. Just as brightness is never separated from fire, so too, my Divinity was never separated from my Humanity, not even in death.

Thereafter I allowed my pure and sinless body to be wounded from the foot to the head, and to be crucified for all the sins of mankind. That same body is now offered each day on the altar so that mankind might love me more and remember my great deeds more often. But now I am totally forgotten, neglected, despised, and expelled as a king is from his own kingdom and in whose place the most wicked robber has been elected and honored.

I have indeed wanted my kingdom to be within man, and by right I should be King and Lord over him, for I made him and redeemed him. However, now he has broken and desecrated the faith which he promised me in his baptism, and he has broken and spurned my laws and commandments which I prescribed and revealed to him. He loves his own will and refuses to hear me. In addition, he exalts the most wicked robber, the devil, above me and has given him his faith. The devil really is a robber, since he steals for himself, by way of evil temptations, bad councils, and false promises, the human soul that I redeemed with my blood. But he does not do this because he is mightier than me; for I am so mighty that I can do all things with a word, and so just, that even if all the saints asked me, I would not do the least thing against justice.

But, since man, who has been given free will, willfully rejects my commandments and obeys the devil, it is only right that he also experiences his tyranny and malice. This devil was created good by me, but fell by his own wicked will, and has become, so to speak, my servant for inflicting vengeance on the workers of evil.

Yet, even though I am now so despised, I am still so merciful that whoever prays for my mercy and humbles himself in amendment shall be forgiven his sins, and I shall save him from the evil robber – the devil. But to those who continue despising me, I shall visit my justice upon them, so that those hearing it will tremble, and those who feel it will say: “Woe, that we were ever conceived or born! Woe, that we ever provoked the Lord of majesty to wrath!”

But you, my daughter, whom I have chosen for myself, and with whom I now speak in spirit: love me with all your heart – not as you love your son or daughter or parents, but more than anything in the world – since I, who created you, did not spare any of my limbs in suffering for your sake! Yet, I love your soul so dearly that, rather than losing you, I would let myself be crucified again, if it were possible. Imitate my humility; for I, the King of glory and of angels, was clothed in ugly, wretched rags and stood naked at the pillar and heard all kinds of insults and ridicule with my own ears. Always prefer my will before your own, because my Mother, your Lady, has, from the beginning to the end, never wanted anything but what I wanted.

If you do this, then your heart shall be with my heart, and it will be inflamed by my love in the same way that anything dry becomes rapidly inflamed by fire. Your soul shall be so inflamed and filled with me, and I will be in you, so that everything worldly becomes bitter to you and all fleshly lusts like poison. You will rest in the arms of my Divinity, where no fleshly desires exist, but only spiritual delight and joy which fill the delighted soul with happiness – inwardly and outwardly – so that it thinks of nothing and desires nothing but the joy which it possesses. So love me alone, and you will have all the things you want, and you will have them in abundance. Is it not written that the oil of the widow did not decrease until the day the rain was sent to earth by God according to the words of the prophet? I am the true prophet! If you believe my words and follow and fulfill them, the oil – joy and jubilation – shall never decrease for you for all eternity.”

The glory of the Catholic Church

upper_chapel_sainte_chapelle1354675740107

I am once again sharing one of my best essays. I hope you like it, readers.

 

As the medieval times marched towards the creation of Western Civilization, the Catholic Church was the driving force behind all that was good at that time such as the Crusades, the wars fought in defense of the Church, as well as the art and architecture of that time which was the crowning glory of society and the Church.  Medieval comes from the latin word, “medium aveum” meaning the Middle Ages. The medieval times were a glorious era in the Church and the history of the world, but many refuse to see it and instead refer to these times as the dark ages.  In demonstrating the truth about the crusades, one should be able to see that they were just wars fought in defense of the Church and the Holy Land.  The medieval times was a major period in classical civilization, as shown through the art and architecture that came forth from that period. The Catholic Church was the driving force behind all of this good.  It was the Catholic Church that influenced men to join the Crusades and it was the Catholic Church that was behind the architectural beauty in the art and architecture of these medieval times.  All of these things existed for the greater glory of God and His Church.  By showing the proof of the good that came forth from the medieval times, one should be able to see that this was not a period of darkness, but of light.  The world that we experience owes a great deal to the medieval times because they contributed much to what is now the modern world.  The Medieval Ages were not the “Dark Ages” as supported by the truth of the Crusades, as well as the art and architecture that came out of the Catholic Church at that time which formed Western Civilization.

