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                July 9, 2010

Not An Ecumenist Among Them

by Thomas A. Droleskey

After a few weeks of writing long, detailed articles that have, despite their fresh minting, reviewed matters that have been covered on this site in hundreds of articles, it is time to write a briefer article that reviews a lot of familiar territory that I really see no good purpose in having to elaborate upon at length.

As I have noted several times recently, people tend to forget. My own short-term memory has been like a sieve in recent months (as some of those who write to me can attest as I do not seem to retain their names or e-mail addresses as well as I once did, something that is very frustrating, humanly speaking, to a man who has had a nearly flawless memory). It is sometimes good to provide an article that is relatively short and that draws on material from other articles, which, to be honest, would be difficult to restate in any other way.

Today, July 9, 2010, is a Ferial Day on the calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. It is, however, the day in England and Wales where the martyrdom of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher are commemorated by those Catholics who are not part of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, few in number though they may be. Although men of different temperaments and backgrounds, the former Chancellor of the Realm, Sir Thomas More, the Bishop of Rochester, John Fisher, both were united in their opposition to the Protestant Revolution.

Saint Thomas More contributed much to King Henry VIII's book refuting the errors of the heretic and arch-revolutionary Martin Luther. Saint Thomas More knew that the Catholic Church, she who is the infallible and spotless Mystical Bride of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, had nothing to "learn" from Martin Luther or any of his heresies. He also knew that Catholicism was the one and only foundation of personal and social and economic order, each of which would be disrupted and thrown into chaos by Martin Luther's diabolical revolution against the Divine Plan that God Himself had instituted to effect man's return to through the Catholic Church. Saint Thomas More refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of King Henry VIII's bigamous and adulterous "marriage" with his paramour, Anne Boleyn, and paid with is life for refusing on July 6, 1535, for refusing to do so.

Saint John Fisher, although he was in favor of some disciplinary reforms in the Church, was also a stalwart defender of the Catholic Faith against the errors of Protestantism, preaching forcefully against the insidious drunk and womanizer named Martin Luther. He was the only one of the approximately one hundred Catholic bishops of England to have retained the Faith by not swearing the oath that King Henry VIII required him to take to swear that Princess Elizabeth, Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, was the true heir to the English throne and that Henry was indeed the supreme head of the Church in England ("as far as the law of Christ allowed"). This earned him the crown of martyrdom on June 22, 1535.

Yes, only one bishop and a small percentage of Catholics remained faithful to the Faith of their fathers, of a land that had been Catholic for nearly a thousand years. Does this sound even a little bit familiar? Catholics abandoning the Faith? Succumbing to a "new and improved" liturgy in the vernacular? Who is permitting that "new and improved" liturgy of the Anglicans that so many English Catholics resisted to the point of their very deaths, a "new and improved" liturgy, that was deemed heretical by Pope Saint Pius V in Regnans in Excelsis, March 5, 1570? Of course. None other than Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, whose false ecumenism and belief that old decrees and pronouncements become "obsolete" with the passage of time.

Today, July 6, 2010, is also the feast day, not observed on the General Roman Calendars of 1954 or 1958, of the Martyrs of Gorkum, whose stories have been told on this site before but is worth re-telling once again:


The year 1572, Luther and Calvin had already wrested from the Church a great part of Europe. The iconoclastic storm had swept through the Netherlands, and was followed by a struggle between Lutheranism and Calvinism in which the latter was victorious. In 1571 the Calvinists held their first synod, at Embden. On 1 April of the next year the Watergeuzen (Sea-beggars) conquered Briel and later Vlissingen and other places. In June, Dortrecht and Gorkum fell into their hands and at Gorkum they captured nine Franciscans. These were: Nicholas Pieck, guardian of Gorkum, Hieronymns of Weert, vicar, Theodorus van der Eem, of Amersfoort, Nicasius Janssen, of Heeze, Willehad of Denmark, Godefried of Mervel, Antonius Of weert, Antonius of Hoornaer, and Franciseus de Roye, of Brussels. To these were added two lay brothers from the same monastery, Petrus of Assche and Cornelius of Wyk near Duurstede. Almost at the same time the Calvinists laid their hands on the learned parish priest of Gorkum, Leonardus Vechel of Bois-le-Duc, who had made distinguished studies in Louvain, and also has assistant Nicolaas Janssen, surnamed Poppel, of Welde in Belgium. With the above, were also imprisoned Godefried van Duynsen, of Gorkum who was active as a priest in his native city, and Joannes Lenartz of Oisterwljk, an Augustinian and director of the convent of Augustinian nuns in Gorkum. To these fifteen, who from the very first underwent all the sufferings and torments of the persecution, were later added four more companions: Joannes van Hoornaer, a Dominican of the Cologne province and parish priest not far from Gorkum, who, when apprised of the incarceration of the clergy ot Gorkum, hastened to the city in order to administer the sacraments to them and was seized and imprisoned with the rest, Jacobus Lacops of Oudenaar, a Norbertine, who after leading a frivolous life, being disobedient to his order, and neglectful of his religious duties, reformed, became a curate in Monster, Holland and was imprisoned in 1572; Adrianus Janssen of Hilvarenbeek, at one time a Premonstratensian and parish priest in Monster, who was sent to Brielle with Jacobus Lacops; and lastly Andreas Wouters of Heynoord, whose conduct was not edifying up to the time of his arrest, but who made ample amends by his martyrdom.'

After enduring much suffering and abuse in the prison at Gorkum (26 June-6 July) the first fifteen martyrs were transferred to Brielle. On their way to Dortrecht they were exhibited for money to the curious and arrived at Brielle 13 July. On the following day, Lumey, the commander of the Watergeuzen, caused the martyrs to be interrogated and ordered a sort of disputation. In the meantime the four other martyrs also arrived. It was exacted of each that he abandon his belief in the Blessed Sacrament and in papal supremacy. All remained firm in their faith. Meanwhile there came a letter from William of Orange which enjoined all those in authority to leave priests and religious unmolested. Nevertheless Lumey caused the martyrs to be hanged in the night of 9 July, in a turfshed amid cruel mutilations. Their beatification took place on 14 Nov., 1675, and their canonization on 29 June, 1865. For many years the place of their martyrdom in Brielle has been the scene of numerous pilgrimages and processions. The Martyrs of Gorkum


One will notice that the Calvinists, ever eager to make a buck--or the Dutch equivalent thereof, charged admission for the curious to see the martyrs, who would not renounce their belief in the Blessed Sacrament and in papal supremacy. It is that very truth of papal supremacy that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is prepared to "discuss" with the heretical and schismatic Orthodox on the basis of The Ravenna Document. Today the Orthdox and tomorrow the descendants of the Dutch Calvinists and all other Protestants.

A painting of the Catholic martyrs of Gorkum, The Netherlands, who were tortured and executed in 1572 by Dutch Calvinists, the theological soul-mates of the "Pilgrims" who came to North America less than half a century later who were so "grateful" that they had had a bountiful harvest in a land where there was no Catholic Mass--or so they thought. (Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, Monroe, Connecticut, the Feast of Saint Cecilia, Thursday, November 22, 2007; see L'Osservatore del Calvinista for a review of the benign treatment given John Calvin by L'Osservatore Romano.


