Pascal Vives’ victory against the Moors

Medieval illuminated manuscript of Mass being said

medieval picture of knights on horseback

As Europe faces its invasions of the ‘Moors’ and the near destruction of everything Christendom is and was, remember Pascal Vives and his victory.

http://traditioninaction.org/religious/h148_Masses.htm

In The History of Spain (Historia de España), the Spanish Jesuit Fr. Juan de Mariana (1536-1624) speaks of a Spanish warrior named Pascal Vives who had a great devotion to the Holy Mass and assisted daily at one or more.

It happened that while he was serving under the standard of the Count of Castile, a large body of Moors, who had already conquered the greater part of Spain, laid seige to the castle of the Count. The garrison, being totally unprepared to stand a siege, were reduced to dire distress, and the Count resolved to make a sally with all his men and risk their lives in a desperate attempt to drive back the Moors.

Pascal Vives remained in the Church to hear more Masses 

The next morning the Count with all his soldiers heard Mass. Then, trusting in the divine assistance, they sallied forth against his enemies. But Pascal Vives remained in the church and heard eight Masses, one after another, praying fervently that victory might be on the Count’s side.

While he prayed thus and his comrades fought, the latter saw Pascal Vives mounted on his charger making a gallant onslaught upon the Moors, hewing them down on every side! Calling to the soldiers to follow him, Pascal Vives fearlessly broke the ranks of the enemy, carried off their colors and wrought great havoc amongst them.

The contest lasted nearly four hours, only ceasing at the time when the eighth Mass, at which Pascal had assisted, was ended. The Moors were completely routed. The victory was universally ascribed to Pascal’s heroic bravery, and the Count gave orders that he should have all the honor of it.

But, when all was over Pascal had disappeared. He was sought for all over the battlefield, but nowhere was he to be found. The fact was he had stayed in the church, and there he ramained almost all day. For he was ashamed to leave it, fearing lest the soldiers should mock him for a coward and the Count dismiss him from his service. No tidings of the battle had reached him and he did not know which side had gained the day.

Presently the Count, thinking it likely that Pascal had gone to the church to give thanks to Almighty God for the victory, bade his followers go there in search of him. Pascal was accordingly found and brought into the presece of the Count and his officers.

When all began to compliment him on his prowess and say that the victory they had won was, under God, to be ascribed to him, he was perfectly astonished and knew not what to say. After a short space, interiorly enlightened by God, he confessed the truth, declaring that he had taken no part in the contest, but had during the whole time been in the church where he had heard eight Masses.

The soldiers would not believe what he said, persisting that they had seen him with their own eyes in the thick of the fray and had heard him calling on them to fight valiantly.

Then Pascal answered: “If it really is as you say, the brave knight who bore my semblance must have been my Guardian Angel, for I assure you I have not been out of the church today. Praise God with me and give thanks to Him from your hearts for having sent you an Angel, with whose assistance you were enabled to vanquish the foe.

“But learn from this how pleasing it is to God that we should assist at Mass, and how profitable it is to us, for I am convinced that had I not heard those Masses, my Angel would not have appeared to you and led you on to so signal a victory.”

In these and other words he exhorted the soldiers to be very fervent in hearing Mass.

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Deus Vult!

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Deus Vult! “God wills it!” God conquers! The Church triumphs over her enemies!

“As these ages sped, the Church of God, though afflicted by many a disaster and social upheaval, torn by many a heresy and schism, anguished by the treason of her followers and by the disloyalty of her sons, nevertheless, trusting in the promises of her Founder, while human institutions of varying origin that surrounded her fell in ruins, not only stood safe and unharmed, but also in every age glowed with brighter beauty in noble lives of holiness and devotion, while in many Christians she made the fire of charity burn with growing heat. Moreover, thanks to her missionaries and martyrs she brought into her Fold fresh nations, among whom the pristine glory of virginity renews its bloom and the rank of priest and Bishop keeps its vigor. In fine, so deeply has she imbued all peoples with her spirit of charity and justice, that the very men who treat her with indifference or hostility, cannot refrain from borrowing her way of speaking and acting.”  ~Pope Pius XI, “Ad Salutem”, 1930

