On the Apostolic Promartyr; The Christ-Bearer; and the Mother of the Mother of God

Yesterday, Saturday, July 25, 2020, was the Feast of Saint James the Greater, one of the two sons of Zebedee. Along with this pure brother, Saint John the Evangelist, who had laid his head on the chest of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at the Last Supper and was the only Apostle who stood at the foot of the Holy Cross, were among the first of the twelve Apostles who were chosen to accompany Our Lord during the duration of His Public Life and Ministry and to serve Him as bishops and priests during Holy Mother Church’s infancy:

And leaving the city Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capharnaum on the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim; [14] That it might be fulfilled which was said by Isaias the prophet: [15] Land of Zabulon and land of Nephthalim, the way of the sea beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles:

[16] The people that sat in darkness, hath seen great light: and to them that sat in the region of the shadow of death, light is sprung up. [17] From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [18] And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers). [19] And he saith to them: Come ye after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men. [20] And they immediately leaving their nets, followed him.

[21] And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets: and he called them. [22] And they forthwith left their nets and father, and followed him. [23] And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom: and healing all manner of sickness and every infirmity, among the people. [24] And his fame went throughout all Syria, and they presented to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and such as were possessed by devils, and lunatics, and those that had palsy, and he cured them: [25] And much people followed him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4: 13-25.)

Along with Saint Peter and his own brother, Saint John, Saint James had the privilege of being chosen by His Divine Master to accompany Him to Mount Thabor to see Him transfigured in glory. He was similarly called by Our Lord to accompany during His Agony in the Garden, repaying Him for this singular privilege by falling as fast asleep as had Saints Peter and John:

And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: [2] And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. [3] And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. [4] And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. [5] And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.

[6] And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. [7] And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not. [8] And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus. [9] And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead (Matthew 17: 1-9.)

[32] And they came to a farm called Gethsemani. And he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray. [33] And he taketh Peter and James and John with him; and he began to fear and to be heavy. [34] And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch. [35] And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed, that if it might be, the hour might pass from him.

[36] And he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt. [37] And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour? [38] Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. [39] And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words. [40] And when he returned, he found them again asleep, (for their eyes were heavy,) and they knew not what to answer him.

[41] And he cometh the third time, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest. It is enough: the hour is come: behold the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. (Mark: 32-41).

Most of the work that Saint James has done for Holy Mother Church, however, came after execution by Herod Agrippa, making him the Protomartyr of the Apostles as explained in the Acts of the Apostles:

[1] And at the same time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church. [2] And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. [3] And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. (Acts 12: 1-3.)

As contained in The New English Edition of the Mystical City of God, Our Lady described the martyrdom of Saint James the Greater as follows:

392. Our great Apostle St. James came to Jerusalem at a time when that whole city was very much incensed against the disciples and followers of Christ our Lord. This new indignation had been secretly roused by the demons, instilling more of their poisonous breath into the hearts of the perfidious Jews, inflaming them with zeal for their law and emulation against the new evangelical law on the occasion of the preaching of St. Paul, who though he remained not more than fifteen days in Jerusalem, nevertheless in that short time by the divine power had converted many and excited the wonder and admiration of all the people. And though the unbelieving Jews felt somewhat relieved by the news he had left Jerusalem, yet they were again thrown into consternation by the speedy arrival of St. James, who showed no less zeal and heavenly wisdom in proclaiming the name of Christ our Redeemer. Lucifer, who was not ignorant of his arrival, urged and augmented the indignation of the high priests, priests and scribes so the new preacher might serve his desire of injecting more venom into those he desired to stir up and disturb. St. James began to preach most fervently the name of the Crucified and his mysterious Death and Resurrection. In the first few days he converted to the faith some of the Jews, among whom were especially Hermogenes and Philetus, both of them magicians and sorcerers who had a pact with the demon. Hermogenes was deeply versed in magic and Philetus was his disciple. The Jews wanted to engage the services of these two in order either to overcome St. James in dispute, or if that was impossible to take away his life by their magic arts.

393. This wickedness the demons plotted to execute by means of the Jews as instruments of their iniquity, for the demons themselves could not come near St. James, terrified of the divine grace which they felt in him. In order to begin the dispute with the two magicians Philetus entered first, arguing with St. James so if he could not conclude with victory Hermogenes, as the more skillful master in the magic art, could enter the combat. Philetus brought forth his sophistical and false arguments, but the holy Apostle spoke with such wisdom and force that all his sophisms yielded as the darkness before the light. Philetus was overcome and converted to the truth of Christ, becoming from that time on a defender of the Apostle and his doctrine. But fearing the diabolical arts of his master Hermogenes he sought the protection of St. James. The holy Apostle gave him a piece of cloth or linen which he had received from most holy Mary, and with this relic Philetus protected himself against the power of Hermogenes for some days until the latter himself entered the dispute.

394. Although Hermogenes feared St. James he could not evade the meeting because he had pledged himself to the Jews to enter the dispute and convince him; hence he tried to enforce his errors by more cogent arguments than his disciple. Yet all he could do was unavailing against the heavenly force and wisdom of the Apostle, which was like an impetuous torrent. He brought Hermogenes to silence and obliged him to confess his belief in the mysteries of the faith of Christ just as he had done with Philetus; both of them accepted the faith and doctrine preached by the Apostle. The demons were irritated against Hermogenes, and by the power they had acquired over him they began to abuse him because of his conversion. Since he learned how Philetus had defended himself by the relic obtained from the Apostle, he sought a like favor against his enemies. St. James gave him the scarf he had used in his travels, and with it Hermogenes put to flight the demons and made them powerless to approach or afflict him further. 395. These conversions and others made by St. James in Jerusalem were hastened by the tearful sighs and prayers of the great Queen in her retreat at Ephesus, where as I have often said (80, 158, etc.) She knew by vision all that was done by the Apostles and the other faithful of the Church, and particularly what happened with the beloved Apostle James for whom She was especially solicitous as being so near his martyrdom. Hermogenes and Philetus persevered for some time in the faith of Christ, but afterwards they fell away and lost it in Asia as is evident from the second epistle to Timothy (1:15), where St. Paul says that Phigellus (or Philetus) and Hermogenes had left him. Although the seed of the faith had sprung up in the hearts of these men it took no sufficient root to resist the temptations of the demon,* whom they had served and familiarly entertained for such a long time. The evil and perverse inclinations of their vices still remained and again prevailed, withdrawing them from the faith they had accepted.

396. When the Jews saw their hopes frustrated by the conviction and conversion of Philetus and Hermogenes they were filled with new anger against the Apostle St. James, and they determined to put an end to his life. For this purpose they bribed Democritus and Lysias, centurions of the Roman militia, to furnish them with soldiers for the arrest of the Apostle. In order to hide their treachery they were to raise a feigned quarrel or disturbance on a certain day during his preaching and thus get him within their power. The execution of this wicked plot was left to Abiathar, the high priest of that year, and to Josias, a scribe of the same spirit as the high priest. They executed their scheme as they had planned it, for while the Saint was preaching to the people about the mystery of the Redemption, proving it to them with admirable wisdom from the testimonies of the ancient writings and moving his audience to tears of compunction, the priest and the scribe were roused to diabolical fury. Giving the signal to the Roman soldiers the priest sent Josias to throw a rope around the neck of St. James and he fell upon him, proclaiming him a disturber of the people and the author of a new religion in opposition to the Roman Empire.

397. Then Democritus and Lysias rushed up with their soldiers and brought the Apostle bound to Herod, the son of Archelaus, who also had been prepared interiorly by the cunning and malice of Lucifer and exteriorly by the malice and hatred of the Jews. Thus doubly incited Herod began against the disciples of the Lord, whom he abhorred, the persecution mentioned by St. Luke in chapter XII of the Acts of the Apostles (v. 1ff.), and sent his soldiers to afflict and imprison them. He instantly commanded St. James to be beheaded as the Jews had asked. Incredible was the joy of the holy Apostle at being seized and bound like his Master, and at seeing himself conducted to the place where he was to pass from this mortal life to eternal life through martyrdom as he had been informed by the Queen of heaven (385). He rendered most humble gratitude for this benefit and publicly reiterated the open profession of his faith in Christ our Lord. Remembering the petition he had made in Ephesus that She be present at his death (384), he called upon Her from his inmost soul.

398. Most holy Mary from her oratory heard these prayers of the beloved Apostle and her cousin, for She was attentive to all that happened to him, and She helped and favored him with her own efficacious petitions. While She prayed She saw a great multitude of Angels and supreme spirits from all the hierarchies descending from heaven, part of them surrounding the Apostle in Jerusalem as he was led to the place of execution, while numerous others approached their Queen at Ephesus, and one of the highest said to Her: “Empress of heaven and our Lady, the most high Lord and God bids you to immediately hasten to Jerusalem to console his great servant James, assist him in his death, and grant all his loving and holy desires.” This favor most holy Mary received with great joy and gratitude, and She praised the Most High for the protection granted to those who trust in his mercy and put their lives in his hands. In the meantime the Apostle was led to his martyrdom, and on the way there he wrought many miracles for the all the sick and ailing, and for some possessed by the devil, and all of them left him healthy and freed from the demons. Since the word had been spread that Herod commanded him to be beheaded, many of the needy came seeking their remedy before being deprived of their common consolation.

