"Benedictus Qui Venit in Nomine Domnini, Hosanna in Excelsis," part three

And Jesus being come out of the temple, went away. And his disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple. [2] And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen I say to you there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be destroyed. [3] And when he was sitting on mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world? [4] And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you: [5] For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many.

[6] And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places: [8] Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. [9] Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake. [10] And then shall many be scandalized: and shall betray one another: and shall hate one another.

[11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. [12] And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. [13] But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. [14] And this gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come. [15] When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.

[16] Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: [17] And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house: [18] And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. [19] And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days. [20] But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the sabbath.

[21] For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be. [22] And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened. [23] Then if any man shall say to you: Lo here is Christ, or there, do not believe him. [24] For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. [25] Behold I have told it to you, beforehand.

[26] If therefore they shall say to you: Behold he is in the desert, go ye not out: Behold he is in the closets, believe it not. [27] For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west: so shall the coming of the Son of man be. [28] Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. [29] And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved: [30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. (Matthew 24: 1-30.)

Neoconservative war hawks keep believing that they are going to reshape the world by their Trotskyite policies of endless war. Men who have never seen the horrors of armed combat, including the unintended deaths of innocent civilians even in just wars, keep churning out their plans to keep stoking the embers of unjust wars and/or proxy wars all around the globe to achieve their unachievable Wilsonian goals of “regime change” in the name of a “democracy” that does not exist even within their own highly surveilled prison states wherein the established bureaucratic elites and their war profiteering corporatist giants make the decisions for the “people” regardless of any little inconvenient encumbrances such as constitutional requirements for declarations of war before undertaking these endless exercises in geopolitical social engineering by bullets and bombs.

Even worse yet is the fact that the Congress of the United States of America keeps funding these endless wars without voting on any declaration of war, which is the only constitutional means by which the armed forces of the United States of America may undertake military missions except in cases where the defense of the nation’s borders is in imminent peril. Then again, the southern border of the United States of America is in imminent peril. Duly authorized Congressional legislation regulating the immigration of foreigners into the United States of America are ignored as the officers of the United States Border Patrol have been ordered to aid and abet what is an invasion of American sovereignty even though they have been charged with enforcing the laws, which include specific means by which those claiming asylum status may adjudicate their cases. American policymakers are concerned first and foremost with the protecting the borders of other nations than they are in protecting those of this country. This is because the members of the organized crime family of the false opposite of the naturalist “left” want new voters to ratify their perverse agendas of totalitarian control over even the mere expression of dissenting convictions as their false opposite in the organized crime family of the naturalist “right” desire to serve the interests of the United States Chamber of Commerce, whose scions help to fund the campaigns of “moderate” Republicans so that they can wink at illegal immigration to provide a steady stream of labor for underclass jobs that cannot be filled by the lack of our own indigenous labor force caused by contraception and abortion.

Meanwhile, of course, this very same unholy alliance of careerist criminals bloviate endlessly about preserving “democracy” in Ukraine, whose leaders are quickly becoming apes of the bagmen of Kabul by raking in billions of American taxpayer dollars without any legitimate Congressional oversight or administrative accountability, even though “democracy” to the shameless Volodymyr Zelensky means suppressing free speech and going so far as to suggest that it would be “irresponsible” to hold elections in Ukraine next year as scheduled:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told his people in a nightly address on Monday that discussions about the scheduled 2024 presidential election in his country were “absolutely irresponsible” in light of the ongoing Russian invasion of his country.

Zelensky became president after winning the 2019 election as the “pro-Russian” candidate against the establishment, pro-West incumbent Petro Poroshenko. The current president’s approval ratings had declined significantly in 2020 in response to his perceived poor response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic but skyrocketed in response to the Russian “special operation” to oust him that began in February 2021.

Zelensky’s presidential term is scheduled to end in 2024 but, as Ukraine is currently in a state of martial law, it is unconstitutional to hold a presidential race. Zelensky had previously stated that he would be open to holding elections if Western countries paid for them, however, and his top diplomat Dmytro Kuleba had suggested Kyiv was open to a presidential election this year as recently as November 3.

In his address on Monday, Zelensky expressed frustration with those in his country discussing if an election next year is possible – or anything aside from ousting the Russian military from Ukrainian soil.

Now everyone should think about defending our country. We need to pull ourselves together, avoid unwinding and splitting up into disputes or other priorities,” Zelensky said, according to a translation by the Ukrainian state outlet Ukrinform. “If there is no victory, there will be no country. Our victory is possible. It will come if we all focus on it. Not on politicking or searching for some personal interest. Not on disagreements that will do nothing for the country, defense, and our advancement.”

“Everyone should remember what is most important in Ukraine right now. The enemy is insane. And it is powerful. And it wants to destroy Ukraine, just as it has always wanted to,” the president emphasized.

On the issue of elections, Zelensky explicitly stated, “now is not the time for grand celebrations or other brazen things in the rear, which are unacceptable in times of war.”

“We all understand that now, in wartime, when there are so many challenges, it is absolutely irresponsible to throw the topic of elections into society in a lighthearted and playful way,” he continued.

“I believe that now is not the right time for elections,” he repeated later in his address. “And if we need to put an end to a political dispute and continue to work in unity, there are structures in the state that are capable of putting an end to it and giving society all the necessary answers.”

Zelensky’s strident opposition to a presidential campaign occurring in anticipation of the scheduled 2024 election is a slightly more rigid stance than the president had taken in August, when discussing the possibility of elections in an interview. Then, Zelensky insisted that the true obstacles to holding elections were the need for defense funding and the disbursement of the Ukrainian population across Europe in response to the war. He suggested holding elections so long as he did not have to pay for them.

“I told [Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)]: If the United States and Europe give us financial support … I’m sorry, I will not hold elections on credit, I will not take money from weapons and give it to elections either,” Zelensky said at the time. “But if you give me this financial support, if the parliamentarians realize that we need to do this, then let’s quickly change the legislation and, most importantly, let’s take risks together.”

“We need help from Europe here, because Ukrainians today are mostly in the European Union,” he continued. “Polling stations must be opened there so that people can come. 7 million people have to vote. We do not have such infrastructural capacities – we need to provide appropriate opportunities there.”

Zelensky estimated that elections cost about $135 million during peacetime. He nonetheless insisted, however, that he wanted elections to take place regardless of the state of the war: “We need an election in Ukraine next year. I want to see this country have a free and fair election even while it is under assault.”

As recently as a week prior to Zelensky’s statements on Monday, Kuleba, the foreign minister, had insisted the Zelensky administration was “not closing this page” on the possibility of elections.

“We are not closing this page. The president of Ukraine is considering and weighing the different pros and cons,” Kuleba claimed.

Should Ukraine hold a presidential election, the political disarray in the aftermath of the war leaves no clear opponent to Zelensky. Poroshenko, his one-time rival, has vocally supported Zelensky during the war, making for an awkward campaign against Zelensky should he decide to run. Zelensky outlawed 11 left-wing political parties for allegedly maintaining ties to Russia in March 2022, including the largest left-wing opposition party, the Opposition Platform – for Life.

Other banned parties include the Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialists, and the Union of Left Forces.

Zelensky’s approval rating skyrocketed above 90 percent in response to the Russian invasion in February 2022, but had fallen into the 30s prior to the “special operation.” In early February 2022, a poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found 30 percent of Ukrainians wanted Zelensky to run and nearly 80 percent would not vote for him. Zelensky’s erratic coronavirus response – including harsh lockdowns, a shirtless photo shoot, and a bizarre threat to infect himself with coronavirus to “make sure people perceive it less stressfully” – triggered waves of protests against Zelensky. (Zelensky: 'Absolutely Irresponsible' to Suggest Holding Elections in Ukraine. Al

In other words, Volodymyr Zelensky is an old-fashioned Ukrainian despot who is really no different than other such demagogic despots. Zelensky wants to hold on to power as he has become addicted to his own celebrity status and the billions of Western dollars that keep flooding into his country without anyone really knowing how the money is being spent (if it is being spent) and despite the fact that even officials in Western nations are beginning to recognize that it is necessary for Zelensky to start negotiations with officials from the Russian Federation to bring an end to the slaughter of the innocent that has characterized the Ukrainians’ defense after the Russian invasion of February 24, 2022, which itself continues to result in thousands of civilian casualties. There comes a time when nations that are seeking to defend themselves can lose moral legitimacy when they resort to immoral means in the prosecution of that defense and/or when it is obvious that its forces are losing a conflict that can be prolonged only at the needless costs of the lives of combatants and noncombatants alike:

Or what king, about to go to make war against another king, doth not first sit down, and think whether he be able, with ten thousand, to meet him that, with twenty thousand, cometh against him?  32 Or else, whilst the other is yet afar off, sending an embassy, he desireth conditions of peace. (Luke 14: 31-32.)

The leader of Slovakia, Robert Fico, explained that Ukraine is losing the battle militarily and cannot win its war against Russi on the front lines:

“Slovakia’s Prime Minister, Robert Fico, conveyed to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, on Oct. 26 that his government would not be providing military assistance to Ukraine,” announces a recent news report.

Shortly before Robert Fico – who had just been sworn in as Slovakia’s prime minister – traveled to Brussels to inform the EU leadership of the change in Slovakia’s position on the war (Slovakia had been previously a Ukraine supporter), Fico spoke to the Slovak parliamentary committee in his country’s capital. He told the assembled Slovak MPs that “an immediate halt to military operations is the best solution we have for Ukraine.” He also said that there could be no military solution to the war and that the European Union “should change from an arms supplier to a peacemaker.” For good measure he vowed not to support additional sanctions on Russia if they should be detrimental to his country’s interests.

