Today, Sunday, September 19, 2020, is the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Commemoration of Saint Eustace and his Companions (his wife and two sons.
Saint Eustace, also known as Saint Eustachius and Saint Placidus, is someone to whom those of us who are estranged from family members and former friends and associates because of the wreckage wrought by the conciliar revolutionaries such as Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis and/or by the mere state of the barbarous world in which we live that has descended rapidly into barbarism as a result of the loss of Sanctifying and Actual Graces that had once flowed so readily from Altars of Sacrifice in every Catholic Church in the world should be very devoted. Consider, yes, once again, the remarkable story of a Roman commander who was separated from his wife and two sons for many years, not being reunited with them until shortly before they were martyred together for the Holy Faith because they refused to offer any kind of recognition to the false idols of Rome, quite a contrast to conciliarism:
It was one evening during these celebrations, that word was brought to the city that the army of Placidus had arrived, and was already on the Appian Way. A new impulse was given to the rejoicings, and a new triumph and procession were prepared for the victorious army. There is nothing so calculated to excite a people's enthusiasm as the return of its armies from a triumphant campaign. Those who remember the day on which the heroes of the Crimea landed on the shores of England can well picture the veteran armies of Rome entering the capital in triumph. According to custom the Emperor went out to meet the general, and embraced him. As the evening was far advanced, and the sun was already sinking beneath the blue Mediterranean, the Emperor gave orders that the army should encamp outside the walls for the night, in order to enter the city in triumph next morning. Placidus and his family returned with the Emperor to the Palatine, and were entertained at a sumptuous banquet. He gave the Emperor the history of his campaign, and spoke until a late hour of his battles, his conquests, the bravery of his two sons, and the extraordinary discover of his wife and family.
Loud, shrill and cheerful were the trumpet blasts that roused the sleeping army on the following morning. The cup of joy for these poor creatures was full to the brim. They knew of no greater reward for years of hardship and trial, for the scars and wounds which disabled them for life, than the shouts of a brutal and barbarous mob, who hailed them along the road of triumph.
As they poured in through the gates, each of them received a laurel crown, whose freshness and beauty contrasted deeply with the sunburnt features and tattered garments of the veterans. Round their necks and about their persons they carried a profusion of tinsel trinkets, which they took from the conquered people as ornaments for their wives and children. These were waggons drawn by oxen laded with spoils, that made the massive pavements of the Appian Way creak; armour, gold and brass ornaments, wild animals in cages, and everything that could show the habits and manners of the conquered people. The general, together with his wife and two sons, was in a gilt chariot, drawn by four white horses, in the rear of his army. None of the pride and flush of drunken joy that characterised the pagan conqueror was to be seen in the meek countenance of Placidus. All this rejoicing and gorgeous display was to him and his Christian family the funeral pomp that led them to their tomb. The king who, on this death-bed, had himself invested with his crown and royal robes to meet death as a monarch, was a picture of Placidus led in triumph to martyrdom--a tale of emptiness and instability of human greatness, often told in the vicissitudes of history! He was silent and collected; not even the deafening peals of applause from crowds of idle spectators, who made his name ring through the palaces and tombs that bend over the streets from the Capena gate to the Forum, induced him to look up with the smile of joyful approbation. He was well aware that in a few moments his belief in Christianity would be declared, for he could not sacrifice to the gods.
Whilst the procession was moving along, a murmur passed through the crowd. They asked one another where were the victims?--where the captive chiefs?--where the salves usually dragged at the chariot wheels of the conqueror?--where the wailing matrons and daughters of the conquered race to sound the mournful music of triumph? Arrived at the Forum, the procession halted as usual, and the executioners and keepers of the Mamertine prison looked in vain for their victims; it was the first time in the annals of triumph that axes had not bee steeped in the blood of heroes, whose only crime was that they fought bravely for their homes and their countries. They knew nothing of the sublime morality that can forgive an enemy. Placidus pardoned the moment he had conquered, and instead of dragging helpless victims from their country and family, to be immolated to the demons of Rome, he left his name in the traces of his march in love and benediction.