399. At the same time the holy Angels placed their great Queen and Lady upon a most refulgent throne (as I have related on other occasions [165, 193, 325, 349]) and carried Her to Jerusalem to the place where St. James had been taken to be executed. The holy Apostle fell upon his knees in order to offer his life to the Most High in sacrifice, and when he raised his eyes toward heaven he saw in the air in his presence the Queen of heaven Herself, whom he had been invoking in his heart. He beheld Her clothed in divine splendors and great beauty, surrounded by the multitude of Angels who attended upon Her. By this heavenly spectacle James was entirely inflamed in the ardors of new joy and charity, the impetus of which moved his entire heart and faculties. He desired to cry out acclaiming most holy Mary as the Mother of God himself and the Mistress of all creation, but one of the sovereign spirits restrained him in this fervent desire and said: “James, servant of our Creator, restrain within thy own bosom these precious sentiments and do not manifest to the Jews the presence and assistance of our Queen, for they are not worthy or capable of knowing Her, but instead of reverencing Her would only harden themselves in their hatred.”Thus advised the Apostle restrained himself, and moving his lips in silence he spoke to the heavenly Queen as follows:

400. “Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ, my Lady and Protectress, Thou consolation of the afflicted and refuge of the needy, in this hour bestow upon me, my Lady, thy so much desired blessing. Offer for me to thy Son and Redeemer of the world the sacrifice of my life, since I am burning with desire to be a holocaust for the glory of his holy Name. Today let thy most pure and spotless hands be the altar of my sacrifice, so it may become acceptable in the eyes of Him who died for me upon the cross. Into thy hands, and through them into the hands of my Creator, I commend my spirit.” Having said these words, and keeping his eyes fixed upon Mary most holy, who spoke to his heart, the holy Apostle was beheaded by the executioner. The great Lady and Queen of the world (O wonderful condescension!) received the soul of the beloved Apostle, and placing him at her side on the throne ascended with him to the empyrean heaven and presented him to her divine Son. As most holy Mary entered the heavenly court with this offering She caused new joy and accidental glory to all the heavenly inhabitants and was received with songs of praise. The Most High received the soul of James and placed him in eminent glory among the princes of his people. Most holy Mary, prostrate before the throne of the Almighty, composed a song of praise and thanksgiving for the first triumphal martyrdom gained by one of his Apostles. On this occasion the great Lady did not see the Divinity by intuitive vision but by an abstractive one such as I have described before; yet the blessed Trinity filled Her with new blessings and favors for Herself and for the holy Church, for which She had made great petitions. All the saints likewise blessed Her, and then the holy Angels brought Her back to her oratory in Ephesus where during this time an Angel had impersonated Her. Upon arriving the heavenly Mother of virtues prostrated Herself as usual in order to give thanks to the Most High for all that had happened.

401. The disciples of St. James during the following night secured his sacred body and secretly brought it to Jaffa, where by divine disposition they embarked with it for Galicia in Spain. The heavenly Lady sent an Angel to guide and accompany them to the port where according to the divine will they were to disembark. Although they did not see the Angel they felt his protection during the whole voyage, and often in a miraculous manner. Thus Spain, just as it owed its first instruction in the faith so deeply rooted in the hearts of its people to the protection lavished by most holy Mary upon the Apostle, now also owes to Her the possession of his sacred body for its consolation and defense. St. James died in the year forty-one of our Lord, on the twenty-fifth of March, five years and seven months after he set out to preach in Spain. According to this count and that which I gave above (198, 376) the martyrdom of St. James happened seven full years after the death of our Savior Jesus Christ.

402. That his martyrdom was at the end of March is clear from chapter XII of the Acts of the Apostles (v. 3), where St. Luke says because of the rejoicings of the Jews at the death of St. James Herod imprisoned also St. Peter with the intention of beheading him after the feast of the Pasch (Ib. 4), which was that of the paschal lamb or of unleavened bread, and the Jews celebrated this feast on the fourteenth of the moon of March. From this passage it appears the imprisonment of St. Peter was during this Pasch or very near it, and the death of St. James had preceded it by a few days, since the fourteenth of the moon of March in the year forty-one, according to our present computation of the years and months, occurred in the last days of March. Accordingly the death of St. James happened on the twenty-fifth, before the fourteenth of the moon, and soon thereafter took place the imprisonment of St. Peter and the Pasch of the Jews. The holy Church does not celebrate the feast of St. James on the day of his death because it falls on the same day as the Incarnation, and ordinarily also in the time of the Passion of the Lord. It was therefore transferred to the twenty-fifth of July, which is the day of the translation of the body of the holy Apostle to Spain.

403. The death of St. James and the haste of Herod in inflicting it greatly increased the most impious cruelty of the Jews, for in the savage brutality of the wicked king they saw a valuable means of pursuing their vengeance against the followers of Christ our Lord. Lucifer and his demons were of like opinion; they by their suggestions, and the Jews by their insistent flatteries, persuaded him to seize St. Peter, as indeed he did as a favor to the Jews, whom he desired to satisfy for his temporal ends. The demons stood in great awe of the Vicar of Christ due to the power emanating from him against them, and hence they secretly sought to hasten his imprisonment. St. Peter, bound with many chains, lay in the dungeon awaiting his execution after the Pasch (Acts 12:4). Although the undaunted heart of the Apostle was as free from anxiety or solicitude as if he had been at liberty, yet the whole body of the Church of Jerusalem was in consternation, and all of the disciples and faithful were greatly afflicted at the news that Herod was to execute him without delay. In their affliction they multiplied their prayers and petitions to the Lord for the preservation of St. Peter (Ib. 5), whose death threatened the whole Church with great havoc and tribulation. They invoked also the protection and powerful intercession of most holy Mary, from whom they all expected deliverance. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God, The Coronation, Book VIII, Chapter 8.)

What cause for fear should we have today when we are living in the midst of the start of open persecutions against the Holy Faith?

We have Our Lady’s protection now as the Apostles had, meaning that we must have the same trust in her assistance now, and at the hour of death as possessed by Saint James the Greater and that we must never flinch in our willingness to give up everything, including our own lives, for the Holy Faith.

Dom Prosper Gueranger heaped deserving praise upon Saint James, who served Our Lord well as a bishop for eleven years before his martyrdom and then served as the Moorslayer to come to the assistance of Spanish Catholics who begged him, their patron, for his help in fighting Mohammedans on white horse with his sword, a sight that struck justifiable fear in the hearts of those who followed the false, blasphemous and heretical teachings of the false prophet and pedophile named Mohammed. Dom Prosper explained that only Saint Peter himself among the Apostles is deserving of more praise than the son of Zebedee whose after death reminds us that “The life of the Saints is never cut short; their death, ever precious, is still more so when in the cause of God it seems to come before the time.”

Dom Prosper Gueranger explained also that “Among the Saints of God, there is not who manifested more evidently how elect keep us after death an interest in the works confided to them by our Lord."

Let us today hail the bright star which once made Compostella so resplendent with its rays that the obscure town became, like Jerusalem and Rome, a center of attraction to the piety of the whole world. As long as the Christian empire lasted, the sepulcher of St. James the Great rivaled in glory that of St. Peter himself.

Among the Saints of God, there is not one who manifested more evidently how the elect keep up after death an interest in the works confided to them by our Lord. The life of St. James after his call to the Apostolate was but short; and the result of his labors in Spain, his allotted portion, appeared to be a failure. Scarcely had he, in his rapid course, taken possession of the land of Iberia when, impatient to drink the chalice which would satisfy his continual desire to be close to his Lord, he opened by martyrdom the heavenward procession of the twelve, which was to be closed by the other son of Zebedee. O Salome, who didst give them both to the world, and didst present to Jesus their ambitious prayer, rejoice with a double joy: thou art not repulsed; he who made the hearts of mothers is thine abettor. Did he not, to the exclusion of all others except Simon his Vicar, choose thy two sons as witnesses of the greatest works of his power, admit them to the contemplation of his glory on Thabor, and confide to them his sorrow unto death in the garden of his agony? And today thy eldest born becomes the first-born in heaven of the sacred college; the protomartyr of the Apostles repays, as far as in him lies, the special love of Christ our Lord.

But how was he a messenger of the faith, since the sword of Herod Agrippa put such a speedy end to his mission? And how did he justify his name of son of thunder, since his voice was heard by a mere handful of disciples in a desert of infidelity?

This new name, another special prerogative of the two brothers, was realized by John in his sublime writings, wherein as by lightning flashes he revealed to the world the deep things of God; it was the same in his case as in that of Simon, who having been called Peter by Christ, was also made by him the foundation of the Church: the name given by the Man-God was a prophecy, not an empty title. With regard to James too, then, Eternal Wisdom cannot have been mistaken. Let it not be thought that the sword of any Herod could frustrate the designs of the Most High upon the men of his choice. The life of the Saints is never cut short; their death, ever precious, is still more so when in the cause of God it seems to come before the time. It is then that with double reason we may say their works follow them; God, himself, being bound in honor, both for his own sake and for theirs, to see that nothing is wanting to their plenitude. As a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, says the Holy Ghost, and in time there shall be respect had to them. The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds. They shall judge nations, and rule over peoples; and their Lord shall reign for ever. How literally was this Divine oracle to be fulfilled with regard to our Saint!

