The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come. The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household.
Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And as a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet: and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man. And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward. (Matthew 10: 21-42.)
These words of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, verses 34-42 of which were read at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today, describe the ready willingness of Good King Wenceslaus to forgo all human respect to serve the King of Kings in every aspect of his life. Saint Wenceslaus learned to love God as He has revealed Himself exclusively through His true Church at a young age, having been raised by his saintly grandmother, Saint Ludmilla, following the death of his Catholic father. Wenceslaus learned to love God from Saint Ludmilla, never fearing to offend his pagan mother, Drahomira, or his equally wicked brother, Boleslaus, as he kept himself true to the King, before Whom he would prostrate himself in most fervent prayer in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. He begged the heavenly intercession of Saint Ludmilla after she was murdered by Drahomira to help him rule in the manner of Christ the King following his accession to the throne upon his father, Wratislaus, had sat as the King of Bohemia.
Drahomira did not have a good end after she had murdered her mother-in-law, Saint Ludmilla. The earth swallowed her up. God sees to it, ladies and gentlemen, that those who are not contrite for their sins receive their due punishment, which is sometimes in this life and most assuredly at the moment of their Particular Judgments if they have not sought Absolution in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance or even uttered a Act of Perfect Contrition. Drahomira, being a fierce pagan and a promoter of all manner of evil ways, was taken by God to demonstrate to all of the people of Bohemia, which had been so recently brought to the Faith by the missionary work of Saints Cyril and Methodius, that He will have no rivals as kings over his people. Those who rule in this life must rule for Him, the King of Kings, and help to foster those conditions in civil society in which their subjects (or fellow citizens) will be better able to sanctify and thus to save their souls as members of the Catholic Church.
Saint Wenceslaus understood that the only way to serve a just ruler of others was to let the King of Kings rule over his own immortal soul in every aspect of his life. The good king of Bohemia, therefore, was intent on living a life of holiness so as to serve as a salutary example to his subjects. He did this in so many ways, starting with his own love of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and his service to the poor and the imprisoned. He saw in each person the Divine impress, treating them as he would treat Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself. He performed in manhood the lessons he learned in childhood from Saint Ludmilla, which should teach each of us who is a parent the importance of training our children well to love the Catholic Faith and to live the Faith in every aspect of our lives without any exception whatsoever, to prefer even bodily death to all of the blandishments offered by the world, to prefer friendlessness, as the world considers it, rather than to all of the friends in the world who never speak of Our Lord and who believe that is either inopportune, unrealistic or simply archaic to speak of His Social Kingship over men and their nations or that each nation must give public honor to Mary, Our Immaculate Queen. We can prepare our own children, starting with the enthronement of our homes to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to defend the Faith and to live it out as well as Saint Wenceslaus.
Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., provided a brief introduction to the life of this noble Christian prince as found in the Divine Office:
Wenceslas recalls to us the entrance into the Church of a warlike nation, the Czechs, the most indomitable of the Slavonic tribes, which had penetrated into the very midst of Germany. It is well known with what bitterness and active energy this nation uphold its social claims, as though its struggle for existence in the early days of its history had made it proof against every trial. The faith of its apostles and martyrs, the Roman faith, will be the safeguard, as it is the bond of union, of the countries subject to the crown of Saint Wenceslas. Heresy, whether it be the native Hussite or the ‘reform’ imported from Germany, can but lead the people to eternal ruin; may they yield to the advances and seductions of schism! Wenceslas the martyr, grandsom of the holy martyr Ludmilla and the great-uncle of the monk-bishop and martyr Adalbert, invites the faithful subjects to follow him in the only path where they may find honour and security both for world and for the next.
Let us now read the legend of holy Church. The conversion of Bohemia dates from the latter part of the ninth century, when St. Methodius baptized St. Ludmilla and her husband Borziwoi the first Christian duke of the line of Premislas. The pagan reaction, during which St. Wenceslas gained the palm of martyrdom, was but shortlived.
Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia, was the son of a Christian father, Duke Wratislaus I., and an heathen mother named Drahomira. He had for his grandmother a most holy woman, named Ludmilla, who trained him up in godliness. He was a man eminent in all graces, and one who carefully held his virginity unsullied throughout the whole course of his life. His mother seized the supreme power by the foul murder of Ludmilla, and lived foully with her younger son Boleslaus, and the nobles roused thereby to indignation, and wearied with her tyranny and wicked government, cast off the yoke of both of them, and hailed Wenceslaus in the city of Prague as their King.
