July 25, 2010

An Interview With Father Joven Soliman

by Thomas A. Droleskey

It was a year ago today, the Feast of Saint James the Greater, that Father Joven Soliman, who was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X, on July 11, 1998 at Our Lady of Victories Church in Quezon City, Republic of the Philippines, started to omit the name of the conciliar "pope," Benedict XVI, from the Canon of the Mass.

Although Father Soliman had granted an interview earlier this year with Brother Pio Francis (Dario Protomanni) that was published in The Four Marks and appeared for a brief time on the Sede Vacante website that Brother Pio Francis took down when he reverted, albeit with no public explanation as why the reasons he had listed in defense of the sedevacantist position were erroneous, to his previous affiliation with the Society of Saint Pius X, Father graciously consented to an interview with me for this site. Father took his time to answer the questions below, and it turned out in God's Holy Providence that they are to be published on this day, the Feast of Saint James the Greater in 2010. I thank Father Soliman very much for consenting to the interview and for the care that he took in answering my questions, assuring him and his flock in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, of our prayers. His example is one that should be followed by all traditionally-minded priests who currently recognize the arch-Modernist Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI as a true, valid and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter.

1) It is now one year today, Father Soliman, since you omitted the name of "Benedict XVI" from the Canon of the Mass. Although you have explained some of the reasons why you left the Society of Saint Pius X, could you elaborate on some of the specifics of the apostasies and errors and sacrileges of the "Second" Vatican Council, including those of "Benedict XVI" that caused you to do do what you did on the Feast of Saint James the Greater, July 25, 2009?

Father Soliman:
It is well known that even some anti-sedevacantist traditionalists agree that the three main errors of the Second Vatican Council are collegiality, ecumenism, and religious liberty.

These three main errors had disastrous consequences.

Collegiality destroys authority in the Church.

Ecumenism destroys the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation which led to the creation of the New Mass to please Protestants.

Religious liberty destroys the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, which led to the destruction of Catholic states.

Ratzinger holds these errors while telling us that there is no rupture with Tradition by his "hermeneutic of continuity".

I was taught in the [Society of Saint Pius X's Holy Cross] seminary [in Goulburn, Australia] that Vatican II was not infallible because it was only a pastoral but not a dogmatic council yet an ecumenical council. This is how it is explained to us and to the unsuspecting faithful.

It was only last year that I realized that the"pastoral council" answer is wrong. That is why it is understandable that some traditionalists accept Vatican II with reservations or in light of Tradition instead of rejecting it in toto because it was not an ecumenical council but a robber council and therefore not infallible and not binding in conscience.

The answer whether Vatican II is infallible or not must come from Catholic doctrine which can be verified from manuals of theology prior to Vatican II or even in a good Catholic cathecism and not by that "pastoral council" escape. Catholic doctrine teaches us that ecumenical councils are infallible and they are binding once promulgated by a Pope because an ecumenical council is an exercise of the extraordinary magisterium, which is infallible.

Paul VI solemnly promulgated the decrees of Vatican II and if we accept him as a true Pope we must submit to Vatican II. However, we know that there are errors and heresies in Vatican II .So the inevitable conclusion must be that Paul VI was not a true Pope but an anti-pope because it it is impossible that a true Pope officially promulgate errors and heresies in an ecumenical council since it will go against the dogma of infallibility. That is why Vatican II was not protected by the Holy Ghost since it was not an ecumenical council but a robber council headed by an anti-pope.In history, there were cases of robber councils precisely because they were not approved by a true Pope.

Since Benedict XVI's election, he has continued his commitment to Vatican II. He continued violating the First and Second Commandments by visiting false places of worship such as synagogues and mosques. He prayed like Muslims in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on Novemeber 30, 2006. On August 19, 2005, he took an active part in a Jewish worship service in a synagogue in Cologne, Germany. Last year, he went again on his synagogue and mosque during his pilgrimage to the Middle East.

I do not want to elaborate more on Ratzinger's apostasies and heresies. Readers can check your website on the list of offenses that this precursor of Antichrist has committed but some of the resist and recognize group dare to call him an "upright man" and a "restorer of Tradition". Knowing these things, therefore I finally omitted the name of Benedict XVI in the Canon of the Mass on the feast of St. James, July 25 last year while saying Mass alone.