Nearly eight centuries, which to the heavenly citizens are but as a day, had passed over that tomb in the North of Spain, where two disciples had secretly laid the Apostle’s body. During that time, the land of his inheritance, which he had so rapidly traversed, had been overrun first by Roman idolaters, then by Arian barbarians, and when the day of hope seemed about to dawn, a deeper night was ushered in by the Crescent, One day lights were seen glimmering over the briars that covered the neglected monument; attention was drawn to the spot, which henceforth went by the name of the field of stars. But what are those sudden shouts coming down from the mountains and echoing through the valleys? Who is this unknown chief rallying against an immense army the little worn-out troop whose heroic valor could not yesterday save it from defeat? Swift as lightning, and bearing in one hand a white standard with a red cross, he rushes with drawn sword upon the panic-stricken foe, and dyes the feet of his charger in the blood of 70,000 slain. Hail to the chief of the holy war, of which we have so often made mention! Saint James! Saint James! Forward, Spain! It is the reappearance of the Galilæan Fisherman, whom the Man-God once called from the barque where he was mending his nets; of the elder son of thunder, now free to hurl the thunderbold upon these new Samaritans, who pretend to honor the unity of God by making Christ no more than a prophet. Henceforth, James shall be to Christian Spain the firebrand which the Prophet saw, devouring all the people round about, to the right hand and to the left, until Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place in Jerusalem.

And when, after six centuries and a half of struggle, his standard bearers, the Catholic kings, had succeeded in driving the infidel hordes beyond the seas, the valiant leader of the Spanish armies laid aside his bright armor, and the slayer of Moors became once more a messenger of the faith. As fisher of men, he entered his barque, and gathering around it the gallant fleets of a Christopher Columbus, a Vasco di Gama, an Albuquerque, he led them over unknown seas to lands that had never yet heard the name of the Lord. For his contribution to the labors of the twelve, James drew ashore his well-filled nets from West and East and South, from new worlds, renewing Peter’s astonishment at the sight of such captures. He, whose apostolate seemed at the time of Herod III, to have been crushed in the bud before bearing any fruit, may say with St. Paul: I have no way come short of them that are above measure Apostles, for by the grace of God I have labored more abundantly than all they (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Volume IV, Book 13, pp. 180-183.)

The valiant witness of the privileged Saint James the Greater were recorded in Holy Mother Church’s Divine Office as follows:

James, the Son of Zebedee and brother of the Apostle John, was a Galilean, and with his brother one of the first of His Apostles whom the Lord called, whileas they were in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets and they immediately left the ship, and their father, and followed Him. Matth. iv. 21, 22. And He surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder. Mark iii. 17. Peter, and James, and John, were the three Apostles whom the Saviour loved best; them He took and brought up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them, Matth. xvii. 1,2; when He went to the house of the ruler of the synagogue to raise his daughter from the dead, He suffered no man to follow Him save Peter, and James, and John, Mark v. 37; and, at the last, just before the Jews took Him, when He cometh unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples: Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Matth. xxvi. 36, 37.

After that Jesus Christ was ascended into heaven, James preached how that He was God, and led many in Judaea and Samaria to the Christian Faith. A while afterward, he went to Spain, and there he brought some to Christ, of whom seven were afterwards ordained Bishops by Blessed Peter, and were the first such sent into that country. From Spain James went back to Jerusalem, where he taught the Faith to diverse persons, and, among others, to the Magian Hermogenes. Thereupon Herod Agrippa, who had been raised to the kingdom under the Emperor Claudius, to curry favour with the Jews, condemned James to death for his firm confession that Jesus Christ is God. The officer who led James to the judgment-seat, at sight of the courage wherewith he was ready to offer up his testimony, declared himself also to be a Christian.

As they were being hurried to execution, this man asked pardon of James, and the Apostle kissed him, saying, Peace be unto thee. James healed a paralytic, and immediately afterwards both the prisoners were beheaded. The body of the Apostle was afterwards taken to Compostella, (in the province of Galicia, in Spain,) where his grave is very famous. Multitudes of pilgrims from all parts of the earth betake themselves thither to pray, out of sheer piety or in fulfilment of vows. The Birthday of James is kept by the Church upon this day, which is that of the bringing of his body to Compostella. It was about Easter-time Acts xii. 2-4 that he bore witness to Jesus Christ with his blood, at Jerusalem, being the first of the Apostles to do so. (The Divine Office, Feast of Saint James, July 25.)

As is explained in The New English Edition of the Mystical of God, Our Lady visited Saint James the Greater as he was doing his missionary work in Saragossa on the Iberian Peninsula:

346. All the solicitude of our great Mother and Lady was centered upon the increase and spread of the holy Church, the consolation of the Apostles, disciples, and the other faithful, and their defense against the persecutions and assaults prepared by the infernal dragon and his hosts. Before She departed from Jerusalem to take up her abode in Ephesus, in her matchless charity She ordered and arranged many things, both by Herself and through her holy Angels, in order to provide as far as possible all that seemed proper for the needs of the Church in her absence, for at that time She had no knowledge of the duration of her sojourn or of her return to Jerusalem. The most efficacious service She could render to the faithful was her continual prayer to secure the assistance of the infinite power of her Son for the defense of the Apostles and faithful against the proud and vaunting schemes of Lucifer’s wickedness. The most prudent Mother knew among the Apostles James the Greater would be the first one to shed his blood for Christ our Savior, and because She loved him in a special manner (as I have stated above [320]) She offered up more particular prayers for him than for the other Apostles. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God, The Coronation, Book VII, Chapter XVII.)

Our Lady also explained that each of the twelve Apostles contributed one Article to the Apostles’ Creed:

ST. PETER I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

ST. ANDREW And in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord.

ST. JAMES THE GREATER Who was conceived by the work of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.

ST. JOHN Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

ST. THOMAS He descended into hell, on the third day He arose from the dead.

ST. JAMES THE LESS He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.

ST. PHILIP From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

ST. BARTHOLOMEW I believe in the Holy Ghost.

ST. MATTHEW The holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints.

ST. SIMON The forgiveness of sins.

ST. THADDEUS The resurrection of the flesh.

ST. MATTHIAS Life everlasting. Amen. 218.

This Symbol, which we ordinarily call the Creed, the Apostles established after the martyrdom of St. Stephen and before the end of the first year after the death of the Savior. Afterwards, in order to refute the Arian and other heresies, the Church, in the councils held because of these heresies, explained more fully the mysteries contained in the Apostles’ Creed and composed the Symbol or Creed now chanted in the Mass. But in substance both are one and the same, and contain the fourteen articles in which are proposed to us the Christian doctrine in order to catechize us in the faith, and which we are all bound to believe in order to be saved. As soon as the Apostles had finished pronouncing this Symbol the Holy Ghost approved of it by permitting a voice to be heard in their midst saying: “Thou hast decided well.” Then the great Queen and Lady of heaven with all the Apostles gave thanks to the Most High, and She thanked also the Apostles for having merited the assistance of the divine Spirit in order to be his fit instruments in promoting the glory of the Lord and the good of the Church. In confirmation of her faith, and as an example to the faithful, the most prudent Teacher knelt at the feet of St. Peter and solemnly declared her belief in the holy Catholic faith as contained in the Symbol they had just finished pronouncing. This She did for Herself and in the name of all the faithful, saying to St. Peter: “My lord, whom I recognize as the Vicar of my most holy Son, in thy hands I, a vile wormlet, in my name and in the name of all the faithful of the Church, confess and declare all thou hast set down as the divine and infallible truths of the Catholic Church, and in it I bless and exalt the Most High from whom it proceeds.” She kissed the hands of the Vicar of Christ and of the rest of the Apostles. Thus She was the first one openly to profess the Catholic faith after it had been formulated into articles. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God, The Coronation, Book 7, Chapter 12.)

Unlike Jorge Mario Bergoglio and most of his comrades in the revolutionary band of apostates, Saint James the Greater understood that the Catholic Church alone on earth is the true church, and he understand that her teachings are infallible and thus irreformable.

In contrast to the hideous Bergoglio and his gang of spiritual, theological, dogmatic, liturgical, moral and pastoral killers, marauders and thieves, Saint James the Greater had apostolic zeal for souls. He never hid the faith of his faith nor did ever cease preaching the Holy Name of Jesus, who had drawn him from being a fisherman to being that fisher of men. He gave no quarter to idolatry, paganism, heresy or unbelief, things have the characterized the anti-apostolic work of the conciliar revolutionaries.

Did Saint James the Greater, who accompanied the first pope, Saint Peter, and his own brother, Saint John the Evangelist, to the heights of Mount Thabor at the moment of Our Lord's Transfiguration and to the Mount of Olives during His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, turn in the direction of Mecca or assume the Mohammedan prayer position.

Did he esteem the Koran or call this book of blasphemy "holy"?

No, he slew the Mohammedans, leading valiant Catholic forces in battle against these vipers and blasphemers.

Did the spirit of Saint James the Greater inspired the great explorers and governors of New Spain to engage in "inter-religious" dialogue with the native peoples of the Americas?

By no means.

The spirit of Saint James the Greater inspired the great explorers and governors of New Spain to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of the native peoples of the Americas, aided by the very Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe who had favored Saint James with so many visitations during the days of his missionary work before his martyrdom at the hands of King Herod Agrippa. Try as the Communists have in Spain, true Catholics will never fail to be inspired by the fidelity of Saint James the Greater in his apostolic work, his courage during his martyrdom, and the assistance from Heaven he brought to slay the Mohammedans in the Ninth Century.

Dom Prosper Gueranger offered the following prayer to Saint James the Greater:

Patron of Spain, forget not the grand nation which owes to thee both its heavenly nobility and its earthly prosperity; preserve it from ever diminishing those truths which made it, in its bright days, the salt of the earth; keep it in mind of the terrible warning that if the salt lose its savor, it is good for nothing any more but to be cast out and to be trodden on by men. At the same time remember, O Apostle, the special cultus wherewith the whole Church honors thee. Does she not to this very day keep under the immediate protection of the Roman Pontiff both thy sacred body, so happily rediscovered, and the vow of going on pilgrimage to venerate those precious relics?