The Catholic Crusades were military wars, taken in defense of the Holy Land against rowenathe Moslems, in the name of the Church.  The truth of these battles is to be found with the Church. The Church has always been militant and at all times she has had valiant warriors to defend her. These warriors were knights of Christ and the Church.  “By translating the notion of a “holy warrior” into Christian terms, a succession of medieval popes and churchmen created the crusader, a “knight for Christ.”[1]   The Crusades were called at a time when the infidels i.e. the Mohammadens had taken control of the Holy Land.  There were four principal crusades. The First Crusade was called by Pope Urban II in 1095.  The First Crusade, from 1095-1099, established the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and provided more lands for the crusaders.  To understand the important connection between the Crusades and the Catholic Church, one would do well to listen to the words of Pope Urban II, calling the crusaders to battle:  “Christians, hasten to help your brothers in the East, for they are being attacked. Arm for the rescue of Jerusalem under your captain Christ. Wear his cross as your badge. If you are killed your sins will be pardoned.”  Thus, the Crusades were Catholic in origin and fought in defense of Christ’s Church.  The Second Crusade, from 1147-1149 was called in response to the capture of Edessa by the Turks.  This Crusade was mostly a failure because only a few thousand crusaders escaped death at Asia Minor.  However, in the interval between the Second and Third Crusade, the two famous military orders were established, namely the Hospitallers and the Templars, whose duty was the care of sick and wounded crusaders, as well as the protection of the Holy Land.  Third Crusade failed in part because it resulted in the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187. This Crusade also marked the beginning of the Teutonic Knights.  “Finally, in failing to regain Jerusalem, the Third Crusade marks the beginning of forty years of almost continuous crusading from Europe.”[2]   The Fourth Crusade resulted in the capture of Constantinople instead of Jerusalem.  Thus, one can see that the objectives of the Crusades was the capture of the Holy Land, particularly Jerusalem, from the occupation of the Moslems.   Finally, the Crusades gives one a perfect example of the Church Militant in action.  The duty of the Church Militant is to fight against the world, the flesh and the devil.  The militant crusaders fought the enemy, which were the Moslems.  Thus, the truth about the Crusades demonstrates that the Crusades were not the hallmark of the Dark Ages, but were rather the wars fought in the name of the Church that saved the Holy Land and Christendom.

[1]  “The Crusades and Medieval Christianity,” Utah State University, 2013, http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320hist&civ/chapters/15crusad.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

[2]  Professor Ellis Lee Knox, “Results of the Third Crusade,” History by Knox, http://europeanhistory.boisestate.edu/crusades/3rd/17.shtml  (accessed November 26, 2014).

The art of the medieval times was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church because it showed forth the glory of God in all aspects.  The Passion of Christ was a frequent focus of Italian painting and this was done with much emotion.  “…The episodes of the Passion are colored by painful emotions, such as guilt, intense pity, and grief, and artists often worked to make the viewer share these feelings. In this, they supported the work of contemporary theologians, who urged the faithful to identify with Christ in his sufferings that they might also hope to share his exaltation.”[3]   The artists wanted the viewer to meditate upon the event being portrayed in the picture, thus; medieval art provided much good for the Church.  “The climactic moment of the Passion story is the Crucifixion itself. Paintings of the subject were usually intended to foster meditation on Christ’s self-sacrifice, and they thus indicate his sufferings by showing him hanging heavily, with bowed head and bleeding wounds.”[4]   Many of the famous paintings that one can still see today are a cause for meditation upon the event they portray and thus; even art can lift one’s mind and soul to God.  “According to resolutions agreed at the Council of Trent in 1563, the Catholic Church reaffirmed the value of images in Christian devotion and the importance of the emotions in religious experience.”[5]   In addition to the Passion, the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary was another popular theme in religious art.  In Byzantine spirituality, she was central.  “Most images of the Virgin stress her role as Christ’s Mother, showing her standing and holding her son. The manner in which the Virgin holds Christ is very particular. Certain poses developed into “types” that became names of sanctuaries or poetic epithets. Hence, an icon of the Virgin was meant to represent her image and, at the same time, the replica of a famous icon original. For example, the Virgin Hodegetria is a popular representation of the Virgin in which she holds Christ on her left arm and gestures toward him with her right hand, showing that he is the way to salvation.” [6]   In Byzantine art, all manner of symbols were used to represent an aspect of virtue.  The color blue represented the Blessed Virgin.  The white lily was a flower used to represent the purity of Our Lady.  The rose represented Our Lady’s love for God.  The crown represents authority, exultation, triumph and grandeur and was always most fitting to adorn the head of the Queen of Heaven.  Therefore, art played a major role in the medieval times, especially in inspiring a greater love for God and the Church through meditation on the wonders of the Faith shown therein.