He ruled his kingdom by his virtues rather than by force. To the orphaned, the widowed, and the destitute he was very charitable, so that some whiles in the winter he carried firewood to the needy on his own shoulders. He helped oftentimes to bury the poor, he set captives free, and went many times to the prisons at the dead of night to comfort with money and advice them that were detained therein. To a Prince of so tender an heart it was a great grief to be behoven to condemn any to death, however guilty. For Priests he had a most earnest respect, and with his own hands sowed the corn and pressed the grapes for the bread and wine which they were to use for the Sacrifice. He would walk round the Church by night with bare feet upon the snow and ice, leaving behind him bloody footprints that warmed the ground.
As his Body-guard he had angels. For when Radislaus, Prince of Gurinna, invaded Bohemia, and Wenceslaus, to save the effusion of his people's blood, went out to meet him in single combat, (two) angels were seen serving him with arms, and heard to say to the adversary Strike not. Therefore, his enemy was stricken with terror, fell down in reverence before him, and begged his forgiveness. When he went to Germany, the Emperor saw two angels carrying a golden Cross before him as he drew nigh him, and arose from his throne, embraced him in his arms, created him a King, and gifted him with the arm of the holy (Martyr) Vitus. Nevertheless, his godless brother, at the exhortation of their mother, bade him to a feast, (given on account of the birth of his son,) and when Wenceslaus, with a foreboding of the death prepared for him, went afterwards into the Church, and was praying there, (Boleslaus followed him thither,) together with some accomplices of his crime, and (when they had wounded him,) despatched him (with his own hand, running him through the body with a lance. He suffered a little after midnight, upon the 28th day of September, in the year of our Lord 938.) The stains of his blood may still be seen upon the walls. By the judgment of God, his unnatural mother was swallowed up by the earth, and his murderers, in divers ways, perished miserably. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Book V, Translated from the French by the Benectine of Stanbrook Abbey, Loreto Publications, 2000, pp. 273-275.)
Saint Wenceslaus's love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which was mentioned in No Rush Hour at Calvary in 2010, should serve as the model by which all rulers in all places and at all times without any exception whatsoever should fashion their daily lives. This great king's love of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the unbloody re-presentation of the one Sacrifice of the Son to the Father in Spirit and in Truth that was effect on the wood of the Holy Cross atop the heights of the dung heap known as Mount Calvary, should inspire each us to put First Things first so that we will be ready at all times to live in light of the Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell). Saint Leonard of Port Maurice's recounting of Saint Wenceslaus's love of Holy Mass is worth considering once again, therefore:
Let us conclude this division with the example of St. Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia,which should at least in part be imitated by all of you. This holy king did not content himself with assisting every day at several Masses, with his knees bent on the bare pavement, nor with serving in person the celebrating priests, and this with greater humility than any cleric that has only received the lowest of minor orders; but besides this, he contributed to the sacred altars the richest jewels of his treasury, and webs of texture and embroidery the most precious in the royal wardrobes. He was, further, in the habit of making with his own hands the altar-bread which was to be used for the holy sacrifice; and with this view, without any regard to the royal dignity, he applied those hands, born to wield the sceptre, in cultivating a field, in directing the plough, in sowing the seed, and in reaping the harvest. Then he ground the grain, separated the finer flour for the oven, and made the breads which should afterward be consecrated; and these he presented, with the lowliest reverence, to the priests, to be converted into the most divine body of the Saviour. O hands worthy to have held the sceptre of this globe! And did other kings despise him for this? Far from it. Almighty God led the Emperor Otho I. to conceive for this holy king an unparalleled regard, so far as to grant him the right to quarter in his arms the imperial device (an eagle sable in an argent field), a favor not extended to any other prince. Thus God, by means of the emperor, rewarded with temporal honors the great devotion of Wenceslaus toward the divine sacrifice. But much more was he rewarded by the King of heaven when, by means of a most glorious martyrdom, there was granted to him a a crown of eternal glory: and we behold him, through his passionate tenderness for holy Mass, doubly crowned, in this and in the other world. Reflect and resolve. (Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass, pp. 65-66; 75-76.)