Many people have never heard of Slovakia, a country of five million in central Europe. Nevertheless, the statements by its named minted prime minister are deeply significant because no leader in the Collective West has yet spoken with so much moral clarity about the disastrous war in Ukraine.

The only other Western leader who has voiced his reservations about the West’s enthusiasm for the war is Viktor Orban of Hungary. Orban even went so far as to meet recently with Vladimir Putin in China, seeking to position himself as a broker in an effort to bring some kind of negotiated political solution to the conflict.

Needless to say, Fico’s words of moral clarity will reverberate in the EU psyche, as many of its leaders know deep down that this war has been provoked by the unwise push to install NATO on a very sensitive portion of Russia’s border. After all, as far back as 2008, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicholas Sarkozy objected at the NATO Bucharest Summit to the inclusion of Ukraine in the alliance despite the insistence of the United States to have it included in the block. Both Merkel and Sarkozy realized that extending NATO into Ukraine would pose an intolerable security risk to the Russian Federation and feared it could lead to a conflict in Europe.

Despite the objections of some of its European allies the United States, however, continued to press relentlessly for an eastward expansion of NATO, hoping to turn Ukraine into its bulwark on the Russian border. This was unacceptable to Russia who toward the end of 2021 made one last effort to peacefully stop this ill-advised drive. In the fall of that year, just months before the Russians entered Ukraine, the Kremlin sent out a draft agreement which asked for an end to further NATO enlargement.

Under the pressure from the Biden administration, however, NATO did not accept the draft’s reasonable terms and the Russians felt they had no choice but to take matters into their own hands. The result has been an ugly war featuring scores of dead and destruction of Ukraine (here is an excellent piece on this by Professor Jeffrey Sachs titled “NATO Chief Admits NATO Expansion Was Key to Russian Invasion of Ukraine”).

The United States has, for its part, been happy to fan the flames by sending in billions of dollars to Kiev to keep it fighting in a proxy conflict it can never win. Joe Biden and other American officials have been cynically boasting that our support for Ukraine is money well spent, because it creates jobs at home all the while we are bleeding Russia without having to do the actual fighting. The fact that a country is being ravaged, and graves are being filled with thousands of torn bodies somehow does not make it into their moral arithmetic.

Some twenty months after its start, it is becoming clear that the war is not going the way the Collective West would have hoped. The much-vaunted counter-offensive has failed, and Ukraine is running both out of men and morale. It is being reported that Ukrainian commanders are refusing orders from President Zelensky to charge against the Russian lines and thus turn themselves into cannon fodder for the superior Russian forces.

Viktor Orban recently stated the obvious when he said:

“It is absolutely clear that the Ukrainians won’t win on the front lines. All military experts talk and write about it, but politicians dare not admit they have chosen a flawed strategy.”

Although they yet lack the courage to say it openly, many European politicians do see the writing on the wall and are looking for a way to find an off-ramp from the Ukrainian disaster.

Just the other day, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni offered a frank assessment of the situation in a phone call that she believed was made to her by African dignitaries:

“I see that there is a lot of fatigue, I have to say the truth, from all the sides. We are near the moment in which everybody understands that we need a way out… The problem is to find a way out which can be acceptable for both without destroying international law.”

It is notable that previously Meloni had thrown her support behind Ukraine. She is now apparently in the process of changing her mind although she has yet to articulate her new outlook in public statements.

We can be sure there are many among the European governing elite who feel the same way Meloni does. Yet they lack the courage to say so openly, mainly for fear of finding themselves on the wrong side of the US leaders who cannot satiate their seemingly endless appetite for war. To wit, just a couple of weeks ago, President Biden attempted to send another 60 billion dollars to the corrupt government of Volodymyr Zelensky despite the growing opposition to the war from the American public. He tried to bypass this opposition by bundling the Ukraine aid with that to Israel.

Now, as more and more people are starting to see the truth about the Ukraine tragedy, the voices of brave western leaders – like Robert Fico and Viktor Orban – are of great importance. They expose fissures in the western coalition that is being artificially held together by US money and fear of displeasing the American overlord. This will surely embolden others to openly come out on the side of reason and humanity in trying to settle the bloody conflict through a negotiated settlement.

As Robert Fico memorably said: “Better let them engage in peace negotiations for ten years than to see them engage in a decade of conflict with no resolution.” (Slovak Prime Minister Speaks Truth to Peace on Ukrainian War. Also see U.S. Officials: Ukraine May Have to Negotiate.)

As I noted in a three-part series over eighteen months ago (Wars and Rumors of WarsWars and Rumors of Wars, part twoWars and Rumors of Wars, part three), there was no imminent need for the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Ukraine’s self-defense, however, has involved the use of the same brutal, amoral means used by the Russians themselves, robbing the aggrieved of any claim to acting in accord with the Just War Theory. Both sides have targeted innocent civilians. Both sides have acted with callous disregard for the consequences of their actions. Vladimir Putin hates the fact that Ukraine exists outside of his sphere of influence, and Volodymyr Zelensky has become a Russophobe even though he was elected as a pro-Russian candidate in 2019.

Ukraine is clearly being chastised by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the refusal of its people to heed the message of Our Lady of Ukraine and for its leaders’ endorsement of the chemical and surgical assassination of innocent preborn children as well as the full panoply of what constitutes the perverse agenda of sodomites, mutants, and carnal barbarism that is the bete noir of Western Europe, the United States of America, and Canada. No amount of armed conflict between the globalist-controlled stooges in Ukraine nor the old-fashioned pan-Slavic imperialists in Russia can resolve longstanding geopolitical/ethnic-nationalistic disputes whose history was summarized cogently by a pro-Ukrainian American scholar, Victor Davis Hanson in The Ukrainian Gordian Knot.

Unlike Dr. Hanson’s conclusion supporting continued American aid to Ukraine, though, this pan-Slavic conflict cannot be resolved by means merely human. Russia and Ukraine must be converted to the true Faith. Everyone in those countries must exclaim, “Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.”

Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent rhetorical belligerence has increased in the past month since the Hamas terrorist organized launched its attacks upon Israeli civilians in Israeli occupied and annexed territory on October 7, 2023. His “cause,” which has been to exploit and to actually exacerbate the suffering of his own people, is receiving less attention now because the focus was first on the amoral actions of Hamas, whose origins and control are not entirely clearcut and whose claim to represent the long suffering and oppressed people of Palestine is belied by the manner in which it has kept many Palestinians from taking refuge away from Gaza City, and now on the typically amoral actions of the brutally murderous Zionist thugs. The ongoing Israeli invasion of Gaza and the genocide being imposed upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli Defense Forces have knocked Zelensky out of the headlines for the moment.

Insofar as the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians is concerned, suffice it to say that the IDF’s brutality exceeds even that which it employed in its invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and its occupation of Beirut from June 14, 1982, to August 21, 1982, as most of that fabled city’s infrastructure was blown to smithereens by the peace-loving Zionists in their efforts to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization and to kill its leader, Yasir Arafat. Nearly five thousand Lebanese civilians were killed, the Palestine Liberation Organization was not destroyed, and Yasser Ararat died of natural causes long after signing the Oslo Accords with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on September 13, 1993, at the White House as a reluctant Rabin shook hands with Arafat upon agreeing to accords that could never stop those whose souls are steeped in the throes of Original Sin from viewing each other with hatred and suspicion. (A secular analysis of the Oslo Accords can be found at Why the Oslo Peace Process Failed. This analysis, even though very measured and balanced on a purely naturalistic level, failed to comprehend the simple fact that everyone in the Holy Land needs to convert to the Catholic Faith, offer forgiveness to one another, and exclaim in unison, “Benedictus qui venit in Nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis!”)

Nothing has changed in the past forty-one years since the siege of West Beirut nor in the past thirty years since then President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton presided at the signing of the Oslo Accords. Predictably, the Israeli Defense Force is destroying Gaza City in its quest to destroy Hamas just as its former commanders had tried to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Hamas eventually supplanted, four decades ago. Over eleven thousand innocent civilians have been killed by the IDF since the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel five weeks ago as the administration of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. and Kamala “The Invisible Woman” Harris requests another fourteen billion dollars in American taxpayer monies to facilitate a genocide with which its officials, according to press reports, have become “frustrate” but, according to these officials, are “powerless” to stop:

In a bizarre new article titled “White House frustrated by Israel’s onslaught but sees few options,” The Washington Post reports that the Biden administration believes Israel has gone too far and is killing too many civilians in its assault on Gaza, but are powerless to do anything about it.

The Post’s Yasmeen Abutaleb writes the following, citing anonymous US officials:

“As Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza escalates, the Biden administration finds itself in a precarious position: Administration officials say Israel’s counterattack against Hamas has been too severe, too costly in civilian casualties, and lacking a coherent endgame, but they are unable to exert significant influence on America’s closest ally in the Middle East to change its course.

“U.S. efforts to get Israel to scale back its counterattack in response to the Oct. 7 killings by Hamas that left at least 1,400 Israelis dead have failed or fallen short. The Biden administration urged Israel against a ground invasion, privately asked it to consider proportionality in its attacks, advocated a higher priority on avoiding civilian deaths, and called for a humanitarian pause — only for Israeli officials to dismiss or reject all those suggestions.