Where now are the days when thy wonderful energy of expansion abroad was surpassed by thy power of drawing all to thyself? Who but he that numbers the stars of the firmament could count the Saints, the penitents, the kings, the warriors, the unknown of every grade, the ever-renewed multitude, ceaselessly moving to and from that field of stars, whence thou didst shed thy light upon the world? Our ancient legends tell us of a mysterious vision granted to the founder of Christian Europe. One evening after a day of toil, Charlemagne, standing on the shore of the Frisian Sea, beheld a long belt of stars, which seemed to divide the sky between Gaul, Germany, and Italy, and crossing over Gascony, the Basque territory, and Navarre, stretched away to the far-off Province of Galicia. Then thou didst appear to him and say: “This starry path marks out the road for thee to go and delivery my tomb; and all nations shall follow after thee.” And Charles, crossing the mountains, gave the signal to all Christendom to undertake those great Crusades, which were both the salvation and the glory of the Latin races, by driving back the Mussulman plague to the land of its birth.

When we consider that two tombs formed, as it were, the two extreme points or poles of this movement unparalleled in the history of nations: the one wherein the God-Man rested in death, the other where thy body lay, O son of Zebedee, we cannot help crying out with the Psalmist: Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable! And what a mark of friendship did the Son of Man bestow on his humble apostle by sharing his honors with him, when the military Orders and Hospitallers were established, to the terror of the Crescent, for the sole purpose, at the outset, of entertaining and protecting pilgrims on their way to one or other of these holy tombs? May the heavenly impulse now so happily showing itself in the return to the great Catholic pilgrimages, gather once more at Compostella the sons of thy former clients. We, at least, will imitate St. Louis before the walls of Tunis, murmuring with his dying lips the Collect of thy feast; and we will repeat in conclusion: “Be thou, O Lord, the sanctifier and guardian of thy people; that, defended by the protection of thy Apostle James, they may please thee by their conduct, and serve thee with secure minds.” (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B.,  (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Volume IV, Book 13, pp. 184-186.)

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.

Saint James the Greater, pray for us.

A Few Reflection on Saint Christopher, the Christ-Bearer

Yesterday, July 25, 2020, was also the Feast of Saint Christopher.

Saint Christopher, who was commemorated liturgically yesterday in Low Masses, once served the devil himself. Upon discovering a King who was more powerful than the devil, indeed, the devil's very Creator, Saint Christopher abandoned the devil and followed the King, Christ the King, Whom he, a veritable giant among men, had carried as a child grown into adulthood safely across a river. Saint Christopher teaches us that we must abandon our sins, which place us under the devil's power, to serve Christ the King and to not esteem--nor even to give the appearance of esteeming--for a single moment the devil or any of his minions in false religion. 

Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., wrote a brief commentary on this saint whose feast was obliterated in the liturgical reovlution that resulted in the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic liturgical abomination of desolation:

The name of Christopher, whose memory enhances the solemnity of the son of thunder, signifies one who bears Christ. Christina yesterday reminded us that Christians ought to be in every place the good odor of Christ (2 Corinthians 2: 15), Christopher today puts us in mind that Christ truly dwells by faith in our hearts (Ephesians 3: 17). The graceful legend attached to his name is well known. As other men were at a later date, to sanctify themselves in Spain by constructing roads and bridges to facilitate the approach of pilgrims to the tomb of St. James, so Christopher in Lycia had vowed for the love of Christ to carry travelers on his strong shoulders across a dangerous torrent. Our Lord will say on the last day: 'What you did to one of these My least brethren, you did it unto Me.' One night, being awakened by the voice of a child asking to be carried across, Christopher hastened to perform his wonted task of charity, when suddenly, in the midst of the surging and apparently trembling waves, the giant, who had never stooped beneath the greatest weight, was bent down under his burden, now grown heavier than the world itself. 'Be not astonished,' said the mysterious child, 'thou bearest Him Who bears the world.' And He disappeared, blessing His carrier and leaving him full of heavenly strength. Christopher went on to be crowned with martyrdom under Decius. The aid our fathers knew how to obtain from him against storms, demons, plague, accidents of all kinds, has caused him to be ranked among the saints called helpers. In many places the fruits of the orchards were blessed on this day, under the common auspices of St. Christopher and St. James. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Volume IV, Book 13, pp. 186-187.)

Saint Christopher will teach us to flee from the devil in all of his forms, including in the form of the Judeo-Masonic naturalism that shapes the contemporary civil state, including the United States of America, which was founded on men who rejected, as do even so many ostensible "Catholics" today, the necessity of subordinating everything in the lives of individuals and their nations to the Deposit Faith that the King of Kings has entrusted exclusively to His Catholic Church, the one and only true Church, in order to serve only Christ the King as we seek to plant the seeds for the unconditional conversion of each man and each nation to the Social Reign of this King of Kings, entrusting ourselves to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Saint Christopher will protect us in our earthly travels, and, much more importantly, he will protect us in our journey home to Heaven as members of the one and only true Church, the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.

Our Good Saint Anne, the Mother of the Mother of God

Today, Sunday, July 26, 2020, is the Feast of Saint Anne and the Commemoration of the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

The grandmother of the King of Kings, Good Saint Anne, sought always to defend the honor and majesty and the glory of the God Whom she would hold in her very arms.

Yes, Good Saint Anne is the mother of the Immaculate Conception and the grandmother of the Word Who was made Flesh in her daughter's Virginal and Immaculate womb. Saint Anne was privileged to carry within her own womb the woman who would make possible the salvation of us all by her perfect fiat to the Holy Will of God the Father at the Annunciation. Saint Anne is the model not only for good Catholic mothers but also the model of all Catholic grandmothers. Saint Anne teaches parents to train their children for eternity and always to defend the honor and glory and majesty of God.

Our Lady told the Venerable Mary of Agreda how her mother was prepared for her great responsibility to be the mother of the Mother of God:

177. The petitions of Sts. Joachim and Anne reached the throne of the most blessed Trinity where they were accepted, and the will of God was made known to the holy angels. The three divine Persons, according to our way of expressing such things, spoke to them as follows: “We have in our condescension resolved that the Person of the Word shall take human flesh, and in it He shall remedy the entire race of mortals. We have manifested and promised this to our servants the Prophets so they could prophesy it to the world. The sins of the living and their malice are such that We are obliged to execute the rigor of our justice; yet our goodness and mercy exceed all their evil works, and they cannot extinguish our charity. We shall look upon the works of our hands, whom We have created according to our image and likeness to be inheritors and participators of our eternal glory (I Peter 3:22). We shall respond to the services and pleasure which our servants and friends have given us, and to the many who shall raise themselves and become great in our praises and approbation. And singularly do We have Her before our eyes who is to be chosen among thousands, and above all creatures is to be acceptable and designated for our delights and complaisance, and who is to receive the Person of the Word in her womb and vest Him in the mortality of human flesh. Since there must be a beginning of this work by which We shall manifest to the world the treasures of our Divinity, now is the acceptable and opportune time for the execution of this sacrament. Joachim and Anne have found grace in our eyes; therefore We look upon them kindly and prepare them with the power of our gifts and graces. In the tests of their truthfulness they have been faithful, and by their sincere simplicity their souls have become acceptable and pleasing in our presence. Let Gabriel our ambassador go with new tidings of joy for them and for the whole human race, and announce to them how our condescension has looked upon them and chosen them.”

178. The celestial spirits recognized this will and decree of the Most High. The holy archangel Gabriel, adoring and reverencing His Highness in the manner which befits those most pure and spiritual beings, humbled himself before the throne of the most blessed Trinity, from whom an intellectual voice proceeded, saying to him: “Gabriel, enlighten, vivify and console Joachim and Anne, our servants, and tell them their prayers have come into our presence, and their pleas are heard by our clemency. Promise them they shall receive the fruit of benediction by the favor of our right hand, and Anne shall conceive and give birth to a Daughter, to whom We give the name of MARY.”

179. Together with this mandate of the Most High many mysteries and sacraments pertaining to this message were revealed to St. Gabriel. With it he descended from the vault of the empyrean heaven and appeared to St. Joachim while he was in prayer, saying to him: “Just and upright man, the Most High from his royal throne has seen thy desires and heard thy sighs and prayers, and makes thee happy on earth. Thy spouse Anne shall conceive and give birth to a Daughter who shall be blessed among women (Lk. 1:42, 48), and the nations shall know Her as the Blessed. He who is the eternal God, uncreated and the Creator of all, and in his judgments most righteous, powerful and strong, sends me to thee because He has accepted thy works and alms. Charity has softened the bosom of the Almighty and hastened his mercies, and in his liberality He desires to enrich thy house and thy family with a Daughter whom Anne shall conceive. The Lord himself has chosen for Her the name of MARY. From her childhood let Her be consecrated to the temple, and in it to God, as thou hast promised. She shall be great, chosen, powerful, and full of the Holy Ghost. Due to the sterility of Anne her conception shall be miraculous. She shall be a Daughter entirely prodigious in her life and works. Praise the Lord, Joachim, for this benefit, and magnify Him, for in no other nation has He wrought such a work. Go to give thanks in the temple of Jerusalem, and in testimony that what I announce to thee is the truth and new joy thou shalt meet in the Golden Gate thy sister Anne, who shall go to the temple for the same purpose. I give thee notice that most marvelous is this message, for the conception of this Child shall rejoice heaven and earth.”

180. All this happened to St. Joachim in sleep into which he fell in his prolonged prayer so in it he could receive this message, in the manner which afterward happened to St. Joseph, spouse of most holy Mary, when it was made known to him that her pregnancy was the work of the Holy Ghost (Mt. 1:20). The most happy St. Joachim awoke with special rejoicing of his soul, and with candid and sagacious prudence he concealed within his heart the sacrament of the King (Tob. 12:7). With living faith and hope he poured forth his spirit in the presence of the Most High, and transformed in tenderness and gratitude he rendered Him thanks and praise for his inscrutable judgments. In order to do this in greater fashion he went to the temple as he had been ordered.