As noted above, Saint Wenceslaus spent much time in fervent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in addition to his assisting at Holy Mass on a daily basis. He knew that adorers of Our Lord in His Real Presence receive infused graces that enlighten their intellects and strengthen their wills to more perfectly die to self so that He, the King of Kings, could live in them, thus enabling them to better radiate the refulgent warmth of His ineffable love for the temporal and eternal good of all men. Indeed, Pope Leo XIII, writing in his last encyclical letter, Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902, explained how those in positions of leadership, whether in the public and private sector, had to make time for the practice of Eucharistic piety that characterized the life and the kingly work of Saint Wenceslaus:
Indeed it is greatly to be desired that those men would rightly esteem and would make due provision for life everlasting, whose industry or talents or rank have put it in their power to shape the course of human events. (Pope Leo XIII, Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902.)
Pope Leo XIII had the sad duty to note, however, that most of the men of civic importance in the world one hundred eleven years ago, like most of the men of civic importance today, believe that they and their ideas can save the world, a version, of course of semi-Pelagianism (the heresy that contends human beings more or less stir up graces in themselves to be virtuous and to save themselves, a form of human "self-redemption" that is of the very blasphemous essence of the "American way"). How many hollow men (and one woman) of the two major political parties babble inanities as they promise us a "better" world and a more "secure" future if only we believe in their message of secular self-redemption and support their presidential campaigns during elections and their policies thereafter if elected? Not one of them is an advocate for Christ the King and for Mary our Immaculate Queen. Each of them, therefore, utters inanities about how this or that form of naturalism or religious indifferentism or non-denominationalism is going to "improve" a world that can be improved only to the extent that individual souls cooperate with Sanctifying Grace and thus seek to root out sin in their own lives and to root it out, as far as is humanly possible, in the life of nation.
Gone from the very consciousness of these men is the simple truth that they are called to follow the example of Saint Wenceslaus, that great exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King, in their own private and public lives. Such men fall into the description of modern "men of importance" written by Pope Leo XIII in Mirae Caritatis:
But alas! we see with sorrow that such men too often proudly flatter themselves that they have conferred upon this world as it were a fresh lease of life and prosperity, inasmuch as by their own energetic action they are urging it on to the race for wealth, to a struggle for the possession of commodities which minister to the love of comfort and display. And yet, whithersoever we turn, we see that human society, if it be estranged from God, instead of enjoying that peace in its possessions for which it had sought, is shaken and tossed like one who is in the agony and heat of fever; for while it anxiously strives for prosperity, and trusts to it alone, it is pursuing an object that ever escapes it, clinging to one that ever eludes the grasp. For as men and states alike necessarily have their being from God, so they can do nothing good except in God through Jesus Christ, through whom every best and choicest gift has ever proceeded and proceeds. But the source and chief of all these gifts is the venerable Eucharist, which not only nourishes and sustains that life the desire whereof demands our most strenuous efforts, but also enhances beyond measure that dignity of man of which in these days we hear so much. For what can be more honourable or a more worthy object of desire than to be made, as far as possible, sharers and partakers in the divine nature? Now this is precisely what Christ does for us in the Eucharist, wherein, after having raised man by the operation of His grace to a supernatural state, he yet more closely associates and unites him with Himself. For there is this difference between the food of the body and that of the soul, that whereas the former is changed into our substance, the latter changes us into its own; so that St. Augustine makes Christ Himself say: "You shall not change Me into yourself as you do the food of your body, but you shall be changed into Me" (confessions 1. vii., c. x.).