You were with the Society of Saint Pius X as a seminarian and as a priest for sixteen years, from 1992 to 2008. You were in the Society long enough to have been an eyewitness to some of the changes in the mentality of its bishops and your brother priests that have taken place since Bishop Bernard Fellay met with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on August 29, 2005. Could you describe some of these changes (refusal to criticize the Novus Ordo, the outrages that take place at "papal" Masses, such as the one in Australia during "World Youth Day" in 2008), the constant promotion of religious liberty and separation of Church and State, the visit to synagogues and mosques, which he terms as "sacred" places)?

Father Soliman:
The changes in mentality were not obvious for us to see until after the motu-proprio [Summorum Pontificum] on July 7, 2007 and after the so-called lifting of excommunications last year. I can not accept that the motu-proprio and the lifting of excommunications must be seen as a "miracle" from Our Lady as we were told [by Bishop Bernard Fellay and others in the Society of Saint Pius X] that these actions were the answers to the two previous Rosary crusades.

One does not need to be a sedevacantist to see that it is wrong to attribute to Our Lady falsehood.

Ratzinger said in the motu-proprio that the New Mass is the ordinary form and the 1962 edition of the Latin Mass is the  extraordinary form and they are just two forms of one rite. Everyone who knows the question of the Mass knows that what Ratzinger says is false. Yet it is that we are told that it was a miracle from Our Lady that the True Mass is now "liberated" by means of the motu-proprio.

The same thing is true concerning the lifting of excommunications. The Vatican claimed that the penalty of excommunications was remitted to the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X even though the Society's leaders have claimed ever since those "excommunications" were imposed by John Paul on July 2, 1988, the censure was invalid. Yet the very contention that the censure was invalid and had no binding force was itself contradicted by the Society's leaders when they declared that the decree that lifted the excommunications was but another "miracle" from Our Lady, an answer to the second rosary crusade. Benedict XVI is now presented to us by the Society's leaders and publications as as "persecuted", a "restorer of Tradition", an "upright man". Unfortunately, majority of the faithful still believes that the Society of Saint Pius X is not changing.

You have said in your interview Brother Pio Francis, who has now returned to his affiliation with the Society of Saint Pius X, that you were the first Filipino ordained as a priest for the Society of Saint Pius X and that you had served as the Society Prior in Manila, Republic of The Philippines. You have also said that you have a sister who is an Oblate of the Society of Saint Pius X in Switzerland. May I ask you have your family has reacted to your decision to leave the Society of Saint Pius X?

Father Soliman:
My family did not object to my decision. I even told them that they may continue attending Mass at the [Society of Saint Pius X} priory [in Manila) every time I might be out of town during the early months after I left the priory on September, 2008. They later decided to stop going to Mass there even though I was not yet a sedevacantist at that time. My sister who is an oblate sister of the Society of Saint Pius X does not agree with me.

Are you currently in contact with any of your former priestly brethren in the Society of Saint Pius X?

Father Soliman:
No contact now after I became sedevacantist.

Do you expect many, if any, priests to leave the Society of Saint of Saint Pius X when and if there is a "happy conclusion" to the "doctrinal discussions" that have been taking place with representatives of William "Cardinal" Levada, the prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Father Soliman:
I do not expect many priests to leave the SSPX even if there will be a "happy conclusion" to the "doctrinal discussions".The party line mentality in the SSPX is so strong that many priests in the SSPX don't even realize that there is something wrong with the notion of presenting Tradition to those they claim to be the Magisterium,the idea of "converting the Pope".It is for the Pope to teach and not to be taught,to confirm the brethren and not to be confirmed by his brethren.So this notion of "converting the Pope" is wrong because it implies that the Magisterium of the Church may be corrected by the subjects as if a teacher of the Magisterium.

6) I have noticed there is a certain "mindless" mentality in the Society of Saint Pius X that is made manifest by a refusal of many priests and many members of the laity to face the contradictions between previous positions taken by the Society's leaders and the ones being taken now. There is a certain sense of "extra societatis nulla salus." Have you noticed this yourself?