“Men should realize that all attempts to overthrow the ‘House of God’ are in vain. For this is the Church founded on Peter, ‘Rock,’ not merely in name but in truth. Against this ‘the gates of hell will not prevail’, ‘for it is founded on a rock.’ There has never been an enemy of the Christian religion who was not simultaneously at wicked war with the See of Peter, since while this See remained strong the survival of the Christian religion was assured. As St. Irenaeus proclaims openly to all, ‘by the order and succession of the Roman pontiffs the tradition from the Apostles in the Church and the proclamation of the truth has come down to us. And this is the fullest demonstration that it is the one and the same life-giving faith which has been preserved in the Church until now since the time of the Apostles and has been handed on in truth.'” ~Pope Pius VII, “Diu Satis”, 1800)

 

 

Ember Days

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http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/ember-days-opportunity-additional-sacrifice-and-spiritual-growth

What are Ember Days and what is their place in the life of the Church? The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia explains,

The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class. At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The “Liber Pontificalis” ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week–these were formerly given only at Easter. Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Embner days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

The theology of Luther: “People of God”

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http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bugninis-principle-novus-ordo-missae-people-godhttp://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bugninis-principle-novus-ordo-missae-people-god

Archbishop Lefebvre expounds upon the theology that runs rampant in the Church today, that of the deification of the People of God, to the detriment of God who should rule and reign over all peoples of the earth. The true People of God should be led to heaven by the Church, instead of being coddled in comfort by the Church’s enemies hidden within.

Editor’s note:  The conference, entitled “The Church, The Priesthood, and the Tridentine Indult,” came on the heels of Pope John Paul II extending a limited indult for Catholic priests to say the traditional Latin Mass. In the portion of the conference contained below, the Archbishop critically examines the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI and the destructive theology which lies at the heart of it:

A Protestant Notion
Last year there appeared an enormous book of his [Archbishop Bugnini] on the liturgical reform, published posthumously, by one of his confreres. I recommend, if you ever come across this book, that you read the general principles. They are very instructive, and absolutely incredible—right in these general principles Archbishop Bugnini says, this liturgical reform is a profound one, aiming at restoring to its true place—for him, according to what he says—the People of God.

It is very curious to find here this notion of the People of God, which is in the new Code of Canon Law, published after the death of Archbishop Bugnini. He could not have gotten it from the new Code, so these ideas must have been around well before it. It is stupefying to read in the Documentation Catholique that the Lutheran-Catholic Commission of the Secretariat for Christian Unity, and thus an official Roman commission, said in effect that numerous points in the Council were drawn from the teachings of Luther, one of them being the notion of the People of God. They say it explicitly; so with this doctrine of the People of God, they are restoring the assembly to its true place, to give it an important role in the liturgy, implying that before the assembly did not exist, or that its role was minimal, that there was no participation; and that, now, thanks to the new liturgy, there is finally participation.

Practical Consequence: No Congregation, No Mass
There comes to mind an objection made by a certain Benedictine abbot at the conference which Archbishop Bugnini gave before 24 superiors of religious orders—I myself was present at this conference—at Rome, before the publication of the New Mass. When he introduced to us his “Normative Mass,” Archbishop Bugnini spoke to us precisely about this participation of the faithful, active participation, as if before Vatican II the faithful had never participated in the Mass. And so an abbot got up and said, “Father, if I understand correctly, we should not say private Masses any more, since there is no congregation, and thus no participation by the people in our Masses.” The response was, “Quite truthfully, we have not envisioned that.” Incredible! As he himself said, this idea has inspired the liturgical reform, an idea which reverses the roles, giving the greater role to the assembly, and no longer to the priest and the sacrifice, the Sacrifice of Our Lord.