But now the process arrived at the entrance to the Temple of Jupiter. The priests were waiting in their robes, and snow-white oxen, with gilded horns and crowns of flowers, were held by the altar. Immense faggots were blazing in the heart of the temple to consume the victims, and fragrant incense was burning in golden vessels. Placidus and his family descended from their chariot and stepped on one side; they refused to enter; they would not sacrifice.
If an earthquake had shaken the temple to its foundations, or a sudden eclipse had darkened the sun, there could not have been given a greater shock or surprise to the assembled thousands. The news ran like fire in a train of powder through the vast crowd. A deep heavy murmur, like the swell of the troubled deep breaking on its boundaries, rose from the multitudes in the Forum. Indignation and fury were the passions that swayed the mob. The demon of paganism reigned in their hearts; pity, justice and liberty were virtues unknown. From shouts of applause with which they hailed Placidus as the conqueror, the glory of the Empire, and the beloved of the martial god, they know hooted him with groans and hisses; and loudly from the gilded temples of the Capitol were echoed the terrible cries of "Death to the Christians!"--"Away with the Christians!" But the hour of another and grander triumph had come for our hero. Let us hurry through the dark picture of cruelty and ingratitude that closed his career on this side of the grave, to usher in the triumph that was to last for ever.
The noble general and his family were brought before the Emperor. Was Adrian glad to have Placidus brought before him as a criminal? Doubtless he looked with a jealous eye on the glory, popularity and real triumph of one who, a few months before, was his equal as a commander of the army, and his acknowledged superior in skill and attainments, whilst his own triumph was but a mockery--the borrowed plumes of a deceased hero, whose panegyric he reluctantly preached from the chariot of triumph. Moreover, weak-minded and servile, he must have rejoiced in an opportunity of pandering to the depraved taste of a cruel and brutal mob, who were accustomed to look on all authority as usurpation and oppression, and who hated Christianity with satanic virulence. Like Trajan, he determined to prove his piety towards the gods by the public execution of the greatest man in the Empire. He received the old chief in the Temple of Apollo, and in a prepared speech, pretended what he never felt--sympathy for his folly. When asked by the haughty Adrian why he would not sacrifice to the gods, Placidus answered, bravely and fearlessly, "I am a Christian, and adore only the true God."
"Whence comes this infatuation?" asked the Emperor, quickly. "Why lose all the glory of the triumph, and bring the grey hairs to shame? Dost thou not know that I have the power to put thee to a miserable death?"
Placidus meekly replied: "My body is in your power, but my soul belongs to Him who created it. Never shall I forget the mercy He has down me in calling me to the knowledge of Himself, and I rejoice to be able to suffer for Him. You may command me to lead your legions against the enemies of the Empire, but never will I offer sacrifice to any other god than the One great and powerful God who created all thins, stretched out the heavens in their glory, decked the earth in its beauty, and created man to serve Him; He alone is worthy of sacrifice; all other gods are but demons who deceive men."
So also answered his wife and two sons. They bantered the Emperor himself for his folly in worshipping senseless pieces of marble and wood. In vain did Adrian try promises and threats, and all the silly arguments which were used in the defense of paganism. The faithful family were inflexible; the eloquence of Placidus was simple, but powerful and earnest; and the palpable defeat of Adrian in his attempt to reason with one gifted with the eloquence promised to those dragged before earthly tribunals, roused his pride and his cruelty, and the desire of revenge. the Coliseum stood but a few paces from them; the games were going on; the criminals and slaves of the Empire were the daily victims of its amusements. The condemnation of Placidus would be a stroke of policy to enhance the prosperity of his reign; it was the fullest gratification of the cruel passions of jealousy and revenge which the demon had stirred up in his heart; he ordered the Christian general and his family to be exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre. [Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum, pp. 105-109.]
"Death to the Christians!"--"Away with the Christians!" Chants and shouts of this kind will echo out anew in our own day, and much sooner than we think, as a new era of overt persecution, which will be the fruit of the convergence of the dark forces of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism, will be received with joy by those who have "miseducated" in Chrisotphobic propaganda and ideology that characterize state-sponsored indoctrination institutions (public and most private schools, colleges, universities) today.