In recent days, they said, the administration has become deeply uncomfortable with some of Israel’s tactics. Last week, Israel bombed the densely packed Jabalya refugee camp two days in a row, an attack that Israel said killed a Hamas leader but that also killed dozens of civilians. On Friday, an Israeli airstrike hit near the entrance of Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, a strike the Israeli military said was aimed at an ambulance ‘being used by a Hamas terrorist cell.’ And Israeli authorities recently expelled thousands of Palestinians who had been in Israel for work, sending them back into Gaza even as it continues to bomb the enclave.”

All this helpless hand-wringing is exposed for the load of ridiculous bullshit that it plainly is a few paragraphs down in the very same article:

“Washington is Israel’s largest military backer, and the White House has asked Congress for an additional $14 billion in aid for Israel in the wake of the Hamas attacks. But administration officials and advisers say the levers the United States theoretically has over Israel, such as conditioning military aid on making the military campaign more targeted, are nonstarters, partly because they would be so politically unpopular in any administration and partly because, aides say, Biden himself has a personal attachment to Israel.”

So the Biden administration does in fact have tons of leverage it can use to stop the genocidal massacre in Gaza, it just doesn’t want to because it would be “politically unpopular” and because “Biden himself has a personal attachment to Israel.”

The US president does indeed have a personal attachment to Israel. Biden has proudly described himself as a Zionist, and has gone on record to say that if Israel didn’t exist the United States would have to invent an Israel to advance its interests in the middle east.

In summary, this Washington Post article is telling us that Biden is powerless to stop the genocidal massacre in Gaza because he really likes the people doing the genocide and doesn’t want to stop them from doing it.

We’ve been asked to believe a lot of very stupid things since this onslaught began last month, but the idea that the Biden administration is powerless to stop a genocide that it is directly arming and supplying has got to be the absolute stupidest.

Of course the US can stop this. Of course it can. The US is currently pouring weapons into Israel on an almost daily basis, is pouring billions of dollars into Israel and is preparing to pour in billions more, and is currently physically assisting Israeli operations in Gaza with drones and special operations forces while US warships swarm the eastern Mediterranean. All of this can easily be pulled away if Israel refuses to stop murdering children by the thousands in an indiscriminate bombing campaign that reportedly isn’t even doing any meaningful damage to Hamas.

What’s that? You didn’t know this murderous bombing campaign is doing no meaningful damage to Hamas? Well let’s clear that up then.

new report by The New York Times cites an anonymous US military official saying that Israel “has not come close” to destroying Hamas leadership or even its mid-level command.

“One senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details, said the operations so far have not come close to destroying Hamas’s senior and middle leadership ranks,” The New York Times reports.

This revelation is devastating to the Israeli narrative about what it has actually been doing in Gaza. Israel said on Thursday that it had bombed some 12,000 targets in Gaza since October 7, and that number would be even higher by now, especially with unprecedented levels of strikes now being reported by people on the ground. There are reportedly only some 20–25,000 members of Hamas in total, which means the number of airstrikes is fast approaching the total number of Hamas members in existence, yet going from this New York Times report no meaningful damage has been done to Hamas itself.

This despite the fact that we are being told Hamas makes prevalent use of “human shields”, hiding their units in clusters of civilians for protection. How has Israel managed to kill some ten thousand Palestinians in Gaza without managing to do any real damage to Hamas if Hamas fighters are hiding amongst all those civilians? You’d think by sheer law of averages they’d have taken out some significant leaders with all that civilian-massacring?

Maybe Hamas is using really high-level human shields, the kind that don’t even have any Hamas fighters hidden behind them. It’s all 100 percent human shield with zero percent combatant — the most secure type of human shield there is!

The Washington Post report about Biden’s imaginary powerlessness to stop this massacre makes a bit more sense when you look at an NBC News article which came out a few days earlier, which reports that White House leadership are concerned about an emerging “narrative” that Biden supports the killing in Gaza.

NBC News reports the following:

“Biden and his top aides have in the past week adjusted the administration’s public message to emphasize concern for Palestinian civilians and U.S. efforts to get them humanitarian relief. The shift follows growing criticism at home and abroad of Biden’s decision to swiftly and staunchly back Israel’s military response to Hamas while initially speaking less forcefully about protecting Palestinians; meanwhile, images of civilian casualties in Gaza continue to ricochet around the world.

“‘If this really goes bad, we want to be able to point to our past statements,’ a senior U.S. official said. The official said the administration is particularly worried about a narrative taking hold that Biden supports all Israeli military actions and that U.S.-provided weapons have been used to kill Palestinian civilians, many of them women and children. The Defense Department has said the U.S. is not putting any limits or restrictions on the weapons it’s providing Israel.”

So it’s probably a safe bet that the anonymous US officials who spoke to The Washington Post about how “frustrated” the White House is with Israel’s unbridled murderousness are White House officials who are trying to manage the public narrative about Biden. They’re trying to let the Biden White House wash its hands of this genocidal massacre like Pontius Pilate, even as it backs that very massacre to the hilt.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: the US is every bit as culpable for the murder of all these civilians as Israel. Don’t let the empire’s narrative managers try to tell you different. (US Says It's Powerless To Stop the Genocide That It Is Directly Funding and Supplying.)

This analysis is quite correct. The Biden/Harris administration, whose Secretary of State is useful tool of globalism and statist disinformation, Anthony Blinken, is simply engaging in hand-wringing exercises as their officials say that Israel must do something to protect the civilians of Gaza as it attempts to achieve its “objectives,” which ignores the simple fact that the displacement and the liquidation of the Palestinians is the principal, albeit unstated, objective of the IDF invasion, destruction, and occupation of Gaza:

America has issued its strongest condemnation of Israel's war in Gaza yet as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that 'far too many Palestinians have been killed'. 

Palestinians on Friday said deadly salvos hit hospitals and a school where desperate civilians in Gaza City have sought refuge from intense combat that has sent many thousands fleeing.

Blinken welcomed the four-hour humanitarian Israeli pauses the White House announced on Thursday but said further action was required to protect Gaza's civilians. 

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi as he wrapped up a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Asia, he said: 'Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks.'

'And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them,' he said, adding that Washington would be discussing further steps with Israel to advance these objectives.

Early on Friday, at least three strikes over several hours hit the courtyard and the obstetrics department of Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza's largest, according to Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson at the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza. 

The Israeli army has repeatedly accused Palestinian terrorist group Hamas of using hospitals, particularly Al-Shifa, to coordinate their attacks and also as hideouts for its commanders. Hamas authorities deny the accusations.

'There is no safe place left. The army hit Al-Shifa. I don't know what to do,' said 32-year-old Abu Mohammad, who was among those seeking refuge at the hospital. 'There is shooting... at the hospital. We are afraid to go out.'

Al-Shifa's director and Gaza's Hamas government, which reported a death toll of 13, blamed Israeli forces for a strike on the hospital.

Shocking footage from the hospital's courtyard overnight appeared to show one of the strikes, although it was impossible to verify its origin from the footage. Another daytime video also showed the bloody aftermath of another attack.

Israel's military was fighting near the hospital and the other three main ones in Gaza City on Friday evening.

Israel had also reported heavy fighting on Thursday near Al-Shifa hospital, saying it had killed dozens of terrorists and destroyed tunnels that are key to Hamas's capacity to fight. 

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that Israeli snipers shot at Al-Quds hospital, killing at least one person.

Around 50 people were killed in strikes that hit Gaza City's Al-Buraq school, said the director of Al-Shifa hospital where the dead were taken.

Israel offered no comment on whether it was involved in the incidents.

The head of the World Health Organization warned on Friday that the health system in the Gaza Strip is 'on its knees,' noting that half of the territory's 36 hospitals are no longer functioning.

Speaking to the Security Council, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said of the situation on the ground: 'Hospital corridors crammed with the injured, the sick, the dying; morgues overflowing; surgery without anesthesia; tens of thousands of displaced people sheltering at hospitals.'

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday called on Israel to stop bombing civilians in Gaza, saying there was no justification.

In an interview with the BBC, Macron said Israel had the right to protect itself after the October 7 Hamas attacks, but he added: 'These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop.'

Israel launched an offensive in Gaza after Hamas fighters poured across the heavily militarised border on October 7, killing around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages.

Vowing to destroy the terrorists, Israel retaliated with bombardment and a ground campaign that the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip says has killed more than 11,000 people, mostly civilians and many of them children.

'Last night, I wasn't optimistic that any of my children or I would come out unharmed, given the intensity of the bombing and gunfire,' said Jawad Haruda, who was among thousands walking south, in an exodus away from Gaza City.

'We couldn't wait for the morning, and everyone in Al-Shifa hospital left,' he added.

As the fighting raged in Gaza, medical services reported two women were wounded in rocket attacks in Tel Aviv. Hamas's military wing said it had targeted the Israeli commercial hub.

The United Nations called for an end to the 'carnage' in Gaza, saying 'razing entire neighbourhoods to the ground is not an answer for the egregious crimes committed by Hamas'.

'To the contrary, it is creating a new generation of aggrieved Palestinians who are likely to continue the cycle of violence. The carnage simply must stop,' Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations' agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, wrote in an opinion piece.

He said on social media that over 100 UNRWA colleagues were confirmed killed in one month of war, noting that included parents, teachers, nurses, doctors and support staff.

The war in the densely populated coastal territory, which is effectively sealed off, has prompted repeated calls for a ceasefire to protect civilian lives and allow in more humanitarian aid.