Moreover, in this most admirable Sacrament, which is the chief means whereby men are engrafted on the divine nature, men also find the most efficacious help towards progress in every kind of virtue. And first of all in faith. In all ages faith has been attacked; for although it elevates the human mind by bestowing on it the knowledge of the highest truths, yet because, while it makes known the existence of divine mysteries, it yet leaves in obscurity the mode of their being, it is therefore thought to degrade the intellect. But whereas in past times particular articles of faith have been made by turns the object of attack; the seat of war has since been enlarged and extended, until it has come to this, that men deny altogether that there is anything above and beyond nature. Now nothing can be better adapted to promote a renewal of the strength and fervour of faith in the human mind than the mystery of the Eucharist, the "mystery of faith," as it has been most appropriately called. For in this one mystery the entire supernatural order, with all its wealth and variety of wonders, is in a manner summed up and contained: "He hath made a remembrance of His wonderful works, a merciful and gracious Lord; He hath given food to them that fear Him" (Psalm cx, 4-5). For whereas God has subordinated the whole supernatural order to the Incarnation of His Word, in virtue whereof salvation has been restored to the human race, according to those words of the Apostle; "He hath purposed...to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in Him" (Eph. i., 9-10), the Eucharist, according to the testimony of the holy Fathers, should be regarded as in a manner a continuation and extension of the Incarnation. For in and by it the substance of the incarnate Word is united with individual men, and the supreme Sacrifice offered on Calvary is in a wondrous manner renewed, as was signified beforehand by Malachy in the words: "In every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a pure oblation" (Mal. i., 11). And this miracle, itself the very greatest of its kind, is accompanied by innumerable other miracles; for here all the laws of nature are suspended; the whole substance of the bread and wine are changed into the Body and the Blood; the species of bread and wine are sustained by the divine power without the support of any underlying substance; the Body of Christ is present in many places at the same time, that is to say, wherever the Sacrament is consecrated. And in order that human reason may the more willingly pay its homage to this great mystery, there have not been wanting, as an aid to faith, certain prodigies wrought in His honour, both in ancient times and in our own, of which in more than one place there exist public and notable records and memorials. It is plain that by this Sacrament faith is fed, in it the mind finds its nourishment, the objections of rationalists are brought to naught, and abundant light is thrown on the supernatural order. (Pope Leo XIII, Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902.)
Pope Leo XIII went on to explain that the results of an abandonment of the worthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament and of time spent before It in fervent prayer are tragic for societies, which can be set aright only by the Catholic Faith. There is never any short-cut to the betterment of men and/or the world in which they live at any given point in time. It is the Faith and only the Faith that can help souls to know, to love and to serve God as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His Catholic Church, which alone is the repository and infallible explicator all that He has revealed in the Deposit of Faith. To Pope Leo in Mirae Caritatis:
But that decay of faith in divine things of which We have spoken is the effect not only of pride, but also of moral corruption. For if it is true that a strict morality improves the quickness of man's intellectual powers, and if on the other hand, as the maxims of pagan philosophy and the admonitions of divine wisdom combine to teach us, the keenness of the mind is blunted by bodily pleasures, how much more, in the region of revealed truths, do these same pleasures obscure the light of faith, or even, by the just judgment of God, entirely extinguish it. For these pleasures at the present day an insatiable appetite rages, infecting all classes as with an infectious disease, even from tender years. Yet even for so terrible an evil there is a remedy close at hand in the divine Eucharist. For in the first place it puts a check on lust by increasing charity, according to the words of St. Augustine, who says, speaking of charity, "As it grows, lust diminishes; when it reaches perfection, lust is no more" (De diversis quaestionibus, Ixxxiii., q. 36). Moreover the most chaste flesh of Jesus keeps down the rebellion of our flesh, as St. Cyril of Alexandria taught, "For Christ abiding in us lulls to sleep the law of the flesh which rages in our members" (Lib. iv., c. ii., in Joan., vi., 57). Then too the special and most pleasant fruit of the Eucharist is that which is signified in the words of the prophet: "What is the good thing of Him," that is, of Christ, "and what is His beautiful thing, but the corn of the elect and the wine that engendereth virgins" (Zach. ix., 17), producing, in other words, that flower and fruitage of a strong and constant purpose of virginity which, even in an age enervated by luxury, is daily multiplied and spread abroad in the Catholic Church, with those advantages to religion and to human society, wherever it is found, which are plain to see.