"...But never will I offer sacrifice to any other god than the One great and powerful God who created all thins, stretched out the heavens in their glory, decked the earth in its beauty, and created man to serve Him; He alone is worthy of sacrifice; all other gods are but demons who deceive men."
We must never offer any sacrifice to any "god" than the One great and powerful God Who is to be worshiped according to the rites He prescribed by the Catholic Church in the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, refusing to participate in the great deception that is the evil of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical abomination that enshrines a false religion, one of convenience, a quasi-Catholicism without the Cross and, all too frequently, that is perfectly comfortable with “papal” approbations of perverse sinful tendencies as pleasing in the sight of God (see Lifesite News and Novus Ordo Watch). We must remain as faithful to the true Faith as Saint Eustace and his family at the point of their martyrdom, which Father A. J. O’Reilly described as follows:
No nation could be sunk more deeply in idolatry, sensuality and vices than the great Empire whose capital has been considered the Babylon of impiety spoken of in The Apocalypse. "Our wrestling," says St. Paul, "is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Eph. vi. 12). It was not in an amphitheatre stained with the blood of wild beasts and gladiators, and filled with an exited and unfeeling crowd, that the voice of pity or reason could be heard; the impatient clamours of the multitude denounced the Christians as the enemies of the gods and men, and the public condemnation of the Christian general had already rung loudly and repeatedly through the benches of the Coliseum. The coming of the Emperor was announced, the buzz of conversation was hushed, and all eyes were turned towards the entrance on the side of the Esquiline, which was specially reserved for the royal cortege. As soon as he entered the amphitheatre, all rose; the lictors lowered their fasces, and the senators and vestals bowed profoundly. Shouts of "great," "immortal, "divine," resounded from every seat. The crowd of spectators was nothing more than an assembly of miscreant slaves, who trembled at the beck of their rulers. Although the spectators of the Coliseum frequently hated the Emperor as an oppressor and a tyrant, yet, in the wild frenzy of fear, they cried out with lying tongues that he alone was great and powerful. He carried a sceptre of ivory, surrounded with a golden eagle, and a slave followed, bearing over his head a crown of solid gold and precious stones. As soon as he was seated, the shrill blast of a trumpet called for silence and the commencement of the games. After the process of the unfortunate wretches who were to take part in the cruel sport of that day's programme and the sham fight of the gladiators, it was usual to commence with sports of agility and skill, but on this day the order was changed. The crowd called for the condemnation of the Christians, and the Emperor gave the order that Placidus and his family be exposed to the wild beasts. [Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum, p. 111.]
Dom Prosper Gueranger. O.S.B., inspired by the martyrdom of Saint Eustace and his family, offered a prayer to our saints in The Liturgical Year:
Our trials are light compared with yours, O blessed martyrs! Obtain for us the grace not to betray the confidence of our Lord when he calls us to suffer for him in this world. It is thus we must win the glory of heaven. How can we triumph with the God of armies unless we have marched under his standard? Now, that standard is the Cross. The Church knows it, and therefore she is not troubled even by the greatest calamities. She knows, too, that her Spouse is watching over her, even when he seems to sleep; and she looks to the protection of such of her sons as are already glorified. And yet, O martyrs, for how many years has the sorrowful shadow of a sacrilegious invasion hung over the day of your triumph! Rome honored you with so much love! Take vengeance on the audacity of hell, and deliver the holy city! (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)
We should not fear anything in this world, not from the civil state and not from the counterfeit church of conciliarism, and not from our family members and'/or former friends and associates as we pray for happy reconciliation with them if not in this life then in eternity before the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
We must be prepared for martyrdom, both figuratively and literally, in order to remain steadfast apostles of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, trusting that our few acts of reparation, offered in love to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, will help to plant a few seeds for the end of this era of chastisement and the resurrection of the Church Militant on earth.
There is great peace to be had when one recognizes that the Catholic Church is responsible for nothing of the outrages committed by its counterfeit ape, conciliarism. The jaws of Hell have not prevailed against the Church. We must simply do our part as the consecrated slaves of Our Lord through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to practice True Devotion to Mary as we endeavor to fulfill as best we can Our Lady's Fatima Message in our daily lives, especially by praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Eustace and Companions, pray for us.