On the Feast of Saint Lucy of Syracuse, Virgin and Martyr

We are just shy by nine days of the eighteentg anniversary of the address that the late Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI gave to the curial officials of the counterfeit church of conciliarism on December 22, 2005. The address, which has been analyzed quite extensively on this site and by others, dealt with many subjects, including how the apparent rupture represented by the events of the "Second" Vatican Council and the Tradition of the Catholic Church could be explained by the Hegelian-inspired notion of "continuity in discontinuity," something that the Fathers of the Church, especially Saint Jerome, would have denounced as a complete and abject absurdity.

There was one passage in Ratzinger/Benedict's December 22, 2005, address, that dealt with the subject of "religious liberty," which he said that the "Second" Vatican Council had "recovered" and made part of her heritage once again. Here is the section dealing with the novelty that had been condemned repeatedly by pope after pope prior to 1958:

Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change. Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge.

It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction.

The Second Vatican Council, recognizing and making its own an essential principle of the modern State with the Decree on Religious Freedom, has recovered the deepest patrimony of the Church. By so doing she can be conscious of being in full harmony with the teaching of Jesus himself (cf. Mt 22: 21), as well as with the Church of the martyrs of all time. The ancient Church naturally prayed for the emperors and political leaders out of duty (cf. I Tm 2: 2); but while she prayed for the emperors, she refused to worship them and thereby clearly rejected the religion of the State.

The martyrs of the early Church died for their faith in that God who was revealed in Jesus Christ, and for this very reason they also died for freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one's own faith - a profession that no State can impose but which, instead, can only be claimed with God's grace in freedom of conscience. A missionary Church known for proclaiming her message to all peoples must necessarily work for the freedom of the faith. She desires to transmit the gift of the truth that exists for one and all.

At the same time, she assures peoples and their Governments that she does not wish to destroy their identity and culture by doing so, but to give them, on the contrary, a response which, in their innermost depths, they are waiting for - a response with which the multiplicity of cultures is not lost but instead unity between men and women increases and thus also peace between peoples. (Christmas greetings to the Members of the Roman Curia and Prelature, December 22, 2005.)

Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI was, despite differences of style and on some matters of substance, of one with Jorge Mario Bergoglio in believing that the "Second" Vatican Council "rediscovered" "truths" that had been "lost" in the past. This means, of course, that the Catholic Church had taught error when condemning religious liberty.

The martyrs of the early Church did NOT die for religious liberty. They did NOT die for freedom of conscience. They died to bear witness to the true Faith, hoping to plant the seed for the conversion of all men and of all nations to the Catholic Church. The first popes who went to their deaths at the hands of the Roman emperors did not want a world where there could be "peaceful coexistence" between the true religion and false religions. They were intent on proclaiming the fullness of the truths of the true Faith without compromise so as to end all pagan practices in Rome and barbaric superstitions there and elsewhere.

The martyrs of the early Church were marched into temples of false worship only against their wills and refused to give any credence at all to anything that was in violation of the First Commandment. No pope of the Catholic Church, including those prior to the Edict of Milan, would have ever gone into a place of false worship voluntarily and then turned in the direction of a place venerated by the adherents of that false religion, something that Ratzinger/Benedict did on November 30, 2006, at the Mosque of the Sultan Ahmed, the Blue Mosque, a den of the devil wherein Jorge Mario Bergolio/Francis initiated "prayer" with a Mohammedan imam exactly eight years to the day later, that is, on Sunday, November 30, 2014.

Following the example of his own predecessor, "Saint John Paul II," Ratzinger/Benedict esteemed the symbols of false religions with his own priestly hands on several  occasions, including at the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, District of Columbia on Thursday, April 17, 2008. Bergoglio has done this endlessly in the past one hundred twenty-nine months of his own false "pontificate."