Father Soliman: 
Yes, your observation is very true. They will surely deny that they acquired this sense of "extra societatis nulla salus" but it shows through their attitude concerning those who have stopped going to Masses offered by priests of the Society of Saint Pius X because of their acceptance of the sedevacantism and that this doctrine applies in our times. Priests and most lay members of the Society of Saint Pius X believe that one is is "lost" when he becomes a sedevacantist. It is almost as though these people believe, perhaps without even realizing it, that there is no salvation outside the Society of Saint Pius X. One person in the Society of Saint Pius X wrote to me with that kind of mentality as he used the parable of the vine and the branches. I was told that I was the branch who had cut himself from the "vine," the Society of Saint of Saint Pius X, imploring me to return to that "vine."

One young Catholic writer has dismissed sedevacantism, which is part of the canonical doctrine of the Catholic Church by saying that it would produce "disastrous" consequences for the Church if it was true. Would you like to comment on this assertion?

Father Soliman:
Truth per se is not a disaster since God is Truth.

Our Lord told us in the gospel that truth liberates. If that writer means to say that sedevacantism simply cannot be true because its consequences would be "disastrous" and that the true Church herself would be destroyed then it is clear that he is incorrect as this would would mean gates of hell have prevailed against Holy Mother Church. This simply cannot happen.

In a certain sense, however, sedevacantism has "disastrous" consequences for the Church. It is a disaster that the See of Peter in the past five decades has been occupied by a series of anti-popes. This has caused many true and faithful Catholics, who are, despite being very few in number, dispersed around the world, to be divided  amongst themselves as they argue with each other on a variety of issues because there has been no legitimate Pope whom you can have recourse and settle the issue with the famous dictum, "Roma locuta est, causa finita est".

Will the Society of Saint Pius X submit to decisions and teaching of Benedict XVI? As far as I know the Society of Saint Pius X continues with their apostolate even when Benedict XVI has issued two documents saying that the Society X has no legitimate ministry to exercise at this time. The leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X just just ignore him. They also ignore the the conciliar bishops whom they claim exercise legitimate authority in the Catholic Church.

Many Traditionalists are divided whether as to whether Benedict XVI is a true pope. Some anti-sedevacantists believe that we just have to have true popes because without one there would be no one who could authoritatively settle disputes amongst us. However, many of these same anti-sedevacantists, especially in the Society of Saint Pius X, believe at the same time that one cannot trust what "Rome" says now. The belief "Roma locuta est, causa finita est" is acceptable only when one agrees with Vatican decisions but can be ignored when one disagrees with those decisions is not Catholic. It is contrary to Catholic doctrine. It has been condemned by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794.

This false view of how one can treat a true pope and his decisions is a real disaster. Catholics until the time of the late Pius XII submitted to the decisions of the Roman Pontiff whether they liked them or not. Now, however, some in the "resist but recognize" movement submits only to the one who they believe is and has recognized as the "Pope" when they agree with him.

Our Lady of La Salette prophesied in 1846 that Rome will lose the Faith and would become be the seat of Antichrist and that the Church would be in eclipse. These things do indeed represent disastrous consequences for the Church. Even Our Lord asked that when He comes again would he find faith on the earth. So ,if sedevacantism is in fact true, that writer you mentioned must not ignore it because it has "disastrous" consequences for the Church. He should rather keep to mind the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ that he must know the truth and the truth will set him free.

What reading material (books, websites, articles) would you recommend to Catholics to study the true state of our beloved Church today?

Father Soliman:
I would recommend the following, in the French and English languages: Mystere d'Iniquite which can be downloaded from resistance-catholique.org, catholique-sedevacantiste.com, Christorchaos.com, cmri.org, Fourmarks.com, Daily Catholic.org, and Traditional Mass.org.

One can find enough materials from the websites I mentioned so that one can study the true state of the Church today. The book Mystere d'Iniquite was the one that really helped me come to the conclusion of sedevacantism after studying articles from the websites I mentioned. The book contains a theological,historical and canonical inquiry to make us understand our present situation. Other articles I recommend are: Story Time in Econe, Ratzinger's War Against Catholicism on the Christorchaos.com; Absolutely Null and Utterly Void by Father Anthony Cekada; and Vatican II, the Pope and the Mass Q & A by Bishop Donald Sanborn.

Do you have any words to offer to Brother Pio Francis, who denounced his brief position as a sedevacantist shortly after your interview with him was published in The Four Marks and on his own blogspot. Do you have anything to say to Brother Pio Francis, who has yet to explain why the reasons against the legitimacy of the “papacy” of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI that he listed on his own blogspot were invalid?'