Tens of thousands of people have fled to the south of the territory in recent days, often on foot and with only the things the could carry.

'Enough destruction, there's nothing left. We need a truce to see what will later happen to us, a truce to bring medicine or aid to the hospitals,' said Mohammed Khader, who was displaced in Rafah.

'Those hospitals are now full of displaced people and not only injured and martyrs,' he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected halting the fighting, telling Fox News on Thursday that a 'ceasefire with Hamas means surrender to Hamas, surrender to terror'.

He also said Israel does not 'seek to govern Gaza' in the long run.

'We don't seek to occupy it, but we seek to give it and us a better future,' he told the US broadcaster.

Almost 1.6 million people have been internally displaced since October 7, UNRWA said - nearly two thirds of Gaza's population.

But the UN estimates hundreds of thousands of civilians remain in the fiercest battle zones in the north.

Complicating Israel's military push is the fate of the hostages abducted on October 7.

CIA director Bill Burns and David Barnea, head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, were in Doha for talks on pauses that would include hostage releases and more aid for Gaza, an official told AFP on Thursday. (America's strongest condemnation of Israel's war in Gaza yet as Blinken declares 'far too many Palestinians have been killed' - and IDF are accused by Hamas of hitting hospitals and a school.)

Men such as Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran pay no heed to the inviolability of innocent human life as none of these thugs are informed by the principles of the Just War Theory, and none believe that they will pay any consequence eternally for the wanton killing of innocent human beings to advance their respective “noble causes.”

Then again, a junior Israeli official let the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago when publicly stating that there were “no non-combatants” in Gaza, which is why he believes that the use of Israel’s extensive nuclear arsenal, which its leaders have never acknowledge they possess even though then Secretary of Defense nominee Robert Gates let it slip during Senate confirmation hearings in 2006 that Israel had such weapons (see Israelis piqued by Gates nuclear "confirmation"), might have to be considered to destroy Hamas while the largely symbolic President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, said that there were no “innocent civilians” in Gaza, thus imposing a “collective guilt” upon the Palestinian people that Nazis used against the Jews. Another official, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, said last month that “we are fighting human animals”:

Heritage minister Amihai Eliyahu said in a radio interview there were “no non-combatants” in Gaza and that giving aid to civilians there would be a “failure”. Asked if a nuclear attack on Gaza is an option, he replied: “That’s one way.”

He also objected to any humanitarian aid going into Gaza, saying “we wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid,” and charging that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza”. PM Benjamin Netanyahu said his words were “not based in reality”, adding: “Israel and the IDF are operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law to avoid harming innocents.” (Israeli minister who said Palestinians can 'go to Ireland or the desert' is a 'dangerous mad man', according to Irish politician.)

“It is an entire nation out there that is responsible,” Herzog said at a press conference on Friday. “It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true. They could have risen up. They could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d’etat.”  . . . .

The Israeli Defense Forces said on Thursday that it has already dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza, an area twice the size of Washington, D.C., with a population of 2.2 million, half of whom are children. The bombing campaign has killed more than 1,500 people, including 500 children, and wounded more than 6,000 people so far, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Israel also cut off all access to electricity and water in Gaza. The sole power plant in Gaza ran out of fuel on Oct. 11, leaving hospitals to run on backup generators.

So far, more than 400,000 Palestinians have been displaced inside Gaza, according to the UN. But there is nowhere to go. The only border crossing to Egypt is closed. Israel has bombed it repeatedly since the beginning of the war and Egypt refuses to admit refugees.

Herzog’s comments in support of collective punishment follow a string of dehumanizing statements from Israeli leaders following the massacre of civilians by Hamas.

“We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Oct. 9, two days after the attack.

“Human animals must be treated as such,” IDF Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian said on Oct. 10. “There will be no electricity and no water [in Gaza], there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell.” (Israeli President Says There Are No Innocent Civilians In Gaza.)

Those who do not believe in the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus are prone dehumanize their enemies, real or imagined, and to seek to rectify injustices with vengeful malice rather than according to the precepts of even the Natural Law that forbids the direct targeting of innocent human beings during times of armed conflict. Indeed, men such as Isaac Herzog and Noah Gallant believe that the long-suffering people of Palestine can be targeted because they have not yet left the area the Zionists claimed for themselves in 1948. The current Israeli Defense Force invasion, destruction, and occupation of Gaza is an exercise in genocidal ethnic cleansing of the sort that the Turks imposed upon the Armenians over a century ago.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s protestations to the contrary, the Israeli Defense Force is not adhering to the “highest standards” of innocent law to protect civilians, something that over seven hundred fifty journalists explained in a letter of protest they sent to Netanyahu’s government:

More than 750 journalists from news organizations including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Guardian have signed a letter condemning Israel’s “killing of journalists in Gaza” — as they urged outlets to use terms like “apartheid” and “genocide” in their reporting to describe the Jewish nation’s treatment of Gazans.

“We condemn Israel’s killing of journalists in Gaza and urge integrity in Western media coverage of Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians,” the letter reads.

It adds that Israel’s “devastating bombing campaign and media blockade in Gaza threatens news gathering in an unprecedented fashion” and notes that at least 39 journalists have been killed in Gaza since the war on Hamas began — mostly from retaliatory strikes by Israel, citing the latest tally from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“As reporters, editors, photographers and other workers in newsrooms around the world, we are appalled at the slaughter of our colleagues and their families by the Israeli military and government,” the letter continues.

“We are writing to urge an end to violence against journalists in Gaza and to call on Western newsroom leaders to be clear-eyed in their coverage of Israel’s repeated atrocities against Palestinians.”

The letter goes on to say that those who signed “also hold Western newsrooms accountable for dehumanizing rhetoric that has served to justify ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

“Double-standards, inaccuracies and fallacies abound in American publications and have been well-documented,” the letter claims, noting: “More than 500 journalists signed an open letter in 2021 outlining concerns that US media outlets ignore Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Yet the call for fair coverage has gone unanswered.

“Newsrooms have instead undermined Palestinian, Arab and Muslim perspectives, dismissing them as unreliable and have invoked inflammatory language that reinforces Islamophobic and racist tropes. They have printed misinformation spread by Israeli officials, and failed to scrutinize indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza — committed with the support of the US government.”

The signatories argue that newsrooms should adopt words such as “apartheid,” “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” in their reporting on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, claiming they are “precise terms that are well-defined by international human rights organizations.”

The letter concludes by saying a journalist’s job is to “hold power to account,” and that by refusing to do so, “we risk becoming accessories to genocide.

“We are renewing the call for journalists to tell the full truth without fear or favor,” it reads.

“To recognize that contorting our words to hide evidence of war crimes on Israel’s oppression of Palestinians is journalistic malpractice and an abdication of moral clarity,” it says.

“The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated. It is imperative that we change course.”

Among those who signed the letter was Abdallah Fayyad, a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist and former editorial board member at the Boston Globe.

“My hope for this letter is to push back on the culture of fear around this issue and to make decision-makers and editors think twice about the language that they use,” he told the Washington Post.

He said he was not calling on newsrooms to adopt the terminology that Israel is committing “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing,” but called it a “relevant fact to say that leading human rights groups have called Israel an apartheid regime” the same way many news stories note that the US has designated Hamas a terrorist group.

“That’s the kind of double standard I hope this letter will call out.”

The letter on Thursday came as hundreds of anti-Israel protesters occupied the lobby of the New York Times building and handed out mock newspaper copies of “The New York War Crimes.”

“We will continue holding the New York Times to account … for inciting genocide,” the protesters chanted. “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for the New York Times. Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes. (More than 750 journalists sign letter condemning 'Israel's killing of journalists in Gaza'.)

None of this is going to change unless there is a profound conversion of hearts to the Catholic Faith as mutual forgiveness replaces mutual animosities in the recognition that the very Divine Redeemer, Christ the King, forgives us so readily in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood to redeem us all, and we are to forgive others as we seek to treat them as we would Our Divine King in the very Flesh.

The mindless cycle of terrorism and Israeli reprisals will continue ad infinitum, ad nauseam until and unless the Mohammedans, who compromise around ninety-nine percent of the population of Gaza (as of 2022, there were only 1,100 Palestinian Christians in Gaza; most Palestinian Christians around have lived in their own diaspora since 1948), and the Jews see in each other the image of Christ the King and put aside their arms and come to treat each other as brothers in the true Faith while acknowledging that the Holy Land belongs to Christ the King and His true Church. It will be that time that one and all in the Holy Land will exclaim una voce dicentes: “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dóminus, Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus, qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis!” as they commend themselves to the August Queen of Heaven, she who made possible our salvation, and honor by holding Rosary Processions in the very land where her Divine Son willed to born and spend His life to fulfill every word written about His Redemptive Act in the Old Testament.

On the Feast of Saint Martin of Tours

Today, Saturday, November 11, 2023, is the Feast of Saint Martin of Tours and the Commemoration of Saint Mennas.

Saint Martin of Tours was a Hungarian-born soldier who became a bishop in the Army of Christ the King. The example of his life should remind that we must be uncompromising in our defense of the Catholic Faith as the one and only foundation of personal salvation, social order, and a just peace within and among nations and kingdoms:

Martin was born at Sabaria in Pannonia. When he was ten years old he went to the Church, in the spite of his (heathen) father and mother, and by his own will was numbered among the Catechumens. At fifteen years of age he joined the army, and served as a soldier first under Constantius and then under Julian. Once at the gate of Amiens a poor man asked him for an alms for Christ's name's sake, and since he had nothing to his hand but his arms and his clothes, he gave him half of his cloak. In the night following Christ appeared to him clad in the half of his cloak, and saying (to the angels who bare Him company) While Martin is yet a Catechumen, he hath clad Me.