The saint whose martyrdom we commemorate today, Saint Lucy, was an immovable foe of religious liberty. While she recognized that there was little she could do as a humble virgin in Syracuse, Sicily, to end the presence of emperor worship and the offerings made to the idols, she knew nevertheless that such worship was false and had to be eradicated, not tolerated. She was willing to give up her very life to demonstrate her absolute intolerance of false religions, knowing that they were offensive to God and thus harmful to the poor, ignorant souls who were steeped in them, to say nothing of how such false religions were harmful to the entirety of social order in the empire. She wanted Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ alone to reign supreme in Syracuse. She wanted the false gods of the false religions to be obliterated from the minds and the hearts of her fellow Sicilians.

Saint Lucy was given extraordinary graces by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She was given to see not only with the physical eyes of her body. Oh no. Saint Lucy was given to see clearly with the eyes of her immortal soul, which had been purchased by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer on the wood of the Holy Cross on Mount Calvary. It is this clarity of spiritual vision, you see (pun intended), that is so lacking amongst the conciliar revolutionaries, who must filter the entirety of the history of the Church through the cataractal lenses of conciliarism and is foundational "New Theology," thereby distorting--sometimes wittingly, sometimes unwittingly--the past in order to justify present and future novelties and errors and heresies and blasphemes and sacrileges aplenty.

Make no mistake about it. Conciliarism's embrace of the error of religious liberty, which contends that false religions have the civil right to propagate themselves in society and that their false ideas contain possibilities of contributing to the betterment of the temporal order, stands in stark contrast to the consistent, perennial teaching of the Catholic Church. Simple logic dictates that the popes prior to 1958 must have misread the "truth" about "religious liberty" consistently if indeed this conciliar heresy is correct and reflects the mind of Our Lord Himself, as the late Ratzinger/Benedict said repeatedly during his false "pontificate." The conclusion here is inescapable: if religious liberty is from Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ then pope after pope after pope was wrong in not only not recognizing this "truth" but in condemning it.

Something doesn't "become" true just because it is asserted in a positivist manner as being true. A proposition is true of its nature or it is not true.

Religious liberty--and its corollary--of the separation of the Church and State, another error promoted by the conciliar popes, must be absolutely true or absolutely false at all times in human history. Pope Saint Pius X must have been wrong, therefore, to condemn the separation of Church and State as "a thesis absolutely false" in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, for the late Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and Jorge Mario Bergoglio be correct in their absolute and unwavering support for it. Perhaps another review of the following quote from Vehementer Nos is in order yet again:

That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)

Our true popes have condemned that which the conciliar "popes" have exalted. Doesn't that mean anything to those who are of yet unconvinced of the state of apostasy and betrayal that exists in these times.

Contrary to what the conciliar "popes" believe and have taught, though, the civil state must recognize the true religion. There is no room to permit those steeped in false religions to propagate their errors publicly, admitting as Pope Leo XIII did in Libertas Praestissimum, June 20, 1888, that the Church recognizes that the civil state may have to tolerate the private practice of such religions so as not to do violence to the consciences of those steeped in false religions. The Church recognizes as well, Pope Leo observed, that she lives in less than propitious times and would avail herself of whatever conditions she finds herself in to spread the Gospel without conceding the legitimacy of false premises.

Be that as it may, Pope Leo reaffirmed the truth that it was nevertheless essential to oppose the separation of Church and State and to work for the happy reunion of the two powers that had been put at odds as a result of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Judeo-Masonry and all of the inter-related political ideologies that have been spawned thereafter. Here are the relevant passages from Libertas Praestissimum dealing with the condemnation of the separation of Church and State and the recognition that the state might have to tolerate error without endorsing it, a far, far cry from Dignitatis Humanae:

There are others, somewhat more moderate though not more consistent, who affirm that the morality of individuals is to be guided by the divine law, but not the morality of the State, for that in public affairs the commands of God may be passed over, and may be entirely disregarded in the framing of laws. Hence follows the fatal theory of the need of separation between Church and State. But the absurdity of such a position is manifest. Nature herself proclaims the necessity of the State providing means and opportunities whereby the community may be enabled to live properly, that is to say, according to the laws of God. For, since God is the source of all goodness and justice, it is absolutely ridiculous that the State should pay no attention to these laws or render them abortive by contrary enactments. Besides, those who are in authority owe it to the commonwealth not only to provide for its external well-being and the conveniences of life, but still more to consult the welfare of men's souls in the wisdom of their legislation. But, for the increase of such benefits, nothing more suitable can be conceived than the laws which have God for their author; and, therefore, they who in their government of the State take no account of these laws abuse political power by causing it to deviate from its proper end and from what nature itself prescribes. And, what is still more important, and what We have more than once pointed out, although the civil authority has not the same proximate end as the spiritual, nor proceeds on the same lines, nevertheless in the exercise of their separate powers they must occasionally meet. For their subjects are the same, and not infrequently they deal with the same objects, though in different ways. Whenever this occurs, since a state of conflict is absurd and manifestly repugnant to the most wise ordinance of God, there must necessarily exist some order or mode of procedure to remove the occasions of difference and contention, and to secure harmony in all things. This harmony has been not inaptly compared to that which exists between the body and the soul for the well-being of both one and the other, the separation of which brings irremediable harm to the body, since it extinguishes its very life.

To make this more evident, the growth of liberty ascribed to our age must be considered apart in its various details. And, first, let us examine that liberty in individuals which is so opposed to the virtue of religion, namely, the liberty of worship, as it is called. This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion or none.

But, assuredly, of all the duties which man has to fulfill, that, without doubt, is the chiefest and holiest which commands him to worship God with devotion and piety. This follows of necessity from the truth that we are ever in the power of God, are ever guided by His will and providence, and, having come forth from Him, must return to Him. Add to which, no true virtue can exist without religion, for moral virtue is concerned with those things which lead to God as man's supreme and ultimate good; and therefore religion, which (as St. Thomas says) "performs those actions which are directly and immediately ordained for the divine honor," rules and tempers all virtues. And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practice that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognize by certain exterior notes, whereby Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because, in a matter of such moment, the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error. Wherefore, when a liberty such as We have described is offered to man, the power is given him to pervert or abandon with impunity the most sacred of duties, and to exchange the unchangeable good for evil; which, as We have said, is no liberty, but its degradation, and the abject submission of the soul to sin.

This kind of liberty, if considered in relation to the State, clearly implies that there is no reason why the State should offer any homage to God, or should desire any public recognition of Him; that no one form of worship is to be preferred to another, but that all stand on an equal footing, no account being taken of the religion of the people, even if they profess the Catholic faith. But, to justify this, it must needs be taken as true that the State has no duties toward God, or that such duties, if they exist, can be abandoned with impunity, both of which assertions are manifestly false. For it cannot be doubted but that, by the will of God, men are united in civil society; whether its component parts be considered; or its form, which implies authority; or the object of its existence; or the abundance of the vast services which it renders to man. God it is who has made man for society, and has placed him in the company of others like himself, so that what was wanting to his nature, and beyond his attainment if left to his own resources, he might obtain by association with others. Wherefore, civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority. justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness -- namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it. This religion, therefore, the rulers of the State must preserve and protect, if they would provide -- as they should do -- with prudence and usefulness for the good of the community. For public authority exists for the welfare of those whom it governs; and, although its proximate end is to lead men to the prosperity found in this life, yet, in so doing, it ought not to diminish, but rather to increase, man's capability of attaining to the supreme good in which his everlasting happiness consists: which never can be attained if religion be disregarded.