Father Soliman:
I can only say that I pray for him. Although he changed immediately after my interview was published, I thanked him for granting me the interview and that he saw fit at the time to publish it.

Do you have any final words of encouragement for those who are in the Catholic catacombs and are suffering the sting of rejection from family and friends for recognizing in Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict an enemy of Christ the King and thus of the good of souls?

Father Soliman:
To those who are in the Catholic catacombs, our only consolation is  the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to put ourselves under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us not be discouraged even if the whole world is against us. We are now in the time of the great apostasy and we must fight without compromise against the new religion of Vatican II. Our Lord warned us against false prophets and it is evident for those who can still see and love the truth that Ratzinger is a false prophet and an enemy of Christ the King.

Thomas A. Droleskey final comment:
You have been very kind with your time. I can assure of of our prayers to Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary on a daily basis. May it be God's Holy Will by His Most Blessed Mother's intercession that more priests in the Society of Saint Pius X will follow your lead to help their sheep to recognize in Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI an enemy of Christ the King and thus of our immortal souls.

Father Soliman is, of course, suffering a white martyrdom at this time as he is rejected and ostracized by former friends and associates within the Society of Saint Pius X. He accepts this without complaint, knowing that the Holy Cross is our path to Heaven as we place ourselves into the loving hands of the Queen of Mercy, our dear Blessed Mother just did Saint James the Greater, whose feast is celebrated today as the Mass of the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost is commemorated. Here is the account of the martyrdom of the brother of Saint John the Evangelist, Saint James the Greater, as given to the Venerable Mary of Agreda in The Mystical City of God:

392. Our great apostle saint James came to Jerusalem at a time when that whole city was very much incensed against the disciples and followers of Christ our Lord. This new fury the demons had secretly roused by stirring up the zeal of the Jews for the old Law and their jealousy against the new evangelical Law. The immediate cause of these movements was the preaching of saint Paul, who, although he remained not more than fifteen days in Jerusalem, nevertheless in that short time, by the divine power, had converted many and excited the wonder and admiration of all the people. Although the unbelieving Jews felt relieved somewhat by the news of his having left Jerusalem, yet they were again thrown into consternation by the speedy arrival of saint James, who showed no less zeal and heavenly wisdom in proclaiming the name of Christ our Redeemer. Lucifer, who was not ignorant of his coming, availed himself of it as a new means of exciting the spleen and rousing the wrath of the high priests, priests and scribes. Saint James began to preach most fervently the name of the Crucified, his mysterious Death and Resurrection. In the first few days he converted to the faith some of the Jews, among whom were especially Hermogenes and Philetus, both of them magicians and sorcerers, who had a pact with the devil. Hermogenes was deeply versed in magic and Philetus was his disciple; the Jews wanted to engage the services of these two in order either to overcome saint James in dispute, or if that was impossible, to take away his life by their magic arts.

393. This wickedness the devils had intended to execute through the instrumentality of the unbelieving Jews; for they themselves could not come near saint James on account of the terrors of the divine grace emanating from the Apostle. Philetus first began the dispute with saint James, so that, if he should gain no advantage, Hermogenes, as the more skillful master in the magic art, might enter the combat. Philetus brought forth his sophistical and false arguments, but the holy Apostle spoke with such wisdom and force, that all his sophism yielded as the darkness before the light: Philetus was overcome and converted to the truth of Christ, becoming from that time on a defender of the Apostle, and his doctrine. But fearing the diabolical arts of his master Hermogenes, he sought the protection of saint James. The holy Apostle gave him a piece of cloth or linen, which he had received from Mary, and with this relic Philetus protected himself against the power of Hermogenes for some days, until the latter himself entered the dispute.

394. Although Hermogenes feared saint James, he could not evade the meeting, because he had pledged him self to the Jews to enter the discussion and convince saint James. Accordingly he tried to enforce his errors by more cogent arguments than his disciple. But all that he could do was unavailing against the heavenly force and wisdom of the Apostle, which was like an impetuous torrent. He brought Hermogenes to silence and obliged him to confess his belief in the mysteries of the faith of Christ, just as he had done with Philetus: both of them accepted the faith and doctrine preached by the Apostle. The demons were roused to fury against Hermogenes and, through the power they had acquired over him, began to maltreat him on account of his conversion. As he learned how Philetus had defended himself by the relic obtained from the Apostle, he sought a like favor against his enemies. Saint James gave him the scarf he had used in his travels and with it Hermogenes put to flight the demons and made them powerless to approach or afflict him further.