At eighteen years of age he was baptized. He gave up thereupon the life of a soldier, and betook himself to Hilary, Bishop of Poietiers, by whom he was placed in the order of Acolytes. Being afterwards made Bishop of Tours, he built a monastery wherein he lived in holiness for a while in company of four-score monks. At the last he fell sick of a grievous fever at Cande, a village in his diocese, and besought God in constant prayer to set him free from the prison of this dying body. His disciples heard him and said Father, why wilt thou go away from us? unto whom wilt thou bequeath us in our sorrow? Their words moved Martin, and he said Lord, if I be still needful to thy people, I refuse not to work.

When his disciples saw him, in the height of the fever, lying upon his back and praying, they entreated him to turn over and take a little rest upon his side while the violence of his sickness would allow him. But Martin answered them Suffer me to look heavenward rather than earthward, that my spirit may see the way whereby it is so soon going to the Lord. At the moment of death he saw the enemy of mankind, and cried out: What are you come here for, you bloody brute? You murderer, you'll find nothing in me. With these words on his lips, he gave up his soul to God, being aged eighty years. He was received by a company of Angels, who were heard praising God by many persons, especially by holy Severinus, Bishop of Cologne. (Matins, The Divine Office.)

We must look Heavenward, not earthward. We can never be steeped in fear. Indeed, we must rejoice in the midst of both personal chastisement and the chastisements being visited upon war-stricken regions as God has known from all eternity that we would be alive during these times and that, thus, we can plant the seeds for the conversion of men by lovingly bearing the cross in our lives with gratitude for being Catholic. We can be the true, although unseen, peacemakers of the work if our immortal souls are at peace with God by means of Sanctifying Grace, which is the precondition to pleasing Him in this life prior to enjoying the glory of His Beatific Vision for all eternity by virtue of His Divine Son’s Paschal Sacrifice of Himself to atone for our sins and for the sins of the whole world.

May the Rosaries we pray this day and every day help us to plant the seeds for the conversion of our nation as we seek also to make reparation for our own sins by offering up the difficulties of these times to the Throne of the Most Blessed Trinity as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!

Viva Cristo ReyVivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Pope Saint Martin I, pray for us.

Saint Mennas, pray for us.

Appendix A

Dom Prosper Gueranger’s Hagiography of Saint Martin Tours

Three thousand six hundred and sixty churches dedicated to St. Martin in France alone, and well-nigh as many in the rest of the world, bear witness to the immense popularity of the great thaumaturgus.  In the country, on the mountains, and in the depth of forests, trees, rocks, and fountains, objects of superstitious worship to our pagan ancestors, received, and in many places still retain, the name of him who snatched them from the dominion of the powers of darkness to restore them to the true God. For the vanquished idols, Roman, Celtic or German, Christ substituted their conqueror, the humble soldier, in the grateful memory of the people. Martin’s mission was to complete the destruction of paganism, which had been driven from the towns by the martyrs, but remained up to his time master of the vast territories removed from the influence of the cities. 

While on the one hand he was honoured with God’s favours, on the other he was pursued by hell with implacable hatred. At the very outset he had to encounter Satan, who said to him: “I will beset thy path at every turn;” (Sulpit. Sever. Vita, vi.) and he kept his word. He has kept it to this very day: century after century, he has been working ruin around the glorious tomb, which once attracted the whole world to Tours; in the sixteenth, he delivered to the flames, by the hands of the Huguenots, the venerable remains of the protector of France: by the nineteenth, he had brought men to such a height of folly, as themselves to destroy, in time of peace, the splendid basilica which was the pride and the riches of their city. The gratitude of Christ, and the rage of Satan, made known by such signs, reveal sufficiently the incomparable labours of the pontiff, apostle, and monk, St. Martin. 

A monk indeed he was, both in desire and in reality, to the last day of his life. “From earliest infancy he sighed after the service of God. He became a catechumen at the age of ten, and at twelve he wished to retire to the desert; all his thoughts were engaged on monasteries and churches. A soldier at fifteen years of age, he so lived as even then to be taken for a monk. (Ibid, ii) After a first trial of religious life in Italy, he was brought by St. Hilary to this solitude of Ligugé, which, thanks to him, became the cradle of monastic life in Gaul. To say the truth, Martin, during the whole course of his life, felt like a stranger everywhere else, except at Ligugé.  A monk by attraction, he had been forced to be a soldier, and it needed violence to make him a Bishop: and even then he never relinquished his monastic habits. He responded to the dignity of a Bishop, says his historian, without declining from the rule and life of a monk. (Ibid, x) At first he constructed for himself a cell near his church of Tours; and soon afterwards built, at a little distance from the town, a second Ligugé, under the name of Marmoutier or the great monastery.” (Cardinal Pie, Homily pronounced on occasion of the re-establishment of the Benedictine Order at Ligugé, Nov. 25th, 1853.) 

The holy Liturgy refers to St. Hilary the honour of the wonderful virtues displayed by Martin. (In festo S. Hilarii, Noct. II, Lect. ii.) What were the holy bishop’s reasons for leading his heaven-sent disciple by ways then so little known in the West, he has left us to learn from the most legitimate heir of his doctrine as well as of his eloquence. “It has ever been,” says Cardinal Pie, “the ruling idea of all the Saints, that, side by side with the ordinary ministry of the pastors, obliged by their functions to live in the midst of the world, the Church has need of a militia, separated from the world and enrolled under the standard of evangelical perfection, living in self-renunciation and obedience, and carrying on day and night the noble and incomparable function of public prayer. The most illustrious pontiffs and the greatest doctors have thought, that the secular clergy themselves could never be better fitted for spreading and making popular the pure doctrines of the Gospel, than if they could be prepared for their pastoral office by living either a monastic life, or one as nearly as possible resembling it. Read the lives of the greatest bishops both in East and West, in the times immediately preceding or following the peace of the Church, as well as in the middle ages: they have all, either themselves at some time professed the monastic life, or lived in continual contact with those who professed it. Hilary, the great Hilary, had, with his experienced and unerring glance, perceived the need; he had seen the place that should be occupied by the monastic Order in Christendom, and by the regular clergy in the Church. In the midst of his struggles, his combats, his exile, when he witnessed with his own eyes the importance of the monasteries in the East, he earnestly desired the time when, returning to Gaul, he might at length lay the foundations of the religious life at home. Providence was not long in sending him what was needful for such an enterprise: a disciple worthy of the master, a monk worthy of the bishop.” (Cardinal Pie, ubi supra) 

Elsewhere, comparing together St. Martin, his predecessors, and St. Hilary himself in their common apostolate of Gaul, the illustrious Cardinal says: “Far be it from me to undervalue all the vitality and power already possessed by the religion of Jesus Christ in our divers provinces, thanks to the preaching of the first apostles, martyrs, and bishops, who may be counted back in a long line almost to the day of Calvary. Still I fear not to say it: the popular apostle of Gaul, who converted the country parts, until then almost entirely pagan, the founder of national Christianity, was principally St. Martin.  And how is it that he, above so many other great bishops and servants of God, holds such pre-eminence in the apostolate? Are we to place Martin above his master Hilary? With regard to doctrine, certainly not; and as to zeal, courage, holiness, it is not for me to say which was greater, the master’s or the disciple’s. But what I can say is that Hilary was chiefly a teacher, and Martin was chiefly a thaumaturgus. Now, for the conversion of the people, the thaumaturgus is more powerful than the teacher; and consequently, in the memory and worship of the people, the teacher is eclipsed and effaced by the thaumaturgus. 

“Now-a-days there is much talk about the necessity of reasoning in order to persuade men as to the reality of divine things: but that is forgetting Scripture and history; nay more, it is degenerating. God has not deemed it consistent with his Majesty to reason with us. He has spoken; he has said what is and what is not; and as he exacts faith in his word, he has sanctioned his word. But how has he sanctioned it? After the manner of God, not of man; by works, not by reasons: non in sermone, sed in virtute, not by the arguments of a humanly persuasive philosophy: non in persuasibilibus humane sapientiae verbis, but by displaying a power altogether divine: sed in ostensione spiritus et virtutis. And wherefore? For this profound reason: Ut fides non sit in sapientia hominum, sed in virtute Dei: that faith may not rest upon the wisdom of man, but upon the power of God. (I Cor. 2:4) But now men will not have it so: they tell us that in Jesus Christ the theurgist wrongs the moralist; that miracles are a blemish in so sublime an ideal. But they cannot reverse this order; they cannot abolish the Gospel, nor history. Begging the pardon of the learned men of our age and their obsequious followers: not only did Christ work miracles, but he established the faith upon the foundation of miracles. And the same Christ,—not to confirm his own miracles, which are the support of all others; but out of compassion for us, who are so prone to forgetfulness, and who are more impressed by what we see than by what we hear,—the same Jesus Christ has placed in his Church, and that for all time, the power of working miracles. Our age has seen some, and will see yet more. The fourth century witnessed in particular those of St. Martin. 