All this, however, We have explained more fully elsewhere. We now only wish to add the remark that liberty of so false a nature is greatly hurtful to the true liberty of both rulers and their subjects. Religion, of its essence, is wonderfully helpful to the State. For, since it derives the prime origin of all power directly from God Himself, with grave authority it charges rulers to be mindful of their duty, to govern without injustice or severity, to rule their people kindly and with almost paternal charity; it admonishes subjects to be obedient to lawful authority, as to the ministers of God; and it binds them to their rulers, not merely by obedience, but by reverence and affection, forbidding all seditions and venturesome enterprises calculated to disturb public order and tranquillity, and cause greater restrictions to be put upon the liberty of the people. We need not mention how greatly religion conduces to pure morals, and pure morals to liberty. Reason shows, and history confirms the fact, that the higher the morality of States, the greater are the liberty and wealth and power which they enjoy. . . . .

Yet, with the discernment of a true mother, the Church weighs the great burden of human weakness, and well knows the course down which the minds and actions of men are in this our age being borne. For this reason, while not conceding any right to anything save what is true and honest, she does not forbid public authority to tolerate what is at variance with truth and justice, for the sake of avoiding some greater evil, or of obtaining or preserving some greater good. God Himself in His providence, though infinitely good and powerful, permits evil to exist in the world, partly that greater good may not be impeded, and partly that greater evil may not ensue. In the government of States it is not forbidden to imitate the Ruler of the world; and, as the authority of man is powerless to prevent every evil, it has (as St. Augustine says) to overlook and leave unpunished many things which are punished, and rightly, by Divine Providence. But if, in such circumstances, for the sake of the common good (and this is the only legitimate reason), human law may or even should tolerate evil, it may not and should not approve or desire evil for its own sake; for evil of itself, being a privation of good, is opposed to the common welfare which every legislator is bound to desire and defend to the best of his ability. In this, human law must endeavor to imitate God, who, as St. Thomas teaches, in allowing evil to exist in the world, "neither wills evil to be done, nor wills it not to be done, but wills only to permit it to be done; and this is good.'' This saying of the Angelic Doctor contains briefly the whole doctrine of the permission of evil.

But, to judge aright, we must acknowledge that, the more a State is driven to tolerate evil, the further is it from perfection; and that the tolerance of evil which is dictated by political prudence should be strictly confined to the limits which its justifying cause, the public welfare, requires. Wherefore, if such tolerance would be injurious to the public welfare, and entail greater evils on the State, it would not be lawful; for in such case the motive of good is wanting. And although in the extraordinary condition of these times the Church usually acquiesces in certain modern liberties, not because she prefers them in themselves, but because she judges it expedient to permit them, she would in happier times exercise her own liberty; and, by persuasion, exhortation, and entreaty would endeavor, as she is bound, to fulfill the duty assigned to her by God of providing for the eternal salvation of mankind. One thing, however, remains always true -- that the liberty which is claimed for all to do all things is not, as We have often said, of itself desirable, inasmuch as it is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.

And as to tolerance, it is surprising how far removed from the equity and prudence of the Church are those who profess what is called liberalism. For, in allowing that boundless license of which We have spoken, they exceed all limits, and end at last by making no apparent distinction between truth and error, honesty and dishonesty. And because the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, and the unerring teacher of morals, is forced utterly to reprobate and condemn tolerance of such an abandoned and criminal character, they calumniate her as being wanting in patience and gentleness, and thus fail to see that, in so doing, they impute to her as a fault what is in reality a matter for commendation. But, in spite of all this show of tolerance, it very often happens that, while they profess themselves ready to lavish liberty on all in the greatest profusion, they are utterly intolerant toward the Catholic Church, by refusing to allow her the liberty of being herself free. (Pope Leo XIII, Libertas Praestissimum, June 20, 1888.)

It is impossible for men or for nations to know order without Our Blessed Lord and His true Church. Impossible. We are not living in the time before the Incarnation, a time when pagans only had the light of natural reason unaided by Divine Revelation and a time when the Chosen People had not yet been given the authentic freedom that would come into the world as a result of the propitiation made for human sins by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb.