To this it must be added that by this same Sacrament our hope of everlasting blessedness, based on our trust in the divine assistance, is wonderfully strengthened. For the edge of that longing for happiness which is so deeply rooted in the hearts of all men from their birth is whetted even more and more by the experience of the deceitfulness of earthly goods, by the unjust violence of wicked men, and by all those other afflictions to which mind and body are subject. Now the venerable Sacrament of the Eucharist is both the source and the pledge of blessedness and of glory, and this, not for the soul alone, but for the body also. For it enriches the soul with an abundance of heavenly blessings, and fills it with a sweet joy which far surpasses man's hope and expectations; it sustains him in adversity, strengthens him in the spiritual combat, preserves him for life everlasting, and as a special provision for the journey accompanies him thither. And in the frail and perishable body that divine Host, which is the immortal Body of Christ, implants a principle of resurrection, a seed of immortality, which one day must germinate. That to this source man's soul and body will be indebted for both these boons has been the constant teaching of the Church, which has dutifully reaffirmed the affirmation of Christ: "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (St. John vi., 55).
In connection with this matter it is of importance to consider that in the Eucharist, seeing that it was instituted by Christ as "a perpetual memorial of His Passion" (Opusc. Ivii. Offic. de festo Corporis Christi), is proclaimed to the Christian the necessity of a salutary selfchastisement. For Jesus said to those first priests of His: "Do this in memory of Me" (Luke xxii, 18); that is to say, do this for the commemoration of My pains, My sorrows, My grievous afflictions, My death upon the Cross. Wherefore this Sacrament is at the same time a Sacrifice, seasonable throughout the entire period of our penance; and it is likewise a standing exhortation to all manner of toil, and a solemn and severe rebuke to those carnal pleasures which some are not ashamed so highly to praise and extol: "As often as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this chalice, ye shall announce the death of the Lord, until He come" (1 Cor. xi., 26).
Furthermore, if anyone will diligently examine into the causes of the evils of our day, he will find that they arise from this, that as charity towards God has grown cold, the mutual charity of men among themselves has likewise cooled. Men have forgotten that they are children of God and brethren in Jesus Christ; they care for nothing except their own individual interests; the interests and the rights of others they not only make light of, but often attack and invade. Hence frequent disturbances and strifes between class and class: arrogance, oppression, fraud on the part of the more powerful: misery, envy, and turbulence among the poor. These are evils for which it is in vain to seek a remedy in legislation, in threats of penalties to be incurred, or in any other device of merely human prudence. Our chief care and endeavour ought to be, according to the admonitions which We have more than once given at considerable length, to secure the union of classes in a mutual interchange of dutiful services, a union which, having its origin in God, shall issue in deeds that reflect the true spirit of Jesus Christ and a genuine charity. This charity Christ brought into the world, with it He would have all hearts on fire. For it alone is capable of affording to soul and body alike, even in this life, a foretaste of blessedness; since it restrains man's inordinate self-love, and puts a check on avarice, which "is the root of all evil" (1 Tim. vi., 10). And whereas it is right to uphold all the claims of justice as between the various classes of society, nevertheless it is only with the efficacious aid of charity, which tempers justice, that the "equality" which St. Paul commended (2 Cor. viii., 14), and which is so salutary for human society, can be established and maintained. This then is what Christ intended when he instituted this Venerable Sacrament, namely, by awakening charity towards God to promote mutual charity among men. For the latter, as is plain, is by its very nature rooted in the former, and springs from it by a kind of spontaneous growth. Nor is it possible that there should be any lack of charity among men, or rather it must needs be enkindled and flourish, if men would but ponder well the charity which Christ has shown in this Sacrament. For in it He has not only given a splendid manifestation of His power and wisdom, but "has in a manner poured out the riches of His divine love towards men" (Conc. Trid., Sess. XIII., De Euch. c. ii.). Having before our eyes this noble example set us by Christ, Who bestows on us all that He has assuredly we ought to love and help one another to the utmost, being daily more closely united by the strong bond of brotherhood. Add to this that the outward and visible elements of this Sacrament supply a singularly appropriate stimulus to union. On this topic St. Cyprian writes: "In a word the Lord's sacrifice symbolises the oneness of heart, guaranteed by a persevering and inviolable charity, which should prevail among Christians. For when our Lord calls His Body bread, a substance which is kneaded together out of many grains, He indicates that we His people, whom He sustains, are bound together in close union; and when He speaks of His Blood as wine, in which the juice pressed from many clusters of grapes is mingled in one fluid, He likewise indicates that we His flock are by the commingling of a multitude of persons made one" (Ep. 96 ad Magnum n. 5 (al.6)). In like manner the angelic Doctor, adopting the sentiments of St. Augustine (Tract. xxxvi., in Joan nn. 13, 17), writes: "Our Lord has bequeathed to us His