395. These conversions and others made by saint James in Jerusalem were hastened by the tearful sighs and prayers of the great Queen in her retreat at Ephesus, where (as I have often said) She knew by vision all that was done by the Apostles and the other faithful of the Church; and particularly what happened with the beloved Apostle James for whom She was especially solicitous as being so near his martyrdom. Hermogenes and Philetus persevered for some time in the faith of Christ; but after wards they fell away and lost it in Asia, as is evident from the second epistle to Timothy, where saint Paul says that Figelus, or Philetus, and Hermogenes had left him. Although the seed of the faith had sprung up in the hearts of these men, it took no sufficient root to resist the temptations of the demon, whom they had served and familiarly entertained for so long a time. The evil and perverse inclinations of their vices still remained and again prevailed, withdrawing them from the faith they had accepted.

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

397. Democritus and Lysias thereupon rushed up with their soldiers and brought the Apostle bound to Herod, the son of Archelaus, whose malice had been roused interiorly through the astuteness of Lucifer and exteriorly by the evil-minded and hateful Jews. Thus doubly incited, Herod began against the disciples of the Lord, whom he abhorred, the persecution mentioned by saint Luke in the twelfth chapter of the Acts and sent his soldiers to afflict and imprison them. He instantly commanded saint James to be beheaded, as the Jews had asked. Incredible was the joy of the holy Apostle at being seized and bound like his Master and at seeing himself conducted to the place, where he was to pass from this mortal life to the eternal through martyrdom, as he had been informed by the Queen of heaven. He offered most humble thanks for this benefit and publicly reiterated the open profession of his faith in Christ our Lord. Remembering the petition he had made in Ephesus, that She be present at his death, he called upon Her from his inmost Soul.

398. The most holy Mary from her oratory heard these prayers of her beloved Apostle and cousin; for She was attentive to all that happened to him and She helped and favored him with her own efficacious petitions. During this her prayer, She saw a great multitude of angels and heavenly spirits of all hierarchies descending from heaven, part of them surrounding the Apostle in Jerusalem as he was led to the place of execution, while numerous others approached their Queen at Ephesus. Presently one of them addressed Her saying:  "Empress of heaven and our Lady, the most high Lord and God bids you immediately to hasten to Jerusalem to console his great servant James, to assist him in his death and to grant all his loving and holy desires." This favor the most blessed Mary joyfully and gratefully acknowledged. She praised the Most High for the protection granted to those who trust .in his mercy and put their lives in his hands. In the meanwhile the Apostle was led to execution and on the way thereto he wrought great miracles upon the sick and ailing and on some possessed by the demons. There were a great number of them, because the rumor of his execution by Herod had spread about and many of the unfortunates hastened to receive his last ministrations and counsels. All that applied were healed by the great Apostle.

399. In the meanwhile the holy angels placed their Queen and Mistress upon a most refulgent throne, as they had done on other occasions, and on it bore Her to Jerusalem and to the place of the execution of saint James. The holy Apostle fell upon his knees in order to offer his life to the Most High in sacrifice, and when he raised his eyes toward heaven, he saw in the air near him the Queen of heaven, whom he had been invoking in his heart. He beheld Her clothed in divine splendors and great beauty, surrounded by multitudes of the angels. At this heavenly spectacle the soul of James was moved to new jubilee and his heart was seized with the ardors of a divine love. He wished to proclaim the most blessed Mary as the Mother of God and the Mistress of all creation. But one of the sovereign spirits restrained him in this fervent desire and said: "James, servant of our Creator, restrain within thy own bosom these precious sentiments and do not manifest to the Jews the presence and assistance of our Queen; for they are not worthy or capable of knowing Her, but instead of reverencing Her will only harden themselves in their hatred." Thus advised the Apostle forebore and moving his lips in silence, he spoke to the heavenly Queen as follows:

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

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

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

403. The death of saint James and the haste of Herod in inflicting it, greatly increased the most impious cruelty of the Jews; for in the savage brutality of the wicked king they saw a valuable means of pursuing their vengeance against the followers of Christ the Lord. Lucifer and his demons were of like opinion; they, by their suggestions, and the Jews, by their insistent flatteries, persuaded him to seize upon saint Peter, which he readily did in order to gain the good will of the Jews for his own temporal ends. The demons stood in great awe of the vicar of Christ on account of the power emanating from him against them; and therefore they secretly sought to hasten his imprison ment. Saint Peter, bound with many chains, lay in the dungeon awaiting his execution after the holidays of the Pasch. (Acts 12, 4). Although the undaunted heart of the Apostle was as free from anxiety or solicitude as if he had been at liberty, yet the whole body of the Church of Jerusalem was in consternation, and all the disciples and the faithful were greatly afflicted at the news that Herod was to execute him without delay. In their affliction they multiplied their prayers and petitions to the Lord for the preservation of saint Peter, whose death threatened the whole Church with great havoc and tribulation. They invoked also the protection and powerful intercession of the most blessed Mary, from whom they all expected deliverance.

404. The dangerous crisis impending over the Church was not unknown to the heavenly Mother, for, from her retreat in Ephesus, by her clearest interior vision of all things, She saw all things that passed in Jerusalem. She likewise increased her ardent requests, her sighs, prostrations and bloody tears, supplicating the Lord for the liberation of saint Peter and the protection of the holy Church. These prayers of the blessed Mother penetrated the heavens and wounded the heart of her Son Jesus, our Savior. In response the Lord descended in person to her oratory, where She was lying prostrate with her virginal face upon the ground mingling with the dust. The sovereign King entered and raised Her lovingly from the ground, saying: My Mother, moderate thy sorrow and ask whatever thou wishest; for I shall grant it all and thou shalt find grace in my eyes to obtain it."

405. By the presence and loving caresses of her Son the heavenly Mother was reanimated and filled with glad consolation; for the tribulations of the Church were the sole cause of her martyrdom, and to see saint Peter in prison condemned to death, and the dangers thus threatening the primitive Church, afflicted Her more than can be conceived. She renewed her petition in the presence of Christ the Redeemer, and said: "Lord and true God, my Son, Thou knowest the tribulations of thy holy Church and her clamors sound in thy ears, while they penetrate to the inmost of my afflicted heart. Thy enemies are re solved to take away the life of her Pastor, thy vicar; and if Thou, my Lord permit it now, they will scatter thy little flock and the infernal wolves will triumph over thy name in seeing their wishes fulfilled. Issue then, my Lord God and life of my soul, thy sovereign command over this sea of tribulation, and the winds and waves, that batter this little ship, shall be quieted and I shall live. Protect thy vicar and confound thy enemies. And if it is to thy glory and according to thy will let these tribulations come over me, so that I may suffer for thy faithful children and be the aid of thy right arm I may battle with the invisible enemies in the defense of thy holy Church."

406. Her divine Son answered: "I desire that thou act according to thy wishes, using the powers I have given Thee: do or undo whatever is necessary for the welfare of my Church, and Thou mayest be sure, that all the fury of the demons will be turned toward Thee." She thanked him for this new favor and offered to undertake the battles of the Lord for his faithful, saying: "Most High Lord, hope and life of my soul, prepared is the heart and spirit of thy servant to labor for the souls bought with thy blood and life. Although I am but useless dust, I know Thee to be infinite in power and wisdom; with the favor of thy assistance I fear not the infernal dragon. As Thou wishest me to dispose and act in thy name for the welfare of the Church, I now command Lucifer and all his ministers of wickedness, who are disturbing the Church, to descend to the abyss and there be silenced until it shall please thy Providence to permit their return to the earth. This command of the Queen of the world in Ephesus was so powerful, that at the very moment of her issuing it, all the demons in Jerusalem were precipitated into hell, the whole multitude descending into the eternal caverns without power of resisting the divine force exerted through the most blessed Mary.

407. Lucifer and his companions knew that this chastisement proceeded from our Queen, whom they called their enemy because they dared not pronounce her name. They remained in hell, confounded and dismayed as on other occasions, until they were permitted to rise in order to battle against Mary, as will be related further on. During that time they consulted anew about the means of attaining this end. Having obtained this triumph over the demons the most blessed Mary bethought Herself of overcoming likewise the opposition of Herod and the Jews, and therefore She said to her divine Son: "Now, my Son and Lord, if it is thy will, let one of thy holy angels be sent to deliver thy servant Peter from prison. Christ our Lord approved of her wish and, at the orders of both these Sovereigns, one of the heavenly spirits there present hastened to liberate saint Peter from his prison in Jerusalem.