The Incarnation the the Nativity and the Hidden Years and the Public Ministry and the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the God-Man matter, at all times, in all places, admitting of no exceptions whatsoever. The political ideologues of Modernity and the theological revolutionaries known as the Modernists of the counterfeit church of conciliarism are as one in rejecting this simple truth, content to accept the pluralist lie that it is "impossible" to for men of divergent beliefs to be united by a common religious tie, thereby denying the eternal, universal efficacy of the graces won for us by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the wood of the Holy Cross that flow into our souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces.

Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., provided a summary of Saint Lucy's life before providing his readers with the hagiography contained in Matins for the Divine Office:

There comes to us today the fourth of our Wise Virgins, the valiant Martyr Lucy. Her glorious name shines on the sacred Dyptich of the Canon of the Mass together with those of Agatha, Agnes, and Cecily; and as often as we hear it pronounced during these days of Advent, it reminds us (for Lucy signifies Light) that He who consoles the Church, by enlightening her children, is soon to be with us. Lucy is one of the three glories of the Church of Sicily; as Catania is immortalized by Agatha, and Palermo by Rosaly, so is Syracuse by Lucy. Therefore, let us devoutly keep her feast: she will aid us by her prayers during this holy season, and will repay our love by obtaining for us a warmer love of that Jesus whose grace enabled her to conquer the world. Once more let us consider why our Lord has not only given us Apostles, Martyrs and Bishops as guides to us on our road to Bethlehem, but has willed also that we should be accompanied thither by such Virgins as Lucy. The children of the Church are forcibly reminded by this, that in approaching the Crib of their Sovereign Lord and God, they must bring with them, besides their faith, that purity of mind and body without which no one can come near to God. Let us now read the glorious Acts of the Virgin Lucy. 

Lucy, a virgin of Syracuse, illustrious by birth and by the Christian faith, which she had professed from her infancy, went to Catania, with her mother Eutychia, who was suffering from a flux of blood, there to venerate the body of the blessed Agatha. Having prayed reverently at the tomb, she obtained her mother's cure, by the intercession of St. Agatha. Lucy then asked her mother that she would permit her to bestow upon the poor of Christ the fortune which she intended to leave her. No sooner, therefore, had she returned to Syracuse, than she sold all that was given to her and distributed the money amongst the poor.

When he, to whom her parents had against her will promised her in marriage, came to know what Lucy had done, he went before the prefect Paschasius and accused her of being a Christian. Paschasius entreated and threatened, but could not induce her to worship the idols; nay, the more he strove to shake her faith, the more inflamed were the praises which she uttered in professing its excellence. He said, therefore, to her: We shall have no more of thy words, when thou feelest the blows of my executioners. To this the virgin rejoiced: Words can never be wanting to God's servants, for Christ our Lord has said to them: When you shall be brought before kings and governors, take no thought how or what to speak; for it shall be given to you in that hour what to speak; for it is not you that speak, but the holy Spirit that speakest in you.

Paschasius then asked her: Is the holy Spirit in thee? She answered: They who live chastely and piously, are the temple of the holy Spirit. He said: I will order thee to be taken to a brothel, that this holy Spirit may leave thee. The virgin said to him: The violence wherewith thou threatenest me would obtain for me a double crown of chastity. Whereupon Paschasius being  exceedingly angry, ordered Lucy to be dragged to a place where her treasure might be violated.: but, by the power of God, so firmly was she fixed to the place where she stood, that it was impossible to move her. Wherefore the prefect ordered her to be covered over with pitch, resin, and boiling oil, and a fire to be kindled around her. But seeing that the flame was not permitted to hurt her, they tormented her in many cruel ways, and at length ran a sword through her neck.

Thus wounded, Lucy foretold the peace of the Church, which would come after the death of Diocletian and Maximian, and then died. It was the Ides of December (Dec. 13). Her body was buried at Syracuse, but was translated thence first to Constantinople, and afterwards to Venice. (The Divine Office, December 13. There is also a marvelous account of Saint Lucy's life and martyrdom found in a book written by Ines Belski Lagazzi, an excerpt from which can be accessed at: Saint Lucy.)