181. While this was happening with St. Joachim, the most happy St. Anne was in most exalted prayer and contemplation, entirely elevated in the Lord and in the mystery of the Incarnation in which she expected the eternal Word, and regarding which the Lord himself had given most high understanding and special infused light. With profound humility and living faith she was pleading with His Majesty to hasten the coming of the Repairer of the human race in the following prayer: “Most high King and Lord of all creation, I, a vile and despicable creature (yet made by thy hands), desire at the price of my life (which from Thee, Lord, I have received) to urge Thee by thy condescension to hasten the time of our salvation. O if thy infinite kindness would incline to our necessity! O if our eyes already gazed upon the Repairer and Redeemer of men! Remember, O Lord, the ancient mercies which Thou hast worked with our people, promising thy Onlybegotten, and obliging Thyself by this determination of infinite kindness. Come now, O come, this day so desired. Is it possible that the Most High shall descend from his holy heaven! Is it possible that He is to have an earthly Mother! What woman shall She be so happy and blessed! O who shall be allowed to see Her! Who shall be worthy to be the servant of her servants! Blessed be the generations which shall see Her, and be able to prostrate themselves at her feet to reverence Her. How sweet shall be the sight of Her and her conversation! Happy the eyes which shall see Her, and the ears which shall hear her words, and the family which the Most High shall select to have his Mother in it. Execute now, O Lord, this decree; fulfill thy divine pleasure.”

182. In this prayer and colloquy St. Anne occupied herself after having received enlightenment regarding this ineffable mystery, and she compared all of her reasonings with those things said to her by her Guardian Angel, for her Angel had many times manifested himself to her, and on this occasion with greater clearness. The Most High ordained that the message of the conception of his holy Mother would be somewhat similar to the one which would afterward be given at his ineffable Incarnation; for St. Anne was meditating in humble fervor upon her, who was to bear the Mother of the incarnate Word, and the most holy Virgin was making the same reflections upon Her, who was to be the Mother of God, as I will relate in its place (Inc. 117). It was also the same Angel who brought both messages, and in human form, though he showed himself in a more beautiful and mysterious appearance to the Virgin Mary.

183. The holy archangel Gabriel appeared to St. Anne in human form more beautiful and resplendent than the sun, and said to her: “Anne, servant of the Most High, I am an Angel of the council of His Highness, sent from the heights by his divine condescension, He who looks upon the humble of the earth (Ps. 137:6). Good is incessant prayer and humble confidence. The Lord has heard thy petitions, since He is nigh to those who call upon Him with living faith and hope (Ps. 144:18), and who wait for Him with submission. If He defers the fulfillment of their prayers, and delays the recognition of the petitions of the just, it is to further dispose them and more highly oblige Himself to give much more than they ask and desire.* Prayer and almsgiving open the treasures of the omnipotent King, and incline Him to be rich in mercies toward those who implore Him (Tob. 12:8-9). Thou and Joachim have prayed for the fruit of benediction, and the Most High has resolved to give thee wonderful and holy fruit, and by to enrich thee with celestial gifts, granting thee much more than thou hast requested. Because thou hast humbled thyselves in prayer the Lord desires to magnify Himself in conceding to thee thy petitions, for those who pray with humility and confidence, without restricting his infinite power, are very pleasing to Him. Persevere in prayer, and ask without ceasing for the remedy of the human race in order to oblige the Most High. Moses by unceasing prayer brought victory to the people (Ex. 17:11). Esther by prayer and confidence obtained for herself and the people liberation from death (Esther 4:11ff.). Judith by the same type of prayer became valiant in such an arduous task she attempted in order to defend Israel; and she accomplished it, being a weak and frail woman (Judith 9:1ff.; 13:6ff.). David came out victorious against Goliath because he prayed, invoking the name of the Lord (I Kg. 17:45). Elias drew fire from heaven for his sacrifice (III Kg. 18:36-38), and by prayer opened and closed the heavens. The humility, faith and alms of Joachim and of thyself have come before the throne of the Most High, and now He sends me, his Angel, to announce news of joy for thy spirit, because His Majesty desires thee to be happy and blessed. He chooses thee as mother of She who is to conceive and give birth to the Onlybegotten of the Father. Thou shalt bring forth a Daughter, who by divine disposition shall be called MARY. She shall be blessed among women and full of the Holy Ghost. She shall be the cloud which shall drop the dew of heaven for the refreshment of mortals (Ib. 44), and in Her shall be fulfilled the prophecies of thy ancestors. She shall be the gate of life and salvation for the children of Adam. Know also I have revealed to Joachim that he shall have a Daughter who shall be happy and blessed, yet the Lord has reserved the sacrament from him, not manifesting to him She is to be the Mother of the Messiah; hence thou must guard this secret. Go therefore to the temple to give thanks to the Most High, because He has so generously favored thee by his powerful right hand. In the Golden Gate thou shalt meet Joachim, where thou shalt confer with him about this news. Yet to thee, blessed of the Lord, his grandeur desires to visit and enrich with more singular blessings. In solitude He shall speak to thy heart (Osee 2:14) and give a beginning to the law of grace, giving being in thy womb to Her who is to vest in mortal flesh the immortal Lord, giving Him human form. And in this humanity united to the Word He shall write with his blood the true law of mercy” (Heb. 9:11ff.).

184. So the humble heart of St. Anne might not faint away with admiration and joy at these tidings of the holy Angel she was strengthened by the Holy Ghost, and thus she heard it and received it with magnanimity and incomparable joy. She then arose and they were enlightened anew by the grace of the divine Spirit, and full of divine consolation they returned to their home conferring about the favors they had received from the Most High, and how the holy archangel Gabriel had spoken to each one individually, promising on behalf of the Lord they would be given a Daughter who would be very happy and blessed. On this occasion they also told each other how the same Angel, before their espousal, had commanded each to accept the other so together they could serve God according to his divine will. This secret they had kept from each other for twenty years without communicating it until the same Angel promised them the issue of such a Daughter. Anew they made the vow to offer Her to the temple, and that each year on this day they would come to the temple to offer special gifts, spend the day in praise and thanksgiving, and give many alms. This vow they fulfilled to the end of their lives, spending this day in great praise and exaltation of the Most High.

185. The prudent matron Anne never disclosed the secret that her Daughter was to be the Mother of the Messiah, either to St. Joachim or to any other creature, nor did that holy father in the course of his life know any more than She was to be a grand and mysterious woman. However, in the last moments of his life the Almighty made the secret known to him, as I shall relate in its place (Con. 666). Although great revelations have been made to me concerning the virtues and the holiness of the two parents of the Queen of heaven, I shall not dilate upon that which all the faithful must presuppose, but rather come to my principal intention.

186. After the first conception of the body which was to be that of the Mother of Grace, and before creating her most holy soul, God granted a singular favor to St. Anne. He gave her a vision or apparition of His Majesty intellectually and in a most exalted manner, communicating in it great understanding and gifts of grace which disposed and prepared her with blessings of sweetness (Ps. 20:4). Entirely purifying her, He spiritualized the inferior part of her body and elevated her soul and spirit in such a way that from that day on she never attended to any human affair which could impede her from placing in God all the affection of her mind and will, without ever losing sight of Him. In this vision the Lord said to her: “Anne, my servant, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. My blessing and eternal light is with thee. I formed man in order to raise him from the dust and make him the inheritor of my glory and participator of my Divinity. And although I deposited in him many gifts, and established him in a place and state of high perfection, yet he listened to the serpent and lost all. In my benevolence, forgetting his ingratitude, I desire to repair the damages incurred by him and fulfill that which I have promised to my servants and Prophets by sending my Onlybegotten, their Redeemer. The heavens are closed and the ancient Fathers are detained, without the sight of my face; I desire to give them the gift of eternal life I have promised them. The inclination of my infinite goodness is as it were violated in not communicating itself to the human race; but now I desire to exercise by it my generous mercy and give them the Person of the eternal Word so He can be made man, being born of a Woman who shall be Mother, Virgin, immaculate, pure, blessed and holy above all creatures; and of Her, my chosen and only One (Cant. 6:8), I make thee mother.”

187. I cannot easily explain the effects these words had on the candid heart of St. Anne, she being the first of those born of men to whom was revealed the mystery of her most holy Daughter, who was to be the Mother of God and chosen for the greatest sacrament of the divine power. It was appropriate for her to know of this mystery and properly estimate the Treasure which she was to possess and to whom she was to give birth and existence. She heard with profound humility the voice of the Most High, and with a submissive heart she answered: “Lord, eternal God, it is the nature of thy immense goodness and the work of thy powerful arm to raise from the dust those who are poor and despised (Ps. 112:7). I acknowledge myself, Lord most high, a creature unworthy of such mercies and benefits. What shall this vile worm do in thy presence? I can only offer Thee in thanksgiving thy own Being and grandeur, and my soul and faculties in sacrifice. Work in me, my Lord, according to thy will, since to it I resign myself entirely. I would like to be as worthy of this favor as Thou dost ask of me; yet what shall I do, since I do not merit to be the slave of She who is to be the Mother of thy Onlybegotten and my Daughter? This I know, and shall confess always, that by myself I am poor; yet at the feet of thy greatness I am awaiting Thee to make use of me according to thy mercy, since Thou art a kind Father and omnipotent God. Make me, O Lord, what thou dost desire me to be according to the dignity Thou dost bestow upon me.”