“The working of wonders seemed mere play to him; all nature obeyed him; the animals were subject to him. ‘Alas!’ cried the Saint one day: ‘the very serpents listen to me, and men refuse to hear me.’ Men, however, often did hear him. The whole of Gaul heard him; not only Aquitaine, but also Celtic and Belgic Gaul. Who could resist words enforced by so many prodigies? In all these provinces he overthrew the idols one after another, reduced the statues to powder, burnt or demolished all the temples, destroyed the sacred groves and all the haunts of idolatry. Was it lawful? you may ask. If I study the legislation of Constantine and Constantius, perhaps it was. But this I know: Martin, eaten up with zeal for the house of the Lord, was obeying none but the Spirit of God. And I must add, that against the fury of the pagan population Martin’s only arms were the miracles he wrought, the visible assistance of Angels sometimes granted him, and, above all, the prayers and tears he poured out before God, when the hard-heartedness of the people resisted the power of his words and of his wonders. With these means Martin changed the face of the country. Where he found scarcely a Christian on his arrival, he left scarcely an infidel at his departure. The temples of the idols were immediately replaced by temples of the true God ; for, says Sulpicius Severus, as soon as he had destroyed the homes of superstition, he built churches and monasteries. It is thus that all Europe is covered with sanctuaries bearing the name of St. Martin.” (Cardinal Pie, Sermon preached in the cathedral of Tours, on the Sunday following the patronal feast of St. Martin, Nov. 14th, 1858.) 

His beneficial actions did not cease with his death; they alone explain the uninterrupted concourse of people to his holy tomb. His numerous feasts in the year, the Deposition or Natalis, the Ordination, Subvention and Reversion, did not weary the piety of the faithful. Kept everywhere as a holiday of obligation, (Concil. Mogunt. an. 813, can. xxxvi.) and bringing with it the brief return of bright weather known as St. Martin’s summer, the eleventh of November rivaled with St. John’s day in the rejoicings it occasioned in Latin Christendom. Martin was the joy of all, and the helper of all. 

St. Gregory of Tours does not hesitate to call his blessed predecessor the special patron of the whole world; (Greg. Tur. De miraculis S. Martini, IV. in Prolog.) while monks and clerics, soldiers, knights, travellers and inn-keepers on account of his long journeys, charitable associations of every kind in memory of the cloak of Amiens, have never ceased to claim their peculiar right to the great Pontiff’s benevolence. Hungary, the generous land which gave him to us, without exhausting its own provision for the future, rightly reckons him among its most powerful protectors. But to France, he was a father: in the same manner as he laboured for the unity of the faith in that land, he presided also over the formation of national unity; and he watches over its continuance. As the pilgrimage of Tours preceded that of Compostella in the Church, the cloak of St. Martin led the Frankish armies to battle even before the oriflamme of St. Denis. “How,” said Clovis, “can we hope for victory, if we offend blessed Martin?” (Greg. Tur. Historia Francorum, II. 37.) . . .

O holy Martin, have compassion on our depth of misery! A winter more severe than that which caused thee to divide thy cloak now rages over the world; many perish in the icy night brought on by the extinction of faith and the cooling of charity. Come to the aid of those unfortunates, whose torpor prevents them from asking assistance. Wait not for them to pray; but forestall them for the love of Christ in whose name the poor man of Amiens implored thee, whereas they scarcely know how to utter it. And yet their nakedness is worse than the beggar’s, stripped as they are of the garment of grace, which their fathers received from thee and handed down to posterity. 

How lamentable, above all, has become the destitution of France, which thou didst once enrich with the blessings of heaven, and where thy benefits have been requited with such injuries! Deign to consider, however, that our days have seen the beginning of reparation, close by thy holy tomb restored to our filial veneration. Look upon the piety of those grand Christians, whose hearts were able, like the generosity of the multitude, to rise to the height of the greatest projects; see the pilgrims, however reduced their numbers, now taking once more the road to Tours, traversed so often by people and kings in better days of our history. 

Has that history of the brightest days of the Church, of the reign of Christ as King, come to an end, 0 Martin? Let the enemy imagine he has already sealed our tomb. But the story of thy miracles tells us that thou canst raise up even the dead. Was not the catechumen of Ligugé snatched from the land of the living, when thou didst call him back to life and Baptism? Supposing that, like him, we were already among those whom the Lord remembereth no more, the man or the country that has Martin for protector and father need never yield to despair. If thou deign to bear us in mind, the Angels will come and say again to the supreme Judge: “This is the man, this is the nation for whom Martin “prays;” and they will be commanded to draw us out of the dark regions where dwell the people without glory, and to restore us to Martin, and to our noble destinies. (Sulpit. Sever. Vita, vii.) 

Thy zeal, however, for the advancement of God’s kingdom knew no limits. Inspire, then, strengthen and multiply the apostles all over the world, who, like thee, are driving out the remnants of infidelity. Restore Christian Europe, which still honours thy name, to the unity so unhappily dissolved by schism and heresy. In spite of the many efforts to the contrary, maintain thy noble fatherland in its post of honour, and in its traditions of brave fidelity. May thy devout clients in all lauds experience that thy right arm still suffices to protect those who implore thee. 

In heaven to-day, as the Church sings, the Angels are full of joy, the Saints proclaim thy glory, the Virgins surround thee saying: “Remain with us for ever.” (Ant. ad Magnificat, in I Vesp.) Is not this the continuation of what thy life was here on earth, when thou and the virgins vied with each other in showing mutual veneration; when Mary their Queen, accompanied by Thecla and Agnes, loved to spend long hours with thee in thy cell at Marmoutier, which thus became, says thy historian, like the dwellings of the Angels? (Sulpit. Sever. Dialog. I.) Imitating their brothers and sisters in heaven, virgins and monks, clergy and pontiffs turn to thee, never fearing that their numbers will cause any one of them to receive less; knowing that thy life is a light sufficient to enlighten all; and that one glance from Martin will secure to them the blessings of the Lord. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Feast of Saint Martin of Tours, November 11.)

Appendix B

Archbishop Jacobus de Voragine’s Account of Saint Martin of Tours in The Golden Legend

Unlike Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the saint whose feast has been celebrated today, November 11, 2015, Saint Martin of Tours, fought against heresy and falsehood, which is why the French Revolutionaries and other anticlericalists hated his sainted memory with such a passion and even burned down his basilica in Tours, France.

Archbishop Jacobus de Voragine, O.P., described the life of this great saint, a man who had been a military leader before becoming militaristic in defense of the Holy Faith, the service of the poor and unremitting warfare against the Arians:

Martin is as much to say as holding Mars, that is the God of battle, against vices and sins. Or Martin is said as one of the martyrs, for he was a martyr by his will, and by mortifying of his flesh. Or Martin is expounded thus: As despising, provoking, or seignioring. He despised the devil his enemy, he provoked the name of our Lord to mercy, and he seigniored over his flesh by continual abstinence in making it lean. Over which flesh reason or courage should dominate, as S. Denis saith in an epistle to Demophile: Like as a lord domineth over his servant, or a father his son, or an old man a young wanton, so should reason dominate the flesh. Severus which otherwise was called Sulpicius, disciple of S. Martin, wrote his life, which Severus, Gerandius remembereth, and numbereth among the noble men.

Of S. Martin.

Martin was born in the castle of Sabaria in the country of Pannonia [modern day Hungary], but he was nourished in Italy at Pavia with his father, which was master and tribune of the knights under Constantian and Julian Cæsar. And Martin rode with him, but not with his will. For from his young infancy he was inspired divinely of God, and when he was twelve years old he fled to the church against the will of all his kin, and required to be made new in the faith. And from thence he would have entered into desert, if infirmity of malady had not let him. And as the emperors had ordained that the sons of ancient knights should ride instead of their fathers, and Martin, which was fifteen years old, was commanded to do the same, and was made knight, and was content with one servant, and yet ofttimes Martin would serve him and draw off his boots.

In a winter time as Martin passed by the gate of Amiens, he met a poor man all naked, to whom no man gave any alms. Then Martin drew out his sword and carved his mantle therewith in two pieces in the middle, and gave that one half to the poor man, for he had nothing else to give to him, and he clad himself with that other half. The next night following, he saw our Lord Jesu Christ in heaven clothed with that part that he had given to the poor man, and said to the angels that were about him: Martin, yet new in the faith, hath covered me with this vesture. Of which thing this holy man was not enhanced in vain glory, but he knew thereby the bounty of God. And when he was eighteen years of age he did do baptize himself, and promised that he should renounce the dignity to be judge of the knights, and also the world, if his time of his provostry were accomplished.

Then held he yet chivalry two years. And in the meanwhile the barbarians entered among the Frenchmen, and Julian Cæsar, which should have fought against them, gave great money unto the knights. And Martin willing no more to fight, refused his gift, but said to Cæsar: I am a knight of Jesu Christ, it appertaineth not to me for to fight. Then Julian was wroth, and said that it was not for the grace of religion that he renounced chivalry, but for fear and dread of the present battle following. To whom Martin, not being afeard, said to him: Because that thou holdest it for cowardice, and that I have not done it for good faith, I shall be to-morn all unarmed tofore the battle, and shall be protected and kept by the sign of the cross, and not by shield ne by helm, and shall pass through the battles of the enemies surely. And then he was commanded to be kept for to be on the morn all unarmed against the enemies. But on the morn the enemies sent messengers that they would yield them and their goods, whereof it is no doubt but that by the merits of this holy man that this victory was had without shedding of blood. And then forthon he left chivalry and went to S. Hilary, bishop of Poictiers and he made him acolyte. And he was warned of our Lord in his sleep that he should yet visit his father and mother which yet were paynims, and also that he should suffer many tribulations. For as he went over the mountains he fell among thieves. And when one of the thieves had lifted up an axe for to have smitten him in the head, he bare the stroke with his right hand, and then that other took his hands and bound them behind him at his back, and delivered him to another to hold him. And it was asked of him if he were afraid or doubted. To whom Martin answered that he was never tofore so sure, for he knew well that the mercy of God was ready and would come in temptations, and then began to preach to the thief and converted him to the faith of Jesu Christ; and then the thief brought Martin forth on his way, and afterward lived a good life.