Dom Prosper Gueranger then provided some of the "antiphons which occur in the Office of the saint: they form a lyric poem of great beauty," and they are worth repeating here:

As Lucy was praying, there appeared unto her the blessed Agatha, and she comforted the handmaid of Christ.

O virgin Lucy! why askest thou of me, what thyself canst straightaway grant unto thy mother?

Because of thee, O virgin Lucy: the city of Syracuse shall be honoured by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Lucy: I bless thee, the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, because by thy Son the fire around me was quenched.

In thy patience thou didst possess thy soul, O Lucy, bride of Christ! thou didst hate the things that are in the world, and thou shinest among the angels. Thou didst conquer the enemy by thine own blood. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)

Saint Lucy has a particularly prominent place in the life of my own family.

My dear, dear wife prayed to Saint Lucy back in 1996, five years before I met her, to help her to "see" the truths of Faith clearly as she was learning them from Father Dominic Radecki, CMRI, at Queen of the Angels Church in Santa Clarita, California. Sharon credited Saint Lucy for guiding her to Queen of Angels Church after she had heard her first Catholic Mass offered at the hands of the late Father Harry Marchosky, who died on December 11, 2007, at the Serra Chapel in Mission San Juan Capistrano. Being a pagan at the time, Sharon picked up a phone book and found Queen of the Angels Church listed under "Traditional Latin Mass." That was the place for her! Indeed, it was, anticipating by a decade our own mutual embrace of the truth of the Catholic teaching that those who defect from the Faith cannot hold ecclesiastical office legitimately.

Sharon was blessed to have been instructed by Father Radecki, whose own mother helped Sharon to work her way through the hand missal, meeting others in the parish who helped her. All the while, however, Sharon was praying to Saint Lucy to help her to see things clearly with the eyes of her immortal soul, ever conscious that the name of Saint Lucy was said every day in the Canon of the Mass. It was in gratitude to Saint Lucy for helping her with her conversion to the Faith that Sharon took her as her patroness saint and had decided to name the first daughter she might be blessed by God in Saint Lucy's honor. And our daughter, Lucy Mary Therese Norma, has a deep, tender devotion to Saint Lucy, venerating images of her with special kisses, taking a little extra time each night to look at a relic of Saint Lucy she was given on her third birthday on Easter Sunday in 2005 before venerating it devoutly. Yes, Saint Lucy is very special to us. Lucy still recites the story of her patroness saint's martyrdom by heart, the fruit of her mother's tireless efforts to teach her about the lives of the saints and of Lucy's voracious appetite for reading books about the lives of the saints.

Saint Lucy should have a particularly prominent place in the life of each Catholic. She is, as noted before, mentioned in the Canon of the Mass in every offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. And as she preferred death to looking at anything that might displease God and harm her own immortal soul, Saint Lucy can help each of us to choose to protect our eyes from the refuse of this world of barbarism in which we live at present, making sure that we never voluntarily turn our eyes to anything that is unworthy of a disciple of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The scenes that Saint Lucy did not want to view with the eyes of her body or with the eyes of her immortal soul are displayed on billboards today. They are displayed in living color on televisions and in motion picture theaters. Why are we so casual with our eyes of our bodies and our souls when martyrs such as Saint Lucy preferred death to even one glimpse at the horrors that are taken for granted as "normal" and "harmless" even by some traditional Catholics today?

The word Lucy means light. Saint Lucy's feast comes just twelve days before the Nativity of the One Who is the true Light, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It was the light emanating from Our Lord Himself that enlightened the soul of Saint Lucy to see clearly. We must prefer this light at all times, never choosing to live in the darkness, especially the darkness of conciliarism that blinds so many good people to the truths of the Faith and inclines them to accept lies and distortions and novelties that offend God and harm their own souls all too readily and without a word of complaint. Saint Lucy will indeed help us to see things clearly. All we have to do is to pray to her! Isn't that wonderful?