188. In this vision St. Anne was rapt in a most wonderful ecstasy in which she was granted most exalted understanding of the natural, written and evangelical laws. She recognized how the divine nature of the eternal Word would become united to our own, how the most holy humanity would be raised to the being of God, and many other mysteries which would be accomplished in the Incarnation of the divine Word. By these enlightenments and other gifts of divine grace the Most High disposed her for the conception of the body and creation of the soul of her most holy Daughter, the Mother of God. went to the temple of Jerusalem and met St. Joachim as the Angel had foretold to them both. Together they gave thanks to the Author of this wonder and offered special gifts and sacrifices. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God, The Conception, Book One, Chapter 13.)

Good Saint Anne was permitted to endure some severe trials, including attacks by the adversary himself, as she was carrying within the Mother of God, the August Queen of Heaven and Earth, Our Lady, until the day of her nativity on September 8:

314. The most happy mother St. Anne passed the days of her pregnancy altogether spiritualized by the divine operations and the sweet workings of the Holy Ghost in all her faculties. Divine Providence, however, in order to direct her course to greater merit and reward, ordained that the ballast of trouble be not lacking, for without it the cargo of grace and love is scarcely ever secure. In order to understand better what happened to this holy woman, it must be remembered that the demon, after he was hurled with the other bad angels from heaven into the infernal torments, never ceased during the reign of the old Law to search through the earth, hovering with lurking vigilance above the women of distinguished holiness, in order to find Her whose sign he had seen (Apoc. 12:1) and whose heel was to bruise and crush his head (Gen. 3:15). The wrath of Lucifer against men was so fierce that he would not trust this investigation to his inferiors alone, but leaving them to operate against the virtuous women in general, he himself attended to this matter and assiduously hovered around those who signalized themselves more particularly in the exercise of virtue and in the grace of the Most High.

315. Filled with malice and astuteness he observed closely the exceedingly great holiness of the excellent matron Anne and all the events of her life, and although he could not estimate the richness of the Treasure which was enclosed in her blessed womb (since the Lord concealed this as well as many other mysteries from him), yet he felt a powerful influence proceeding from St. Anne. The fact that he could not penetrate into the source of this activity threw him at times into great fury and rage. At other times he quieted himself with the thought that this pregnancy arose from the same causes as others in the course of nature, and hence there was no special cause for alarm, for the Lord left him to his own hallucinations and to the vagaries of his own fury. Nevertheless the whole event was a source of great misgiving to this perverse spirit when he saw how quietly her pregnancy took its course, and especially when he saw that many Angels stood in attendance. Above all he was enraged at his weakness in resisting the force which proceeded from St. Anne, and he suspected that it was not she alone who was the cause of it.

316. Filled with this mistrust the dragon determined, if possible, to take the life of most blessed Anne; and if he could not succeed in this, at least try to obtain some wicked joy out of her pregnancy, for the pride of Lucifer was so boundless as to persuade him of his ability to overcome or take away the life of Her who was to be the Mother of the incarnate Word, or even the life of the Messiah and Redeemer of the world, if only he could obtain knowledge of their whereabouts. His arrogance was founded upon the superiority of his angelic nature to the condition and power of mere human nature, as if both were not subject to grace and entirely dependent upon the will of their Creator. Audaciously therefore he set about tempting St. Anne with many suggestions, misgivings, doubts and hesitations about the truth of her pregnancy, alleging her protracted years. All this the demon attempted in order to test the virtue of the Saint, and to see whether these temptations would give some opening for the perversion of her will.

317. But the invincible matron resisted these onslaughts with humble fortitude, patience, continual prayer, and vivid faith in the Lord. She brought to naught the perplexing lies of the dragon, and because of them only gained additional grace and protection from on high, for

besides the protection abundantly merited by her past life she was defended and freed from the demons by the great Princes who were guarding her most holy Daughter. Nevertheless in his insatiable malice the enemy did not desist on that account, and since his arrogance and pride far exceed his powers he sought human aid, for with such help he always promises himself greater ease of victory. Having at first tried to overthrow the dwelling of Sts. Joachim and Anne so she might be frightened and excited by the shock of its fall, but not being able to succeed due to the resistance of the holy Angels, he incited against St. Anne one of the foolish women of her acquaintance to quarrel with her. This the woman did with great fury, insolently attacking St. Anne with reproach and scorn. She did not hesitate to make a mockery of her pregnancy, saying that she was the sport of the demon in being thus found pregnant after so many years and at so great an age.

318. St. Anne was not disturbed by this temptation, but rather with all meekness and charity suffered the injuries and cherished those who dealt them. From that time on she looked upon these women with affection and lavished upon them greater benefits. But their wrath was not immediately pacified, for the demon had taken possession of them, filling them with hatred against the Saint; and since any concession to this cruel tyrant always increases his power over his victims, he incited these miserable dupes to even plot against the person and life of St. Anne. But they could not put their plots into execution because divine power interfered to foil their natural womanly weakness. They were not only powerless against the Saint, but they were overcome by her admonitions and brought to the knowledge and amendment of their evil course by her prayers.

319. The dragon was repulsed but not vanquished, for he immediately availed himself of a maid who served the saintly couple, and exasperated her against the holy matron. Through her he created an even greater annoyance than through the other women, for she was a domestic enemy and more stubborn and dangerous than the others. I will not stay to describe what the enemy attempted through this servant, since it was similar to that of the other woman, only more annoying and malicious. But with the help of God St. Anne won a more glorious victory than before, for the watcher of Israel slumbered not, but guarded his holy City (Ps. 120:4) and furnished it so well with sentinels, chosen from the strongest of his hosts, that they put to ignominious flight Lucifer and his followers. No more were they allowed to molest the fortunate mother, who was already expecting the birth of the most blessed Princess of heaven, and who, enriched by heroic acts of virtue and many merits in these conflicts, had now arrived at the fulfillment of all her highest desires. I too desire to come to an end with this chapter in order to hear the salutary instructions of my Mistress and Teacher, who besides assisting me in all that I write also favors me with her maternal admonitions which I receive with highest joy and exultation of my spirit. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The New English Edition of the Mystical City of God, The Conception, Book I, Chapter XX)

The Venerable Mary of Agreda gave a most beautiful and moving account of this day, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she who was filled with every grace from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception and who was surrounded by a thousand angels as she, the fairest flower of the human race, saw the light of day:

325. The day of the parturition of St. Anne and for the birth of most holy Mary, who was consecrated and sanctified to be the Mother of God, had arrived, a joyous day for the world. This birth happened on the eighth day of September, completing nine months since the Immaculate Conception of our most holy Queen and Lady. St. Anne was prepared by an interior voice of the Lord which informed her that the hour of her parturition had come. Full of the joy of the Holy Ghost at this information, she prostrated herself before the Lord and besought the assistance of his grace and his protection for a happy deliverance. Presently she felt a movement in her womb similar to that which is proper to creatures being born to the light. The most blessed child Mary was at the same time by divine Providence and power ravished into a most exalted ecstasy; hence She was born into the world without perceiving it by her senses, for their operations and faculties had been suspended. Since She had the use of her reason She would have perceived it by her senses if they would have been left to operate in their natural manner at that time; however, the Almighty disposed otherwise so the Princess of heaven would be spared the sensible experience otherwise connected with birth.

326. She was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby demonstrating that She was free from the law and tribute of sin. Although She was born substantially like other daughters of Adam, yet her birth was accompanied by such circumstances and conditions of grace that it was the most wonderful and miraculous birth in all creation and will eternally redound to the praise of her Maker. At twelve o’clock in the night this divine Luminary issued forth, dividing the night of the ancient Law and its initial darkness from the new day of gracewhich was now dawning. She was clothed, handled and dressed like other infants, though her soul dwelt in the Divinity, and She was treated as an infant, though She excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom. Her mother did not allow Her to be touched by other hands than her own, but she herself wrapped Her in swaddling clothes, and in this St. Anne was not hindered by her present state of childbirth, for she was free from the toils and labors which other mothers usually endure in such circumstances.

327. Then St. Anne received Her into her arms, She who being her Daughter was at the same time the most exquisite Treasure of all the universe, inferior only to God and superior to all other creatures. With fervent tears of joy she offered this Treasure to His Majesty, saying interiorly: “Lord of infinite wisdom and power, Creator of all that exists, the fruit of my womb, which I have received from thy bounty, I offer to Thee with eternal gratitude, for without any merit of mine Thou hast vouchsafed Her to me. Dispose Thou of the mother and Child according to thy most holy will, and look down propitiously upon our lowliness from thy exalted throne. Be Thou eternally blessed, because Thou hast enriched the world with a creature so pleasing to thy bounty, and because in Her Thou hast prepared a dwelling place and a tabernacle for the eternal Word (Wis. 9:8). I tender my congratulations to my holy forefathers and to the holy Prophets, and in them to the whole human race, for this sure pledge of Redemption which Thou hast given them. But how shall I be able worthily to treat Her whom Thou hast given me as a Daughter, I who am not worthy to be her servant? How shall I handle the true Ark of the Testament? Give me, O my Lord and King, the necessary enlightenment to know thy will and to execute it according to thy pleasure in the service of my Daughter.”