And when he was past Milan, the devil appeared to him in a man's likeness, and demanded him whither he went. And he said: Thither whereas our Lord would that he should go. And the devil said to him: Wheresoever thou goest the devil shall always be against thee; and Martin answered to him: Our Lord is mine helper, and therefore I doubt nothing that may be done to me, and then anon the fiend vanished away. Then he went home and converted his mother, but his father abode still in his error. And when the heresy Arian grew in the world, he was beaten openly and put out of the city, and came to Milan, and did do make there a monastery, but he was cast out of the Arians, and went with one priest only into the isle of Gallinaria and there took for his meat, herbs. And among others he took a herb envenomed, which was named hellebore. And when he felt that he should die and was in peril, he chased away the pain and peril of the venom by the virtue of prayer.

And then he heard that the blessed Hilary returned from his exile, and went to meet him, and ordained a monastery by Poictiers. And there was one renewed in the faith which he had in keeping. And when he went a little out and came again, he found him dead without baptism. And then he went into his cell and brought the corpse thither, and there kneeled by the corpse, and by his orisons he remised him in his life again. And as that same rehearseth oft, that when the sentence was given against him, he was put in a dark place, and two angels said to the judge: This is he for whom Martin is pledge, and then he commanded that he should be removed unto his body, and so was yielded alive to Martin. And also he re-established the life to another that was hanged.

And truly, when the people of Tours had no bishop, they required strongly him to be their bishop, and he refused it. But there was one which was to him contrary because he was of evil habit and despicable of cheer, and one there was among the other which was named defensor. And when the lector was not present, another took the psalter and read the first psalm that he found, in which psalm was written this verse: Ex ore infantium, God, thou hast performed the laud by the mouth of children and young suckers, and for thine enemies thou shalt destroy the enemy defensor.

And thus that defensor was chased out of the town by all the people. And then he was ordained bishop. And because he might not suffer the tumult ne noise of the people, he established a monastery at two leagues from the city, and there lived in great abstinence with four score disciples, of whom divers cities chose of them to be their bishops.

And there was a corpse in a chapel which was worshipped as a martyr, and S. Martin could find nothing of his life ne of his merits. He came on a day on the sepulchre of him, and prayed unto our Lord that he would show to him what he was, and of what merit. And then he turned him on the left side and saw there a right obscure and a dark shadow. Then S. Martin conjured him, and demanded him what he was. And he said to him that he was a thief, and that for his wickedness was slain. Anon then S. Martin commanded that the altar should be destroyed. It is read in the Dialogue of Severus and Gallus, disciples of S. Martin, that there be many things left out in the life of S. Martin which be accomplished in the said Dialogue. So on a time S. Martin went to Valentinian the emperor for a certain necessity, and the emperor knew well that he would require such thing as he would not give to him, and Martin came twice to have entered, but he might not enter. Then he wrapped him in hair and cast ashes on him, and made his flesh lean of a whole week by fastings, and did great abstinence, and then the angel warned him to go to the palace and no man should gainsay him. And then he went to the emperor, and when he saw him he was angry because he was let come in, and would not arise against him till that the fire entered into his chamber, and felt the fire behind him. Then he arose all angry and confessed that he had felt the virtue divine, and began to embrace S. Martin, and granted to him all that he desired, and offered to him many gifts, but he refused and took none.

And in this Dialogue it is read how he raised the third dead person. For when a youngling was dead, his mother prayed S. Martin, with weeping tears, for to raise him to life. And he kneeled down and made his prayer, and the child arose tofore them all. And all the paynims that saw this converted them to the faith of Jesu Christ. And all things obeyed to this holy man, as well things not sensible as vegetative, and not reasonable, as things insensible, as the fire and water.

For when he had commanded to set fire in a temple, the flame was brought with the wind upon a house that was joining. And he mounted upon the house and set himself against the fire, and anon the flame returned against the might of the wind, so that there was seen the fighting of the elements. And when a ship should have perished in the sea, there was therein a merchant which was not christian, and escried and said: God of S. Martin help us. And anon the tempest ceased, and the sea became all still and even. And also to him obeyed things vegetative as trees, for he destroyed in a place right old trees. And there was a tree of a pine, which was dedicated to the devil, he would have razed down that tree, and the villains and paynims withsaid him so that one of them said to him: If thou hast affiance in thy God, we shall hew down this tree, and thou shalt receive it. And if thy God be with thee as thou sayest, thou shalt escape. And he granted it, and then the tree was hewn and bounden for to fall upon him.

And when it should fall he made the sign of the cross against it, and it fell on that other side and slew almost all the villains that were there, and then the others were converted to the faith when they had seen this miracle.

And many beasts not reasonable obeyed to him, like as it is said in the Dialogue: Hounds followed a hare, and he commanded them to leave to follow him, and anon they tarried, and abode still, like as they had been overcome. A serpent passed over a river, and S. Martin said to the serpent: I command thee in the name of God that thou return anon. And the serpent returned by the words of S. Martin, and went to that other side, and then S. Martin said, all weeping: The serpents understand me well, and the men will not hear me.

On a time as a hound barked on one of the disciples of S. Martin, the disciple returned and said to the hound: I command thee in the name of S. Martin that thou hold thy peace, and anon the hound was all still as his tongue had been cut off. The blessed S. Martin was of great humility; for he met at Paris a foul leper, horrible to all men, and he kissed him and blessed him, and anon he was all whole. When he was secretly in the revestiary he had no chair, ne no man never saw him in the church sit, but in his cell he sat upon a threefoot stool. He was of much great dignity, for he was like unto the apostles, and that was by the grace of the Holy Ghost that descended in him in the likeness of fire, like as he descended in the apostles, and the apostles visited him, as he had been seen one of them.

And as it is read in the Dialogue that, he sat on a time alone in his cell, and Severus and Gallus abode him without the gates, the which were smitten suddenly with great fear, for they heard divers people speak together within the cell, and then they told it to S. Martin. And S. Martin said: I will tell it to you, but I pray you to tell it to nobody, Agnes, Thecla and Mary came to me; and he confessed that they had oft visited him, and also Peter and Paul were come oft and visited him. And he was of great humility, for when the emperor Maximian had on a time bidden him to a feast, the drink was brought to Martin for to drink, and each man weened that he would have given after to the king, but he gave it to his priest, for he wist well that there was none worthy to drink tofore the priest, and judged in himself that it was not a thing worthy if he had given it to the king or his neighbours tofore the priest. He was of much great patience, for he kept so great patience that he that was sovereign priest was oft-time hurt of his clerks without punishing them, ne therefore put he them not out of charity. Never man saw him angry, ne never man saw him weep, ne laugh, ne never was in his mouth but Jesu Christ, ne in his heart but pity, peace and mercy.

It is read in the same Dialogue that S. Martin was clad with a sharp clothing, blue, and with a great coarse mantle hanging here and there upon him, and rode upon his ass. And horses that came against him were afeard of him in such wise that they that rode on them fell down to the earth. And then they took Martin and beat him grievously, and he, saying nothing, suffered gladly the strokes. And they enforced them to beat him the more, and him seemed that he felt no harm, ne set not by the strokes, ne was not moved ne angry with them. And then they returned to their horses, whom they found Iying fast to the ground, and they might no more move them than a rock till they returned to S. Martin, and confessed their sin and trespass that they had so done by ignorance, and prayed him to pardon them and to give them licence to depart. And so he did, and then the beasts arose and went forth their way a good pace. He was of great business in prayers, for there was never hour ne moment, as it is said in his legend, but that he prayed or else went to his lesson. For he never ceased but he read or prayed in his courage. For like as it is custom to the smiths that work in iron, that otherwhile when they smite the iron, for to allege and ease them of their labour, they smite on the stithie or anvil, in like wise S. Martin always when he laboured or did anything he prayed continually. He was alway of great cruelty toward himself, and hard and sharp.

Severus saith in an epistle unto Eusebius, that on a time when he came into a place of his diocese, the clerks had made ready for him a bed full of straw. And when he lay thereon, he doubted that it was softer than it was which he was woned to lie on, for he was accustomed to lie on the bare ground, and but one coverlet of hair upon his bed. And then he, being angry, arose and threw away the straw, and laid him down on the bare ground. And about mid-night all that straw was set afire. Martin arose and supposed to have escaped and might not, for he was so environed with fire that his clothes burned. And then he returned to his prayers accustomed, and made the sign of the cross, and abode in the middle of the fire without any touching of it, and felt the flames well-smelling and sweetly, which he had tofore found evil burning. And then the monks were all moved, and ran thither, and found S. Martin in the middle of the flames without hurt. And they had supposed that he had been all destroyed and burnt with the fire.

He was much piteous against them that would be repentant and be penitent; them would he receive into the bosom of pity. And when the devil reproved this holy man S. Martin because he received to penance them that had once fallen, and S. Martin answered to him: If thou, most cursed wretch, wouldst leave to torment the people and repent thee of thy cursed deeds, I would trust so much in our Lord that he would give to thee his mercy.