408. The angel executed these orders very swiftly. Coming to the dungeon, he found saint Peter fastened with two chains, guarded by two soldiers at his side and by a number of other soldiers at the entrance of the prison. The Pasch had already been celebrated and it was the night before he was to be executed according to the sentence passed upon him. But the Apostle was so little disturbed that he was sleeping with as much unconcern as his guards (Acts 12, 6). When the angel arrived, he was obliged to wake him by force and while saint Peter was still drowsy, said to him : "Arise quickly ; put on thy girdle and thy shoes, take thy mantle and follow me." Saint Peter found himself free of the chains and, without understanding what was happening to him and ignorant of what this vision could mean, followed the angel. Having conducted him through some streets, the angel told him, that the Almighty had freed him from prison through the intercession of his most blessed Mother, and thereupon disappeared. Saint Peter, coming to himself understood the mystery and gave thanks to the Lord for this favor.

409. Saint Peter thought it best first to give an account of his liberation and consult with James the Less and others of the faithful, before seeking safety in flight. Hastening his steps he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John, who was also called Mark. This was the house of the Cenacle, where many of the disciples had gathered in their affliction. Saint Peter called to them from the street, and a servant-maid, by the name of Rhode, descended to see who was calling. As she recognized the voice of Peter, she left him standing at the door outside and fled excitedly to the disciples, telling them that it was Peter. They thought it some foolish misunderstanding of the servant; but she maintained, that it was Peter; so they, far from guessing the liberation of Peter, concluded that it might be his angel. During these questions and answers saint Peter was in the street clamoring at the door, until they opened it and with incredible joy and gladness saw the holy Apostle and head of the Church freed from the sorrows of prison and death. He gave them an account of all that had happened to him through aid of the angel, in order that they might in strict secrecy notify saint James and all his brethren. Foreseeing that Herod would search
for him with great diligence, they unanimously decided  that he leave Jerusalem that very night and not return, lest he should be taken in some future search. Saint Peter therefore fled, and Herod, having instituted a search in vain, chastised the guards, and was roused to new fury against the disciples. But on account of his pride and impious designs, God cut short his activity by a severe punishment, of which I shall speak in the following chapter.


410. My daughter, thy astonishment at the singular favor conferred by me on my servant James at his death, affords me an occasion to tell thee of a privilege confirmed to me by the Almighty at the time when I bore the soul of the Apostle to heaven. Although I have already on other occasions revealed to thee something of this secret, thou shalt now understand it more fully in order to increase thy filial devotion toward me. When I brought to heaven the happy soul of James, the eternal Father spoke to me in the hearing of all the blessed: "My Daughter and Dove, chosen for my acceptation from all the creatures, let my courtiers, angels and saints understand that, for the exaltation of my holy name, for thy glory and for the benefit of mortals, I now give thee my royal word, that if men, in the hour of their death invoke thee and call upon thee with affection in imitation of my servant James, soliciting thy intercession with me, I will bend to them in clemency and look upon them with eyes of fatherly mercy; I will defend and guard them against the dangers of that last hour; I will ward off the cruel enemies that seek the perdition of souls in that hour; I will furnish them through thee with great helps for resisting these enemies and gaining grace, if they wish to avail themselves of this help; and thou shalt present to Me their souls to be rewarded by my liberal hands."

411. For this privilege the whole triumphant Church, and I with it, sang hymns of thanks and praise to the Most High. Although the angels have the office of presenting the souls when they issue from the captivity of mortal life, to the tribunal of the just Judge, yet I have this same privilege in a more exalted degree than is granted to any other creature by the Omnipotent; for I possess it by another title and by a particular and supereminent right. Many times I make use of this privilege and I have done so with some of the Apostles. Since I see thee desirous of knowing how thou canst obtain from me this favor so precious to the soul, I answer thy pious wish by exhorting thee to take care lest thou make thyself unworthy by ingratitude and forgetfulness; and before all, to gain for thyself that inviolate purity, which I expect of thee and of the other souls. For the great love which I owe and cherish toward God, obliges me, with sincerest affection and charity to demand of all men the observance of his holy law and the preservation of their friendship and grace with God. This thou must prefer before thy life and be willing to die rather than offend thy God and highest Good.