Saint Lucy was rewarded with a martyr's crown following her death. She pleads for us before the Heavenly throne, supplicating the Queen Mother who made possible her salvation by her perfect fiat to the will of God the Father at the Annunciation. It is very just and proper that Saint Lucy was able to receive her Heavenly reward in Advent just twelve days before the Nativity of Our Lady's Divie Son, Who was born into this world that we might prefer the light to the darkness and prefer physical death to a life steeped in that darkness.

May we, as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, pray for that perfect purity of soul which impelled Saint Lucy to love the Faith with fervor and to seek the conversion of all men and all nations to that same Catholic Faith, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.

Sancta Lucia, ora pro nobis!

Vivat Christus RexVivat Maria Regina Immaculata!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, 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.

Saint Lucy, pray for us.

Here is something with which Saint Lucy, who refused to go that house of ill-repute and dressed as befits a Catholic, would agree:




The avowed enemies of God are rejoicing--temporarily--at having brought about an almost total collapse of the virtue of modesty among once virtuous Christian womanhood, while those commissioned by God to teach and uphold this angelic virtue insist on cowardly silence and indifference about it and on gutless permissiveness in manner of dress everywhere.


Meanwhile, vast numbers of supposedly "good" people remain as if without a conscience, being morally blind and insensitive as to what has really happened to a God-given virtue that was once a distinctive trademark of theirs. This type of blindness seems to go hand in hand with a brazen contempt and a sassy resentfulness towards any attempt to revive and restore the missing sense of modesty.

The fact stands out clearly that the immodest fashions of this unchaste generation still offend Our Lord "very much," as Our Lady foretold it through the angelic little Jacinta.

Anyone who still cares about God's virtue of modesty, which He has made shine with such heavenly beauty in the Immaculate Virgin Mary, cannot forget how Our Lord suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane when He foresaw so many sinners, including the immodest and the impure, remaining unrepentant. And the sight of so many immodest creatures displaying crude flesh, like animals, brings vividly before our mind's eye the frightful vision of Our Divine Savior being mercilessly scourged at the pillar. We need not strain ourselves in trying to picture this scene, for we can plainly see the immodest, with their unchaste displays of flesh and figure, continually scourging Our Lord. And we can see them crowning Him with thorns and nailing Him to the Cross all over again.

And look what sorrow the immodest and the impure are causing their Sorrowful and Immaculate Mother, whom God has presented to them as the Perfect Model of Modesty and Purity!

But it has not all happened by accident. Satan planned it this way. As he has done with such evil movements as Communism and Socialism and Freemasonry, so also has he planned out a program of gradual, not sudden, destruction of the sense of modesty and purity. A mere look at the past 50 years or more shows us very plainly how gradually it was all done, first by apparently innocent abbreviations of garments and by slight revelations of bare flesh and by subtle little displays of the figure, and then, as protests died down, by more and more abbreviations and displays--until the crude immodesty of our day became a shocking reality.

Many living today have seen it all happen before their very eyes. They have lived through it and, if they have managed to retain their God-given moral sense, they find the barbarian immodesty of the this day intolerable and they look upon it as a sin crying to Heaven for the vengeance that must inevitably come if sinners continue to refuse to amend their ways.

Perhaps some 50 years ago or more, a publication known as The Frenchwoman presented the following satanic program for the destruction of the virtue of modesty: "Our children must realize the ideal of nakedness... Thus, the mentality of the child is rapidly transformed. To escape opposition, progress must be methodically graduated: first, feet and legs naked, then upturned sleeves; afterwards, the upper part of the chest; then, the back... n summer, they will go around almost naked."

Even if such a daring statement of the powers of darkness had never come to light--though "enlightened" liberals have tried to keep it in the dark--we would still know that it had to be planned that way and could not have happened by accident. And we would also know that such a program for immodesty could not have originated anywhere but in the dungeons of hell and in the mind of Satan.