Body and Blood under the form of substances in which a multitude of things have been reduced to unity, for one of them, namely bread, consisting as it does of many grains is yet one, and the other, that is to say wine, has its unity of being from the confluent juice of many grapes; and therefore St. Augustine elsewhere says: 'O Sacrament of mercy, O sign of unity, O bond of charity!' " (Summ. Theol. P. III., q. Ixxix., a. 1. . All of which is confirmed by the declaration of the Council of Trent that Christ left the Eucharist in His Church "as a symbol of that unity and charity whereby He would have all Christians mutually joined and united. . . a symbol of that one body of which He is Himself the head, and to which He would have us, as members attached by the closest bonds of faith, hope, and charity" (Conc. Trid., Sess. XIII., De Euchar., c. ii.). The same idea had been expressed by St. Paul when he wrote: "For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all we who partake of the one bread" (I Cor. x., 17). Very beautiful and joyful too is the spectacle of Christian brotherhood and social equality which is afforded when men of all conditions, gentle and simple, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, gather round the holy altar, all sharing alike in this heavenly banquet. And if in the records of the Church it is deservedly reckoned to the special credit of its first ages that "the multitude of the believers had but one heart and one soul" (Acts iv., 32), there can be no shadow of doubt that this immense blessing was due to their frequent meetings at the Divine table; for we find it recorded of them: "They were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles and in the communion of the breaking of bread" (Acts ii., 42).
Besides all this, the grace of mutual charity among the living, which derives from the Sacrament of the Eucharist so great an increase of strength, is further extended by virtue of the Sacrifice to all those who are numbered in the Communion of Saints. For the Communion of Saints, as everyone knows, is nothing but the mutual communication of help, expiation, prayers, blessings, among all the faithful, who, whether they have already attained to the heavenly country, or are detained in the purgatorial fire, or are yet exiles here on earth, all enjoy the common franchise of that city whereof Christ is the head, and the constitution is charity. For faith teaches us, that although the venerable Sacrifice may be lawfully offered to God alone, yet it may be celebrated in honour of the saints reigning in heaven with God Who has crowned them, in order that we may gain for ourselves their patronage. And it may also be offered-in accordance with an apostolic tradition-for the purpose of expiating the sins of those of the brethren who, having died in the Lord, have not yet fully paid the penalty of their transgressions.
That genuine charity, therefore, which knows how to do and to suffer all things for the salvation and the benefit of all, leaps forth with all the heat and energy of a flame from that most holy Eucharist in which Christ Himself is present and lives, in which He indulges to the utmost. His love towards us, and under the impulse of that divine love ceaselessly renews His Sacrifice. And thus it is not difficult to see whence the arduous labours of apostolic men, and whence those innumerable designs of every kind for the welfare of the human race which have been set on foot among Catholics, derive their origin, their strength, their permanence, their success. (Pope Leo XIII, Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902.)
When was the last time you heard someone in public life citing the example of Saint Henry the Emperor or Saint Edward the Confessor or Saint Stephen of Hungary or Saint Wenceslaus of Bohemia or Saint Louis IX, King of France, or Saint Casimir of Poland or Saint Elizabeth of Hungary as the example of civil leadership that would shape their own exercise of civil power? No, candidates for public office cite the "plaster saints" of Modernity who reject the Social Reign of Christ the King as their models for civil governance, believing in the "sovereignty of the people" and/or in some sort of nebulous, generic "common ground" about God that is of the essence of the naturalism of Judeo-Masonry, as Pope Leo XIII explained in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884:
But the naturalists go much further; for, having, in the highest things, entered upon a wholly erroneous course, they are carried headlong to extremes, either by reason of the weakness of human nature, or because God inflicts upon them the just punishment of their pride. Hence it happens that they no longer consider as certain and permanent those things which are fully understood by the natural light of reason, such as certainly are -- the existence of God, the immaterial nature of the human soul, and its immortality. The sect of the Freemasons, by a similar course of error, is exposed to these same dangers; for, although in a general way they may profess the existence of God, they themselves are witnesses that they do not all maintain this truth with the full assent of the mind or with a firm conviction. Neither do they conceal that this question about God is the greatest source and cause of discords among them; in fact, it is certain that a considerable contention about this same subject has existed among them very lately. But, indeed, the sect allows great liberty to its votaries, so that to each side is given the right to defend its own opinion, either that there is a God, or that there is none; and those who obstinately contend that there is no God are as easily initiated as those who contend that God exists, though, like the pantheists, they have false notions concerning Him: all which is nothing else than taking away the reality, while retaining some absurd representation of the divine nature.