328. The Lord answered the holy matron interiorly that she was to treat her heavenly Child outwardly as mothers treat their daughters, without any demonstration of reverence, but to retain this reverence inwardly, fulfilling the laws of a true mother toward Her, and raising Her with all motherly love and solicitude. With all this the happy mother complied; making use of this permission and her rights as mother without losing her reverence, she regaled herself with her most holy Daughter, embracing and caressing Her in the same way as other mothers do with their daughters, but it was always done with a proper reverence and consciousness of the hidden and divine sacrament known only to the mother and Daughter. The Guardian Angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and reverence to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother; they joined in heavenly music, some of which was audible also to St. Anne. The thousand Angels appointed as guardians of the great Queen offered themselves and dedicated themselves to her service. This was also the first time in which the heavenly Mistress saw them in a corporeal form with their devices and emblems, as I shall describe in another chapter (Con. 360ff.), and the Child asked them to join with Her in the praise of the Most High and exalt Him in her name. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God, The Conception, Book One, Chapter XXI.)

Ever obedient to God’s Holy Will, Saint Anne and her husband, Saint Joachim, knew that they had to part with their beloved daughter, for whose conception and birth they prayed for so long before the events described in an earlier passage from The New English Edition of The Mystical City God, were prompt in their duty to present Our Lady in the Temple when she was three years of age:

420. The three years decreed by the Lord having been completed, Joachim and Anne set out from Nazareth accompanied by a few of their kindred and bringing with them the true living Ark of the Covenant, most holy Mary, borne on the arms of her mother in order to be deposited in the holy temple of Jerusalem. The beautiful Child, by her fervent and loving aspirations, hastened after the ointments of her Beloved (Cant. 1:3), seeking in the temple Him whom She bore in her Heart. This humble procession was scarcely noticed by earthly creatures, but it was invisibly accompanied by the angelic spirits, who in order to celebrate this event had hastened from heaven in greater numbers than usual as her bodyguard, and were singing in heavenly strains the glory and praise of the Most High. The Princess of heaven heard and saw them as She hastened her beautiful steps along in the sight of the highest and the true Solomon. Thus they pursued their journey from Nazareth to the holy city of Jerusalem, and also the parents of the holy child Mary felt in their hearts great joy and consolation of spirit. 

 421. They arrived at the holy temple, and St. Anne, in order to enter into it with her Daughter and Lady, took Her by the hand, St. Joachim giving particularly assistance to them. All three offered a devout and fervent prayer to the Lord, the parents offering to God their Daughter, and the most holy Child, in profound humility, adoration and worship, offering up Herself. She alone perceived that the Most High received and accepted Her, and amid divine splendor which filled the temple She heard a voice saying to Her: “Come, my Beloved, my Spouse, come to my temple, where I desire to hear thy voice of praise and worship.” Having offered their prayers they rose and went to the priest. The parents consigned their Child into his hands and he gave them his blessing. Together they conducted Her to the portion of the temple buildings where many young girls lived to be brought up in retirement and virtuous habits until old enough to assume the state of matrimony. It was a place of retirement specially selected for the first-born daughters of the royal tribe of Juda and the sacerdotal tribe of Levi.

422. Fifteen stairs led up to the entrance of these apartments. Other priests came down these stairs in order to welcome the blessed child Mary. The one who had received them, being according to the law one of a minor order, placed Her on the first step; She, with his permission, turned and knelt down before her parents Joachim and Anne, asked their blessing and kissed their hands, and recommended Herself to their prayers before God. The holy parents in most tender tears gave Her their blessing, whereupon She ascended the fifteen stairs without any assistance. She hastened upward with incomparable fervor and joy, neither turning back, nor shedding tears, nor showing any childish regret at parting from her parents. To see Her in so tender an age so full of strange majesty and firmness of mind excited the admiration of all those present. The priests received Her among the rest of the maidens, and St. Simeon consigned Her to the teachers, one of whom was the prophetess Anne. This holy matron had been prepared by the Lord by special grace and enlightenment in order to take charge of this Child of Joachim and Anne, and thus she did by divine disposition, meriting by her holiness and virtue to have Her as a disciple who was to be the Mother of God and Mistress of all the creatures.

423. Sorrowfully her parents Joachim and Anne retraced their journey to Nazareth, now poor since deprived of the rich Treasure of their house. But the Most High consoled and comforted them in their affliction. The holy priest Simeon, though he did not at this time know of the mystery enshrined in the child Mary, obtained great light regarding her sanctity and special selection by the Lord; also the other priests looked upon Her with great reverence and esteem. In ascending the fifteen stairs the Child brought to fulfillment that which Jacob saw happening in sleep (Gen. 28:12), for here too were Angels ascending and descending, the ones accompanying, the others meeting their Queen as She hastened up, whereas at the top God was waiting in order to welcome Her as his Daughter and Spouse. She also felt by the effects of her overflowing love that this truly was the house of God and the portal of heaven. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The New English Editon of The Mystical City of God: The Conception: Book Two, Chapter 1.)

Saints Anne and Joachim provide us models of the serene acceptance of God’s Holy Will and of the necessity of obeying without delay no matter the suffering that could be entailed as it is only the royal road of victory that is the Holy Cross by which we can save our souls. We must be ready to sacrifice everything for the cause of the Kingdom of God, including giving up our children to the priesthood or consecrated religious if this be their calling. Indeed, it is the duty of parents to foster a priestly or religious vocation in the souls of their children. Although our children have free will, it is nevertheless the duty of parents to pray for them to give  their lives in the service of Christ the King and His Holy Church no matter what vocation they may wind up choosing. Saint Anne and Saint Joachim gave back unto God the great Treasure He had given them until the time appointed for their daughter to be presented in the Temple. Such selfless love and detachment from one’s own will and legitimate earthly affections teach us that we must pray to discern and then to do God’s ineffable will at all times no matter our own preferences.

Dom Prosper Gueranger’s narrative of Good Saint Anne’s holy life amply these points far more cogently, eloquently and poetically thanthis poor sinner and his prosaic style could even wish to aspire:

Uniting the blood of kings with that of pontiffs, the glory of Anne’s illustrious origin is far surpassed by that of her offspring, without compare among the daughters of Eve. The noblest of all, who have ever conceived by virtue of the command to “increase and multiply,” beholds the law of human generation pause before her as having arrived at its summit, at the threshold of God; for from her fruit God himself is come forth, the fatherless Son of the Blessed Virgin, and the grandson of Anne and Joachim.

Before being favored with the greatest blessing ever bestowed on an earthly union, the two holy grand-parents of the Word made Flesh had to pass through the purification of suffering. Traditions which, though mingled with details of less authenticity, have come down to us from the very beginning of Christianity, tell us of these noble spouses subjected to the trial of prolonged sterility, and on that account despised by their people; of Joachim cast out of the temple and going to hide his sorrow in the desert; of Anne left alone to mourn her widowhood and humiliation. For exquisite sentiment this narrative might be compared with the most beautiful histories of Holy Scripture.
“It was one of the great festival days of the Lord. In spite of extreme sorrow, Anne laid aside her mourning garments, and adorned her head and clothed herself with her nuptial robes. And about the ninth hour she went down to the garden to walk; seeing a laurel she sat down in its shade, and poured forth her prayer to the Lord God, saying, God of my fathers, bless me and hear my supplication, as thou didst bless Sara and didst give her a son!
“And raising her eyes to heaven, she saw in the laurel a sparrow’s nest, and sighing she said: Alas! of whom was I born to be thus a curse in Israel?
“To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the birds of the air; for the birds are blessed by thee, O Lord.
“To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the beasts of the earth: for they, too, are fruitful before thee.
“To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the waters; for they are not barren in thy sight, and the rivers and the oceans full of fish praise thee in their heavings and in their peaceful flowing.
“To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me even to the earth, for the earth, too, bears fruit in season, and praises thee, O Lord.
“And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by, and said to her: Anne, God has heard thy prayer; thou shalt conceive and bear a child, and thy fruit shall be honored throughout the whole inhabited earth. And in due time Anne brought forth a daughter, and said: My soul is magnified this hour. And she called the child Mary; and giving her the breast, she intoned this canticle to the Lord:
“I will sing the praise of the Lord my God: for he has visited me and has taken away my shame, and has given me a fruit of justice. Who shall declare to the sons of Ruben that Anne is become fruitful? Hear, hear, O ye twelve tribes: behold Anne is giving suck!”
The feast of St. Joachim, which the Church celebrates on the Sunday within the octave of his blessed Daughter’s Assumption, will give us an occasion of completing the account of these trials and joys in which he shared. Warned from heaven to leave the desert, he met his spouse at the golden gate which leads to the Temple on the east side. Not far from here, near the Probatica piscina, where the little white lambs were washed before being offered in sacrifice, now stands the restored basilica of St. Anne, originally called St. Mary of the Nativity. Here, as in a peaceful paradise, the rod of Jesse produced that blessed branch which the Prophet hailed as about the bear the flower that had blossomed from eternity in the bosom of the Father. It is true that Sephoris, Anne’s native city, and Nazareth, where Mary lived, dispute with the holy City the honor which ancient and constant tradition assigns to Jerusalem. But our homage will not be misdirected if we offer it today to Blessed Anne, in whom were wrought the prodigies, the very thought of which brings new joy to heaven, rage to Satan, and triumph to the world.

Anne was, as it were, the starting-point of redemption, the horizon scanned by the prophets, the first span of the heavens to be empurpled with the rising fires of dawn; the blessed soil whose produce was so pure as to make the angels believe that Eden had been restored to us. But in the midst of the incomparable peace that surrounds her, let us hail her as the land of victory surpassing the most famous fields of battle; as the sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception, where our humiliated race took up the combat begun before the throne of God by the angelic hosts; where the serpent's head was crushed, and Michael, now surpassed in glory, gladly handed over to his sweet Queen, at the first moment of her existence, the command of the Lord's armies.