The program of gradualism intended to lead eventually to the crude immodesty that we know so painfully well today was evidently drawn up, or at least made known, some time during the Fatima years, possibly a little before or after the 1917 Apparitions of Our Lady. (Maybe some well-informed person can provide a precise date.) Bearing this in mind, we can easily conclude that it was no accident that Our Lady insisted so strongly on modesty in her Fatima Message. She knew well of the evil program that would endanger so many immortal souls, and she came to Fatima to warn souls and to save them from the evil awaiting them.

As Sister Lucy has said, one of the things that Our Lady especially asked for was modesty in dress. And still better known, though disregarded, is Jacinta's prophecy: "Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much"--that little liked prophecy that leaves immodestly dressed "pious" women and girls callous and insensitive and cold.

Just as Our Lady was commissioned by God to oppose the rise of Russian Communism and all the other evils named in the Fatima Message, with God's own program of sanctification and salvation.

In connection with the timeliness of Our Lady's message of modesty in 1917, just when Satan's program of gradual nakedness was being put into effect, we must also mention the timeliness of the message of modesty of Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922). It is fairly well known how dynamic were his two successors, Popes Pius XI and Pius XII, in promoting modesty of dress, but it is not as well known that Pope Benedict XV was before them a strenuous defender and promoter of modesty at a time when we might imagine it was not so much of a problem.

We cannot believe that the statements of Our Lady of Fatima and those of Pope Benedict XV on modesty were disconnected or were merely a matter of coincidence. We can only believe that both Our Lady of Fatima and the Holy Father of that time were inspired and guided by God Himself to speak out on modesty in dress, so as to counteract the wicked program of gradual nudism that was being inspired and guided by hell's father of iniquity.

Let us quote an important statement of Pope Benedict XV--by no means his only one--so that we may see how immodesty in dress had already begun to cause moral ruin among women and girls of his day. In an Encyclical Letter (Sacra Propediem, 1921) commemorating the 7th centenary of the founding of the Franciscan Third Order, Pope Benedict wrote as follows:

"From this point of view one cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the in decency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for those toilettes as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the heavenly Author of purity. And We speak not of those exotic and barbarous dances recently imported into fashionable circles, one more shocking than the other; one cannot imagine anything more suitable for banishing all the remains of modesty."

If we did not know that a Pope wrote this in 1921, we would surely think it was written, or should have been written by someone, in 1972!

After thus deploring the immodesty of his day, the Holy Father exhorted women with these words:

"In what concerns specially the Tertiary Sisters, We ask of them by their dress and manner of wearing it, to be models of holy modesty for other ladies and young girls; that they be thoroughly convinced that the best way for them to be of use to the Church and to Society is to labor for the improvement of morals."

Whose message, do you suppose, have women and girls accepted: the message of modesty of Our Lady of Fatima and of the Holy Father or, the message of immodesty of Lucifer?

Who has recommended to them short skirts, sleeveless dresses, pants, shorts, and clownish pants suits, and so on?

Not only did women and girls buy and buy and buy the clothing that through the years became gradually shorter and skimpier and tighter and ever more unladylike, thus making the whole program of gradual nakedness a huge success, but something else happened at the same time; the sense of modesty and propriety, which God has instilled into their souls, became gradually more blurred and dim and fuzzy, until in so many it became totally blacked out and dead. They did not, and do not, know what happened to them. By blindly and stupidly following the satanic program of gradual abbreviation of attire, they destroyed in themselves a precious God-given gift--the sense of modesty--so that they have now made themselves incapable of distinguishing between modesty and immodesty, nor do so many of them care to know.

And not only have women destroyed in themselves God's gift of modesty, but they have destroyed it in their children from their earliest years, so that a whole generation has been brought up without any real understanding of modesty without any desire to possess its beauty.

And, mind you, these have been "good" and "pious" women who have done this to their children! They have been the "Lord, Lord" type who have duly said their prayers, which all are obliged to do, but who have not done "the Will of My Father Who is in Heaven" (Mt. 7. 21) by obeying His law of modesty. (Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D., The Remnant, 1972. Please continue to pray for the repose of Father Martin's immortal soul.)