He was much piteous unto the poor people. It is read in the said Dialogue that the blessed S. Martin went on a time to the church, and a poor man followed him, and S. Martin commanded his archdeacon that he should go clothe this poor man. And when he saw he tarried over long to clothe him, he entered into the sacristy and did off his own coat, and gave it to the poor man, and commanded that he should go his way anon. And when the archdeacon warned him to go to do the service, Martin said that he might not go till the poor man were clothed, and meant himself, but he understood him not. For he saw him clothed and covered with his cope, and wist not that he was naked under, and therefore he rought not of the poor man. And then he said to him: Why bring ye nothing for the poor man? Bring ye me then a vesture and let me be clothed for the poor man. And then he being constrained went to the market and bought a vile coat and a short for five pence, which was worth nought, and came and angrily threw it down at his feet. And S. Martin took it up, and clad him withal secretly, and the sleeves came to his elbows and the length was but to his knees, and so went to sing the mass. And as he sang mass a great light of fire descended upon his head, and was seen of many that were there, and therefore he is said like and equal to the apostles. And to this miracle addeth Master John Beleth that, when he lifted up his hands at the mass, as it is of custom, the sleeves of the alb slid down unto his elbows. For his arms were not great ne fleshly, and the sleeves of his coat came but to his elbows, so that his arms abode all naked. Then were brought to him by miracle sleeves of gold and full of precious stones, of angels, which covered his arms convenably. He saw on a time a sheep shorn and said: This hath accomplished the commandment of the gospel, for he had two coats, and hath given to him that had none, and thus, said he, ye ought to do.

He was of great power to chase away the devils, for he put them out ofttimes from divers people. It is read in the same Dialogue that, a cow was tormented of the devil and was wood, and confounded much people. And as S. Martin and his fellowship should make a voyage this wood cow ran against them. And S. Martin lifted up his hand and commanded her to tarry, and she abode still without moving. Then S. Martin saw the devil which sat upon the back of the cow, and blamed him, and said to him: Depart thou from this mortal beast, and leave to torment this beast that noyeth nothing, and anon he departed. And the cow kneeled down to the feet of this holy man, and at his commandment she returned to her company full meekly. He was of much great subtlety for to know the devils, they could not be hid from him, for in what place they put themselves in, he saw them. For sometime they showed them to him in the form of Juplter or of Mercury, and otherwhile they transfigured them in likeness of Venus or of Minerva, whom every each he knew, and blamed them by name. It happed on a day that the devil appeared to him in the form of a king, in purple, and a crown on his head, with hosen and shoes gilt, with an amiable mouth and glad cheer and visage. And when they were both still a while, the devil said: Martin, know thou whom thou worshippest? I am Christ that am descended into earth, and will first show me to thee. And as S. Martin all admarvelled, said nothing, yet the devil said to him: Wherefore doubtest thou, Martin, to believe me when thou seest that I am Christ? And then Martin, blessed of the Holy Ghost, said: Our Lord Jesu Christ saith not that he shall come in purple ne with a crown resplendent. I shall never believe that Jesu Christ shall come but if it be in habit and form such as he suffered death in, and that the sign of the cross be borne tofore him. And with that word he vanished away, and all the hall was filled with stench.

S. Martin knew his death long time tofore his departing, the which he showed to his brethren. And whiles he visited the diocese of Toul for cause to appease discord that was there. And as he went he saw in a water birds that plunged in the water, which awaited and espied fishes and ate them, and then he said: In this manner devils espy fools, they espy them that be not ware, they take them that know not, but be ignorant, and devour them that be taken, and they may not be fulfilled ne satiate with them that they devour. And then he commanded them to leave the water, and that they should go into desert countries, and they assembled them and went into the woods and mountains. And then he abode a little in that diocese, and began to wax feeble in his body and said to his disciples that he should depart and be dissolved. Then they all weeping said: Father, wherefore leavest thou us, or to whom shalt thou leave us all desolate and discomforted? The ravishing wolves shall assail thy flock, and beasts. And he then, moved with their weepings, wept also, and prayed, saying: Lord if I be yet necessary to thy people I refuse nothing the labour, thy will be fulfilled. He doubted what he might best do, for he would not gladly leave them, ne he would not long be departed from Jesu Christ. And when he had a little while been tormented with the fevers and his disciples prayed him, whereas he lay in the ashes, dust and hair, that they might lay some straw in his couch where he lay, he said: It appertaineth not but that a christian man should die in hair and in ashes, and if I should give to you another ensample I myself should sin. And he had his hands and his eyes towards the heaven, and his spirit was not loosed from prayer. And as he lay towards his brethren, he prayed that they would remove a little his body, and he said: Brethren, let me behold more the heaven than the earth, so that the spirit may address him to our Lord. And this saying he saw the devil that was there, and S. Martin said to him: Wherefore standest thou here, thou cruel beast? Thou shalt find in me nothing sinful ne mortal, the bosom of Abraham shall receive me. And with this word he rendered and gave up unto our Lord his spirit, in the year of our Lord three hundred four score and eighteen, and the year of his life eighty-one. And his cheer shone as it had been glorified, and the voice of angels was heard singing of many that were there. And they of Poictiers assembled at his death as well as they of Tours and there was great altercation. For the Poictevins said: He is our monk, we require to have him, and the others said: He was taken from you and given to us. And at midnight all the Poictevins slept, and they of Tours put him out of the window, and was borne with great joy and had over the water of Loire by a boat unto the city of Tours. And as Severus, bishop of Cologne, on a Sunday after Matins, visited and went about the holy places, the same hour that S. Martin departed out of this world, he heard the angels singing in heaven. Then he called his archdeacon and demanded him if he heard anything, and he said: Nay. And the bishop bade him to hearken diligently, and he began to stretch forth his neck and address his ears and leaned upon his staff. Then the bishop put himself to prayer for him. Then he said that he heard voices in heaven, to whom the bishop said: It is my Lord, S. Martin, which is departed out of the world, and the angels bear him now into heaven. And the devils were at his passing, but they found nothing in him and went away all confused. And the archdeacon marked the day and the hour, and knew verily after, that S. Martin passed out of this world that same time. And Severus, the monk which wrote his life, as he slept a little after Matins, like as he witnesseth in his epistle, S. Martin appeared to him clad in an alb, his cheer clear, the eyes sparkling, his hair purple, holding a book in his right hand, which the said Severus had written of his life, and when he had given him his blessing, he saw him mount up into heaven. And as he coveted for to have gone with him, he awoke, and anon the messengers came, which said that that same time S. Martin departed out of this world.

And in the same day S. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, sang mass, and slept upon the altar between the lesson of the prophecy and the epistle, and none durst wake him, and the subdeacon durst not read the epistle without his leave. And when he had slept the space of three hours they awoke him, and said: Sire, the hour is passed and the people be weary for to abide, wherefore command that the clerk read the epistle. And he said to them: Be not angry. Martin my brother is passed unto God, and I have done the oflice of his departing and burying, and I could no sooner accomplish ne make an end of the last orison because ye hasted me so sore. Then they marked the day and the hour, and they found that S. Martin was then passed out of this world and gone to heaven.

Master John Beleth saith that kings of France were wont to bear his cope in battle, and because they kept this cope they were called chaplains. And after his death three score and four years, when S. Perpetua had enlarged his church, and would transport the body of S. Martin therein, they were in fastings and vigils once, twice, thrice, and they might not move the sepulchre. And as they would have lifted it, a right fair old man appeared to them and said: Wherefore tarry ye, see ye not that S. Martin is all ready to help you if ye set to your hands with him? And then anon they lifted up the sepulchre and brought it to the place whereas he is now worshipped, and then anon this old man vanished away. This translation was made in the month of July. And it is said that there were then two fellows, one lame and that other was blind, the lame taught the blind man the way, and the blind bare the lame man, and thus gat they much money by truandise, and they heard say that many sick men were healed when the body of S. Martin was borne out of the church on procession. And they were afraid lest the body should be brought tofore their house, and that peradventure they might be healed, which in no wise they would not be, for if they were healed, they should not get so much money by truandise as they did. And therefore they fled from that place and went to another church whereas they supposed that the body should not come. And as they fled they encountered and met the holy body suddenly, unpurveyed. And because God giveth many benefits to men not desired, and that would not have them, they were both healed against their will, and were right sorry therefor. And S. Ambrose saith thus of S. Martin: He destroyed the temple of the cursed error, he raised the banners of pity, he raised dead men, he cast devils out of bodies in which they were, and alleged by remedy of health them that travailed in divers maladies and sicknesses. And he was found so perfect that he clad Jesu Christ instead of a poor man, and the vesture that the poor man had taken, the Lord of all the world clad him withal. That was a good largess that divinity covered. O glorious vesture and inestimable gift, that clothed and covered both the knight and the king. This was a gift that no man may praise, of which he deserved to clothe the deity. Lord, thou gavest to him worthily the the reward of thy confession, thou puttedst under him worthily the cruelty of the Arians, and he worthily for the love of martyrdom never dreaded the torments of the persecutors. What shall he receive for the oblation of his body, that for the quantity of a little vesture, which was but half a mantle, deserved to clothe and cover God and also to see him? And he gave such great medicine to them that trusted in God that some he healed by his prayers and others by his commandments. Then let us pray to S. Martin, et cetera. (Archbishop Jacobus de Voragine, O.P., The Golden Legend.)

Saint Martin of Tours opposed heresy and fought the devils. Jorge Mario Bergoglio embraces heresy and thus participates in the work of the devil for the destruction of souls.