Priestly Spirituality: Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
I have been asked to give you a few reflections on the spirituality of the priest. I cannot very well separate the spirituality of the priest from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

To my mind there are not two different kinds of priestly spirituality, there is only one: that of his Mass, that of the Sacrifice of Our Lord, because the priest is essentially the man of sacrifice. I would say there is a transcendental relation between the priest and the sacrifice, and between the sacrifice and the priest. One cannot imagine sacrifice without a priest, and the priesthood without sacrifice. And so there is a relation there that is more than essential, transcendental really, a relation that goes beyond even the essence of the priest. So, we must go back to the idea of the Sacrifice. One can say that our sacrifice, the sacrifice which Our Lord has put into our hands, the sacrifice which Our Lord has left us, is a thing without limit, inexpressible, so divine and mysterious is it, that it surpasses everything we can imagine.

 

 

The Martrydom of St. Lawrence

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Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., describes the scene of St. Lawrence’s Martrydom, that great saint that joyfully joked about his torture and joyfully went to his death rather than deny Christ.

The August sun has set behind the Vatican, and the life and animation which his burning heat, and had stilled for a time, began once more upon the seven hills. Lawrence was taken down from the rack about midday. In his prison, however, he had taken no rest, but wounded and bleeding as he was, he baptized the converts won to Christ by the sight of his courageous suffering. He confirmed their faith, and fired their souls with a martyr’s intrepidity. When the evening hour summoned Rome to its pleasures, the prefect recalled the executioners to their work, for a few hours’ rest ha sufficiently restored their energy to enable them to satisfy his cruelty.

Surrounded by this ill-favoured company, the prefect thus addressed the valiant deacon: ‘Sacrifice to the gods, or else the whole night long shall be witness of your torments.’ ‘My night has no darkness,’ answered Laurence. ‘and all things are full of light to me.’ They struck him on the mouth with stones, but he smiled and said: “I give Thee thanks, O Christ.’

The iron bed or gridiron with three bars was brought in and the saint was stripped of his garments and extended upon it while burning coals were placed beneath it. As they were holding him down with iron forks, Laurence said: ‘I offer myself as a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness.’ The executioners continually stirred up the fire and brought fresh coals, while they still held him down with their forks. Then the saint said: ‘Learn, unhappy man, how great is the power of my God; for your burning coals give me refreshment, but they will be your eternal punishment. I call Thee, O Lord, to witness: when I was accused, I did not deny Thee; when I was questioned, I confessed Thee, O Christ; on the red-hot coals I gave thanks.’ And with his countenance radiant with heavenly beauty, he continued: ‘Yea. I give Thee thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ, for that Thou has deigned to strengthen me.’ He then raised his eyes to his judge, and said: ‘See, this side is well-roasted; turn me on the other and eat.’ Then continuing his canticle of praise to God: ‘I give Thee thanks, O Lord, that I have merited to enter into Thy dwelling place.’ As he was on the point of death, he remembered the Church. The thought of the eternal Rome gave him fresh strength and he breathed forth this ecstatic prayer: ‘O Christ, only God, O Splendour, O Power of the Father, O Maker of heaven and earth, and builder of the city’s walls! Thou hast placed Rome’s sceptre high over all. Thou hast willed to subject the world to it, in order to unite under one law the nations which differ in manner, customs, language, genius, and sacrifice. Behold the whole human race has submitted to its empire, and all discord and dissensions disappear in its unity. Remember thy purpose: Thou didst will to bind the immense universe together under the Christian Kingdom. O Christ, for the sake of Thy Romans, make this city Christian; for to it Thou gavest the charge of leading all the rest to sacred unity. All its members in every place are united—a very type of Thy Kingdom; the conquered universe has bowed before it. Oh! may its royal head be bowed in turn! Send Thy Gabriel and bid him heal the blindness of the sons of Iulus that they may know the true God. I see a prince who is to come—an Emperor who is a servant of God. He will not suffer Rome to remain a slave; he will close the temples and fasten them with bolts for ever.’

Thus he prayed, and with these words he breathed forth his soul. Some noble Romans who had been conquered to Christ by the martyr’s admirable boldness, removed his body; the love of the most high God had suddenly filled their hearts and dispelled their former errors. From that day the worship of the infamous gods grew cold; few people went now to the temples, but hastened to the altars of Christ. Thus Laurence, going unarmed to the battle, had wounded the enemy with his own sword.’ (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Volume 13, Time after Penteocost, Book IV, pp. 307-308.)