[3] Sorabella, Jean. “The Crucifixion and Passion of Christ in Italian Painting”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pass/hd_pass.htm (accessed December 1, 2014).

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

The greatest and most beautiful works of art in all of Christendom are found in the architecture, displayed most notably in the famous cathedrals of Europe.  The Gothic architecture flourished during the late middle ages.  The many great cathedrals of Europe attest to this.   Of course, it was the Catholic Church that was behind this architectural beauty that made Christendom so great.  “Gothic architecture and Gothic art are the æsthetic expression of that epoch of European history when paganism had been extinguished, the traditions of classical civilization destroyed, the hordes of barbarian invaders beaten back, or Christianized and assimilated; and when the Catholic Church had established itself not only as the sole spiritual power, supreme and almost unquestioned in authority, but also as the arbiter of the destinies of sovereigns and of peoples.”[7]   Chartres Cathedral is the finest example of the Gothic style of architecture.  Still standing tall and perfectly preserved, it proves the great influence the Catholic Church had over the great wonders of Christendom in the architectural beauty of the greatest churches.  What is most notable about the Gothic style is its tall structure, attained through the development of pointed arches and ribbed vaults.  High towers and arches also emphasize height.  All of this represents the might and glory of God.  The pointed arches reach towards Heaven, which these churches so gloriously represent and are instrumental in lifting one’s mind towards the Heavenly. Another cathedral that stands tall in honor of the Catholic Church is Notre Dame.  It’s the epitome of what Gothic architecture looks like.  One of the first Gothic Cathedrals, it has weathered many storms and today stands as a testament to the indestructible Catholic Faith, which it represents in its beauty, revealed most gloriously in the Gothic style of architecture.  Another popular style of architecture is that of the Romansque architecture.  This architectural style was most notably known for its semi-circular arches, which eventually evolved into the Gothic style of architecture.  This style is known for its thick walls, round arches, large towers, naves and high bell towers.  The churches were built in the shape of a cross which became known as the latin cross.  During this period, the construction work was sponsored by great monastic orders, such as the Cluniac order.  Some well-known churches of the Cluniac order are St. Martin in Tours, St. Sernin in Toulouse, and Santiago de Compostela in Spain, all of which have great similarity in plan and design.  Hence, the architecture of the medieval times stands as a testimony to the grandeur of the so-called dark ages and the influence the Catholic Church had over this aspect of civilization.

[7] Cram, Ralph Adams.  “Gothic Architecture.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06665b.htm (accessed December 2, 2014).

As proven, the Catholic Church had a major influence over all those crusaders who gave their lives in defense of the Church and all that was beauty in the art and architecture of those times.  Every knight of old who spilt their blood and turned the fields of the Holy Land red will testify to this truth –  the true darkness of their age was their enemy as they fought to civilize the barbarians who had invaded Jerusalem.  It was the Divine Potency that enabled the Templar to carry the cross into battle in defense God and the honor of his homeland.  The art expressed the cause, the architecture the conquest, as the whole drama unfolded throughout the land once trodden underfoot by One shod with the Gospel of the preparation of peace.  And thus it was ever meant to be: just war.  The blows of Christ expressed in a human dimension that transcends time and place; the birth pains of an ever approaching cataclysmic Armageddon like conclusion of the passion of the human race, uniting the sufferings of the image He made, to the sufferings of His Christ for the redemption of the world as it groans towards a new day with the former passing away, creating the scars from the wounds formed by the whip in the athletic scourge’s hand; the sword in knight’s clenched fist, the whole Body of Christ must be redeemed, it seems.  What is left of Christendom today is the art and architecture from those so-called dark ages which stands as proof that the influence of the Catholic Church surpassed all times and places and shaped every facet of society, as only it should since the Catholic Church is the ruler of all peoples and nations.

~Damsel of the Faith

Bibliography

Bréhier, Louis.  “Crusades.” In The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm  (accessed September 23, 2014).

Carroll, Anne W.  Christ the King, Lord of History.  Charlotte: Tan Books, 2012.

Cram, Ralph Adams.  “Gothic Architecture.”  In The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06665b.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Lucas, Herbert.   “Ecclesiastical Architecture.”  In The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05257a.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Michuad, Fr. Joseph.  “The History of the Crusades.”  New York: A.C. Armstrong and Son, 1900.

Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.

Sorabella, Jean.  “The Crucifixion and Passion of Christ in Italian Painting.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pass/hd_pass.htm  (accessed December 4, 2014).

Knox, Professor Ellis Lee.  “Results of the Third Crusade.” History by Knox, http://europeanhistory.boisestate.edu/crusades/3rd/17.shtml  (accessed November 26, 2014).