When this greatest fundamental truth has been overturned or weakened, it follows that those truths, also, which are known by the teaching of nature must begin to fall -- namely, that all things were made by the free will of God the Creator; that the world is governed by Providence; that souls do not die; that to this life of men upon the earth there will succeed another and an everlasting life.
When these truths are done away with, which are as the principles of nature and important for knowledge and for practical use, it is easy to see what will become of both public and private morality. We say nothing of those more heavenly virtues, which no one can exercise or even acquire without a special gift and grace of God; of which necessarily no trace can be found in those who reject as unknown the redemption of mankind, the grace of God, the sacraments, and the happiness to be obtained in heaven. We speak now of the duties which have their origin in natural probity. That God is the Creator of the world and its provident Ruler; that the eternal law commands the natural order to be maintained, and forbids that it be disturbed; that the last end of men is a destiny far above human things and beyond this sojourning upon the earth: these are the sources and these the principles of all justice and morality.
If these be taken away, as the naturalists and Freemasons desire, there will immediately be no knowledge as to what constitutes justice and injustice, or upon what principle morality is founded. And, in truth, the teaching of morality which alone finds favor with the sect of Freemasons, and in which they contend that youth should be instructed, is that which they call "civil," and "independent," and "free," namely, that which does not contain any religious belief. But, how insufficient such teaching is, how wanting in soundness, and how easily moved by every impulse of passion, is sufficiently proved by its sad fruits, which have already begun to appear. For, wherever, by removing Christian education, this teaching has begun more completely to rule, there goodness and integrity of morals have begun quickly to perish, monstrous and shameful opinions have grown up, and the audacity of evil deeds has risen to a high degree. All this is commonly complained of and deplored; and not a few of those who by no means wish to do so are compelled by abundant evidence to give not infrequently the same testimony.
Moreover, human nature was stained by original sin, and is therefore more disposed to vice than to virtue. For a virtuous life it is absolutely necessary to restrain the disorderly movements of the soul, and to make the passions obedient to reason. In this conflict human things must very often be despised, and the greatest labors and hardships must be undergone, in order that reason may always hold its sway. But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned, and consequently think that free will is not at all weakened and inclined to evil. On the contrary, exaggerating rather the power and the excellence of nature, and placing therein alone the principle and rule of justice, they cannot even imagine that there is any need at all of a constant struggle and a perfect steadfastness to overcome the violence and rule of our passions.
Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring. (Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, April 20, 1888.)
Saint Wenceslaus knew that no one but no one had a "civil right" to put the eternal good of the souls for whom Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross in jeopardy. Indeed, he, a civil ruler, had the obligation to foster the eternal good of souls by means of his civil rule, as Pope Saint Pius X summarized so succinctly in the much-quoted paragraph three from Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906:
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. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
The men of "civic importance" today do not accept this. Neither do Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and his fellow conciliarists, which is why all of the counterfeit church of conciliarism's protestations about the evils of the day, including the daily slaughter of the innocent preborn by surgical and chemical means, are of no avail in abating these evils. Swatting at symptoms never resolves problems. The proximate cause of the promotion of social evils under cover of law and in every aspect of popular culture is the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and cemented by the rise of Judeo-Masonry and a whole host of inter-related naturalistic "philosophies" and ideologies. Conciliarism wants no part of the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King, content to let pluralism and the "religious liberty" it let loose on the world by means of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of American "permit" alleged Catholics an opportunity to have a "place at the table" in the "marketplace of ideas" so as to "influence" public discourse rather than asserting the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church that she must be recognized by each civil state as the one and only true religion.