412. I wish that thou set about obeying me, act out my instructions, and work with all thy might to imitate what thou seest and writest of me; that thou permit no intermission in thy love, nor forget for one moment the heartfelt affection thou owest to the liberal mercy of thy Lord; that thou be thankful for all his blessings and to me, since thy obligations are far beyond the power of fulfillment by thee in this mortal life. Be faithful in thy correspondence, fervent in thy devotion, ready to do what is most holy and perfect. Let thy heart expand and do not narrow it in pusillanimity, following the instigations of the devil. Extend thy hand to strong and powerful deeds, filled with confidence in the Lord; be not oppressed by adversities, thus impeding the will of the Lord in thee, and the high ends of his glory. Retain vivid faith and hope, even in the greatest assaults and temptations. In all this let the example of my servants James and Peter assist thee, and the certain knowledge of possessing through me the happy security of those who live under the protection of the Most High. In this confidence and in devotion to me James obtained the singular favor I showed him in his martyrdom; trusting in me he undertook immense labors in order to reach that crown. In this confidence saint Peter remained so tranquil and content in his prison chains, nor lost for a moment the serenity of his soul. Thus he merited at the same time, that my divine Son and myself should plan his liberation. Of such favors the children of darkness make themselves unworthy, because they build all their hopes on that which is visible and on their diabolical earthly astuteness. Raise up thy heart, my daughter, and withdraw it from these deceits; aspire to that which is most pure and holy, since with thee shall be the arm of the Almighty, who wrought such great wonders in Me. (The Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God: Book IV: The Coronation, pp. 357-368.)


We have Saint James the Greater,  a son of Zebedee who was chosen along with his brother, Saint John the Evangelist, and our first pope, Saint Peter, to witness the glory of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Transfiguration atop Mount Thabor and to be present as Our Lord suffered His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, to thank for the liberality with which Christ the King hears the prayers of His Most Blessed Mother at the hour of our deaths. Just consider once again these words that Our Lady spoke to the Venerable Mary of Agreda once again and say one Hail Mary in honor of Saint James the Greater as you do so:

"My Daughter and Dove, chosen for my acceptation from all the creatures, let my courtiers, angels and saints understand that, for the exaltation of my holy name, for thy glory and for the benefit of mortals, I now give thee my royal word, that if men, in the hour of their death invoke thee and call upon thee with affection in imitation of my servant James, soliciting thy intercession with me, I will bend to them in clemency and look upon them with eyes of fatherly mercy; I will defend and guard them against the dangers of that last hour; I will ward off the cruel enemies that seek the perdition of souls in that hour; I will furnish them through thee with great helps for resisting these enemies and gaining grace, if they wish to avail themselves of this help; and thou shalt present to Me their souls to be rewarded by my liberal hands."

Father Joven Soliman is faithful to the mission that Saint James the Greater undertook to seek the conversion of non-Catholics. Father Joven Soliman recognizes that no legitimate Successor of Saint Peter would even the give appearance of reaffirming non-Catholics in their false religious beliefs or to call their places of false worship as "sacred" when they are nothing other than dens of the devil himself. For this, of course, Father Soliman is being pilloried by those who once admired him, and this is the path of white martyrdom that is just as pleasing to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary as is the red martyrdom suffered by Saint James the Greater.

We pray to Our Lady always. We know that the Triumph of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will vanquish the foes of the Faith in the world and in the counterfeit church of conciliarism once and for all. Every Rosary we pray, offered to the Most Holy Trinity through that same Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, will plant a few seeds for this triumph, especially as we spend time in prayer before her Divine Son's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Every Rosary that we pray will help to plant a few seeds for the restoration of the Church Militant on earth and of the Social Reign of Christ the King in the world as we make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as the clients of her Divine Son's Most Sacred Heart through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

Praying every day to Saint Christopher, whose feast is commemorated today, to help carry us home safely to Heaven as He carried Our Lord Himself across the water, we must trust that Our Lady will indeed rescue us from the hands of the barons of Modernity in the world and the lords of Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism and that she will send us more priests such as Father Joven Soliman to defend the Holy Faith and to give us the true Sacraments so as to get us home to Heaven in the glory of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Please pray at least decade of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary for Father Soliman and remember as well to continue Bishop McKenna's 2010 Rosary Crusade.


Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.


Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

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

Saint James the Greater, pray for us.

Saint Christopher, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?



© Copyright 2010, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.