What human lips, unless touched like the prophet's with a burning coal, could tell the admiring wonder of the angelic Powers, when the Blessed Trinity, passing from the burning Seraphim to the lowest of the nine choirs, bad them turn their fiery glances and contemplate the flower of sanctity blossoming in the bosom of Anne? The Psalmist had said of the glorious City whose foundations were now hidden in her that was once barren: The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains, and the heavenly hierarchies crowning the slopes of the eternal hills beheld in her heights to them unknown and unattainable summits approaching so near to God, that He was even then preparing His throne in her. Like Moses at the sight of the burning bush on Horeb, they were seized with a holy awe on recognizing the mountain of God in the midst of the desert of this world; and they understood that the affliction of Israel was soon to cease. Although shrouded by the cloud, Mary was already that blessed mountain whose base--i.e., the starting-point of her graces--was set far above the summits where the highest created sanctities are perfected in glory and love.

How justly is the mother named Anne, which signified grace, she in whom for nine months were centred the complacencies of the Most High the ecstasy of the angelic spirits, and the hope of all flesh! No doubt it was Mary, the daughter, and not the mother, whose sweetness so powerfully attracted the heavens to our lowly earth. But the perfume first scents the vessel which contains it, and even after it is removed, leaves it impregnated with its fragrance. Moreover, it is customary to prepare the vase itself with the greatest care; it must be all the purer, made of more precious material, and more richly adorned, according as the essence to be placed in it is rarer and more exquisite. Thus Magdalen enclosed her precious spikenard in alabaster. The Holy Spirit, the preparer of heavenly perfumes, would not be less careful than men. Now the task of blessed Anne was not limited, like that of a material vase, to containing passively the treasure of the world. She furnished the body of her who was to give flesh to the Son of God; she nourished her with her milk; she gave to her, who was inundated with floods of divine light, the first practical notions of life. In the education of her illustrious daughter, Anne played the part of a true mother" not only did she guide Mary's first steps, but she co-operated with the Holy Ghost in the education of her soul and the preparation for her incomparable destiny; until, when the work had reached the highest development to which she could bring it, she, without a moment's hesitation or a thought of self, offered her tenderly loved child to Him from whom she had received her.

Sic fingit tabernaculum Deo--'Thus she framed a tabernacle for God.' Such was the inscription around the figure of St. Anne instructing Mary, which formed the device of the ancient guild of joiners and cabinet-makers; for they, looking upon the making of tabernacles wherein God may dwell in our churches as their most choice work, had taken St. Anne for their patroness and model. Happy were those whose times when the simplicity of our fathers penetrated so deeply into the practical understanding of mysteries which their infatuated sons glory in ignoring. The valiant woman is praised in the Book of Proverbs for her spinning, weaving, sewing, embroidering, and household cares: naturally, then, those engaged in these occupations placed themselves under the protection of the spouse of Joachim. More than once, those suffering from the same trial which had inspired Anne's touching prayer beneath the sparrow's nest, experienced the power of her intercession in obtaining for others, as well as for herself, the blessing of the Lord God. . . . .

More fortunate than the wife of Elcana, who prefigured thee both in her trial and by her name, thou, O Anne, now singest the magnificent gifts of the Lord. Where is now the proud synagogues that despised thee? The descendants of the barre none are now without number; and all we, the brethren of Jesus, children, like Him, of thy daughter Mary, come joyfully, led by our Mother, to offer thee our praises. In the family circle the grandmother's feast day is the most touching of all, when her grandchildren surround her with reverential love, as we gather around these to-day. Many, alas ! know not these beautiful feasts, where the blessing of the earthly paradise seems to revive in all its freshness; but the mercy of our God has provided a sweet compensation. He, the Most High God, willed to come so nigh to us to be one of us in the flesh; to know the relations and mutual dependencies which are the law of our nature; the cords of Adam, with which He had determined to draw us and in which He first bound Himself. For in raising nature above itself, He did not eliminate it; He made grace take hold of it and lead it to heaven; so that, joined together on earth by their divine Author, nature and grace were to be united for all eternity. We, then, being brethren by grace of Him who is ever thy grandson by nature, are, by this loving disposition of Divine Wisdom, quite at home under thy roof; and to-day's feast, so dear to the hearts of Jesus and Mary, is our own family feast.

Smile then, dear mother, upon our chants and bless our prayers. To-day and always be propitious to the supplications which our land of sorrows sends up to thee. Be gracious to wives and mothers who confide to thee holy desires and the secret of their sorrows. Keep up, where they still exist, the traditions of the Christian home. Over how many families has the baneful breath of this age passed, blighting all that is serious in life, weakening faith, leaving nothing but languor, weariness, frivolity, if not even worse, in the place of the true and solid joys of our fathers. How truly might the Wise Man say at the present day: Who shall find a valiant woman? She alone by her influence could counteract all these evils; but on condition of recognizing wherein her true strength lies: in humble household works done with her own hand; in hidden and self-sacrificing devotedness; in watchings by night; in hourly foresight; working in wool and flax, and with the spindle; all those strong things which win for her the confidence and praise of her husband; authority over all, abundance in the house, blessings from the poor whom she has helped, honour from strangers, reverence from her children; and for herself is the fear of the Lord, nobility and dignity, beauty and strength, wisdom, sweetness and content, and clam assurance at the latter day.

O blessed Anne, rescue society, which is perishing for want of virtues like thine. The motherly kindness thou art ever more frequently bestowing upon us have increased the Church's confidence; deign to respond to the hopes she places in thee. Bless especially thy faithful Brittany; have pity on unhappy France, for which thou hast shown thy predilection, first, by so early confiding to it thy sacred body; later on, by choosing it to be the spot whence thou wouldst manifest thyself to the world; and again, quite recently entrusting to its sons the church and seminary dedicated to thy honour in Jerusalem. O thou who lovest the Franks, who deignest still to look on fallen Gaul as the kingdom of Mary, continue to show it that love which is its most cherished tradition. Mayest thou become known throughout the whole world. As for us, who have long known thy power and experienced thy goodness, let us ever seek in thee, O mother, our rest, security, strengthen every trial; for he who leans on thee has nothing to fear on earth, and he who rests in thy arms is safely carried. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Volume IV, Book 13, pp. 188-196.)

Would Good Saint Anne have us be silent when the honor and majesty and glory of her Divine Grandson are put into question by acts esteeming false religions, no less by a putative "pontiff's" walking into mosques or the very sort of synagogue in which she and her Most Holy daughter and Divine Grandson are mocked and reviled?

Would not Saint Anne exhort us to make our own these words from Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, who wrote so eloquently about the glories of her own Virginal and Immaculate daughter?

"And when there is question of the divine honour, we should be not be frightened by the dignity of the man who offends God; let us say to him openly: This is sinful; it cannot be done." 

We have the Heavenly help provided us by Saint James the Greater and Saint Christopher, the Christ-bearer, and Good Saint Anne to overcome human respect and to defend the Divine honor no matter who on this earth is offended. Each of these Heavenly helpers, starting with Saint Anne herself, wants us to do all we can to speak in defense of the Catholic Faith when it is mocked by blasphemers, including those posing as Catholics in the counterfeit church of conciliarism.

Each of these Heavenly helpers wants us to make reparation for our many sins by offering up our prayers and sufferings and penances and humiliations to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of the one who was conceived without stain of sin in Good Saint Anne's own womb. Each of these Heavenly helpers wants us to make good use of the Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary each and every day of our lives to combat the forces of the world, the flesh and the devil, who was once served most deliberately by Reprobas, he would become the Christ-bearer, Saint Christopher, in order that the seeds we plant for the restoration of the Church and of the Social Reign of Christ the King, Whose Kingship was advance so valiantly by Saint James the Greater, will be all the more efficacious.

When there is question of Divine honor, my friends, we must not be in doubt. We must call upon the Heavenly helpers to speak out without fear of the consequences, and the ones celebrated yesterday and today are ready to assist us if we call upon them.

As we want to enjoy the glory of the Beatific Vision in Heaven with these saintly helpers, it is a wonderful resolution to make during these glorious feast days to pray for the restoration of a true pope on the Throne of Saint Peter so that all Catholics universally will have ready access to that which is wanting now: nearby valid offerings of the Holy Sacrifice of the.

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?

The Litany of Saint Anne (for private use only)

Lord have mercy on us.

Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christgraciously hear us
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
 Holy Mary, Queen of Angels and Saints, pray for us.
St. Anne, instrument of the Holy Ghost, pray for us.
St. Anne, faithful spouse of St. Joachim, pray for us.
St. Anne, mirror of the married, pray for us.
St. Anne, example of widows, pray for us.
St. Anne, miracle of patience, pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of confidence, pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of constancy, pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of prayer, pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of blessing, pray for us.
St. Anne, vessel of sanctity, pray for us.
St. Anne, merciful mother, pray for us.
St. Anne, comfortress of the afflicted, pray for us.
St. Anne, help of the poor, pray for us.
St. Anne, protectress of virgins, pray for us.
St. Anne, support of the oppressed, pray for us.
St. Anne, refuge of thy clients, pray for us.
We sinners, we beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy love for Jesus and Mary, we beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy virtues and merits, we beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy goodness and mercy, we beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy compassion and charity, we beseech thee, hear us.
Through the graces bestowed on thee by God, we beseech thee, hear us.
Through the joys thou didst experience with Jesus and Mary, we beesech thee, hear us.
Through the happiness thou dost enjoy for all eternity, we beseech thee, hear us.

Through the honor given thee by the Saints in Heaven, we beseech thee, hear us. 

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, St. Anne
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to endow blessed Anne with grace so that she might be worthy to become the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we who devoutly venerate her memory may also be helped by her powerful intercession. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Viva Cristo Rey!