Our Lady of Sorrows – the greatest Martyr

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On this the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (my parish patroness), let us read on, reflect and compassionate the Heart of Our Most Holy Mother, pierced with a sword of sorrow at the bitter Passion and Death of Her only son. Today, Her heart continues to be pierced, watching the Passion of the Church.

~Damsel of the Faith

St. Bonaventure’s prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows:

O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object.

Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God.

Amen.

A portion of a sermon by St. Alphonsus Liguori

But let us consider the reasons, for which Mary’s martyrdom was greater than that of all martyrs. In the first place, we must remember that the martyrs endured their torments, which were the effect of fire and other material agencies, in their bodies; Mary suffered hers in her soul, as Saint Simeon foretold: “And my own Soul, a sword shall pierce”. As if the holy old man had said: “O most Sacred Virgin, the bodies of other martyrs, will be torn with Iron, but thou wilt be transfixed, and martyred in thy soul, by the passion of thine own Son”. Now, as the soul is more noble than the Body, so much greater were Mary’s sufferings, than those of all of the martyrs, as Jesus Christ Himself said to Saint Catherine of Sienna: “Between the sufferings of the soul, and those of the body, there is no comparison”. Whence the Holy Abbot Arnold of Chartres says, “that whoever had been present on Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld two great altars, the one in the Body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary; for, on that mount, at the same time that the Son sacrificed His body by death, Mary sacrificed her soul by compassion”

The grace of the Brown Scapular

 

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Those who die wearing the brown scapular as a faithful child of Mary shall not suffer eternal fire.

Taken from “The Litugical Year”:

“In the night between the 15th and 16th of July of the year 1251, the gracious Queen of Carmel confirmed to her sons by a mysterious sign the right of citizenship she had obtained for them in their newly adopted countries; as mistress and mother of the entire religious state she conferred upon them with her queenly hands the scapular hitherto the distinctive garb of the greatest and most ancient religious family of the West. On giving St. Simon Stock this badge, ennobled by contact with her sacred fingers, the Mother of God said to him: ‘Whosoever shall die in this habit shall not suffer eternal flames.’ But not against hell fire alone was the all-powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother to be felt by those who should wear her scapular. In 1316, when every holy soul was imploring heaven to put a period to that long and disastrous widowhood of the Church which followed on the death of Clement V, the Queen of Saints appeared to James d’Euse, whom the world was soon to hail as John XXII; she foretold to him his approaching elevation to the Sovereign Pontificate, and at the same time recommended him to publish the privilege she had obtained from her Divine Son for her children of Carmel – viz., a speedy deliverance from purgatory. ‘I, their Mother will graciously go down to them on the Saturday after their death, and all whom I find in purgatory I will deliver and will bring to the fountain of life eternal.’ These are the words of our Lady herself, quoted by John XXII in the Bull which he published for the purpose of making known the privilege, and which was called the Sabbatine Bull on account of the day chosen by the glorious benefactress for the exercise of her mercy. We are aware of the attempts made to nullify the authenticity of these heavenly concessions; but our extremely limited time will not allow us to follow up these worthless struggles in all their endless details. The attack of the chief assailant, the too famous Launoy, was condemned by the Apostolic See; and after, as well as before, these contradictions, the Roman Pontiffs confirmed, as much as need be, by their supreme authority, the substance and even the letter of the precious promises. The reader may find in special works the enumeration of the many indulgences with which the Popes have, time after time, enriched the Carmelite family, as if earth would vie with heaven in favoring it. The munificence of Mary, the pious gratitude of her sons for the hospitality given them by the West, and lastly, the authority of St. Peter’s successors, soon made these supernatural riches accessible to all Christians, by the institution of the Confraternity of the holy Scapular, the members whereof participate in the merits and privileges of the whole Carmelite Order. Who shall tell the graces, often miraculous, obtained through this humble garb? Who could count the faithful now enrolled in the holy militia?”