Evils thus continue to multiply in our very midst, sometimes with the sanction, whether explicit or tacit, from conciliar "bishops" and "priests," making it very difficult for the average Catholic still caught in the web of the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism to concede that such things as abortion and contraception and perversion and usury and blasphemy and sacrilege are evil of their nature, no less that the civil state has a positive obligation before God to eradicate these evils as far as is humanly possible. There would be no talk of even the possibility of the public demonstrations held in celebration of any kind of sin, which is, after all, what caused Our Lord to suffer unspeakable horrors in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and which caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be thrust through with Seven Swords of Sorrow, whether natural or unnatural, in a Catholic country.
No group, for instance, that promoted perversity would ever be permitted to assemble publicly to advance is nefarious "cause". Although some Catholics devoted to the false, heretical cause of libertarianism might contend that the perverts have a civil "right" to do such things, the plain truth of the matter is that no one has any right to promote sin publicly and to blaspheme Our Lord. The blasphemies of the present moment are the result of the heresies of civil and religious liberty that have been visited upon the world by Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry and Freemasons and other naturalists who framed the Constitution of the United States of America and have been incorporated into the very ethos of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. By what stretch of naturalistic logic does one oppose a display of perversity and blasphemy? We must oppose such things solely because they offend God and are thus harmful to the souls for whom He gave up His life on the wood of the Holy Cross.
We do not care about what dead Protestants and dead Masons thought about anything. Their "thought" is not the standard of civil governance and social order. The Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted solely to the Catholic Church is the one and only foundation of our thought, our speech and our action. Pope Gregory XVI reminded us in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, that there is no such thing as "liberty of conscience" or "freedom of speech" in civil society. People need to be reminded of this no matter what names we might be called. Saint Wenceslaus was killed by his own brother, the evil Boleslaus, because of his sanctity and his defense of the rights of Christ the King. As I asked two days ago, can we do an less?
To Mirari Vos:
This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again?
The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves burned a large number of books. It may be enough to consult the laws of the fifth Council of the Lateran on this matter and the Constitution which Leo X published afterwards lest "that which has been discovered advantageous for the increase of the faith and the spread of useful arts be converted to the contrary use and work harm for the salvation of the faithful." This also was of great concern to the fathers of Trent, who applied a remedy against this great evil by publishing that wholesome decree concerning the Index of books which contain false doctrine. "We must fight valiantly," Clement XIII says in an encyclical letter about the banning of bad books, "as much as the matter itself demands and must exterminate the deadly poison of so many books; for never will the material for error be withdrawn, unless the criminal sources of depravity perish in flames." Thus it is evident that this Holy See has always striven, throughout the ages, to condemn and to remove suspect and harmful books. The teaching of those who reject the censure of books as too heavy and onerous a burden causes immense harm to the Catholic people and to this See. They are even so depraved as to affirm that it is contrary to the principles of law, and they deny the Church the right to decree and to maintain it. (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)
Any Catholic, including Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI or his successor, Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis, who disagrees with this is a dissenter from the Catholic Faith who falls into the category of Modernism condemned by Pope Pius XI in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)
Saint Wenceslaus was not a Modernist. He was a Catholic king of a kingdom who prostrated Himself before the King of Kings, Who is meant to reign as the King of all men and all nations. We must invoke his holy intercession as we offer up our our prayers and sufferings and sacrifices and humiliations and penances to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Although Saint Wenceslaus lived about three centuries before Our Lady gave Saint Dominic her Most Holy Rosary, we can be assured that this great saint and martyr is praying Our Lady's Psalter in Heaven.
We must join Saint Wenceslaus in asking the help of the Mother of God so that we can make time in our lives to be as prostrate before the King of Kings as he was, intent on combating all forms of naturalism with Our Lady's help and as we promote her Most Holy Rosary, total consecration to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, the Brown Scapular, and the Miraculous Medal as we pass out Green Scapulars to those whom God's Providence places in our paths on a daily basis.
Saint Wenceslaus lived for Christ the King. So we must we, without any exception whatsoever. We must live for Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, never tiring of raising the standards of our King and Queen as high as we can in the midst of our daily lives, never fearing what we will lose in terms of human respect and material security for living and dying as did Saint Wenceslaus, who served as a champion of the King here on earth so that he could praise Him for all eternity in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven. So must we.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
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 Wenceslaus, pray for us.