There was not an "ecumenist" to be found among the Martyrs of Gorkum. They had not yet been "enlightened" by the "springtime of the Church" represented by the "Second" Vatican Council. They did not realize that certain truths, such as seeking with urgency the unconditional conversion of of non-Catholics to the Catholic Church, could be "understood" in different ways at different times given the change in historical circumstances. This is what makes it possible Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's complete and utter rejection of the work of the Martyrs of Gorkum and of the martyr Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen and of Saint Francis de Sales himself to bring Calvinists back to the Faith, which he summarized so succinctly in his address given Protestant and Orthodox leaders on August 19, 2005:

We all know there are numerous models of unity and you know that the Catholic Church also has as her goal the full visible unity of the disciples of Christ, as defined by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in its various Documents (cf. Lumen Gentium, nn. 8, 13; Unitatis Redintegratio, nn. 2, 4, etc.). This unity, we are convinced, indeed subsists in the Catholic Church, without the possibility of ever being lost (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 4); the Church in fact has not totally disappeared from the world.

On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return:  that is, to deny and to reject one's own faith history. Absolutely not!

It does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline. Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity:  in my Homily for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul on 29 June last, I insisted that full unity and true catholicity in the original sense of the word go together. As a necessary condition for the achievement of this coexistence, the commitment to unity must be constantly purified and renewed; it must constantly grow and mature. (Ecumenical meeting at the Archbishopric of Cologne English.)


So much for the blood of the Martyrs of Gorkum. So much for the blood of the English Martyrs. So much for the blood of Saint Josaphat, who was killed for his efforts to convert the Orthodox. So much for Catholic truth. So much for the good of souls.

Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI knows more than these martyrs. He knows more than the Mother of God Himself:

As the strange circumstances of Nicola's possession became known everywhere, several Calvinist preachers came with their followers, to "expose this popish cheat," as they said. On their entrance, the devil saluted them mockingly, called them by name, and told them that they had come in obedience to him. One of the preachers took his Protestant prayer book, and began to read it with a very solemn face. The devil laughed at him, and putting on a most comical look, he said: "Ho! Ho! My good friend; do you intend to expel me with your prayers and hymns? Do you think that they will cause me any pain? Don't you know that they are mine? I helped to compose them!"

"I will expel thee in the name of God," said the preacher, solemnly.

"You!" said the devil mockingly. "You will not expel me either in the name of God, or in the name of the devil. Did you ever hear of one devil driving out another?"

"I am not a devil," said the preacher, angrily, "I am a servant of Christ."

"A servant of Christ, indeed!" said Satan, with a sneer. "What! I tell you, you are worse than I am. I believe, and you do not want to believe. Do you suppose that you can expel me from the body of this miserable wretch? Ha! Go first and expel all the devils that are in your own heart!"

The preacher took his leave, somewhat discomfited. On going away, he said, turning up the whites of his eyes, "O Lord, I pray thee, assist this poor creature!"

"And I pray Lucifer," cried the evil spirit, "that he may never leave you, but may always keep you firmly in his power, as he does now. Go about your business, now. You are all mine, and I am your master." (Exorcism of Nicola Aubrey)

Many years ago in the village of Plantees, France, there lived a farmer named Pierre Port-Combet, who used to work on Sundays and Feast Days. At one time he had been a Catholic, but he had fallen away from the truth Faith and joined a Protestant religion called Calvinism. He had a great dislike for Catholics and anything about the Catholic Faith.

Pierre had married a devout Catholic woman named Jeanne. They had six children and Jeanne tried to raise them as good Catholics. But even though Pierre had made a vow to allow his wife to raise their children as Catholics, he gradually led their six children into the Calvinist religion! Jeanne was broken hearted about this because it meant that her husband and children were in great danger of loosing their souls. And since Pierre would not listen to her pleadings, the best she could do was to go to Mass, pray, and make sacrifices.

This area of France was very Catholic at the time. There was a law that all people should not work on Sundays and on special Holy Days, so that they could go to Mass and spend the rest of the day in prayer and holy reading. But Pierre loved to break this law, especially on Our Lady's Feast Days, because he did not like the Catholic religion!

On March 25, 1649, the Feast of the Annunciation, Pierre showed his dislike for the Catholic Church by working near a road where villagers could see him, as they traveled on their way to Mass. He pretended to work, by using his knife to cut into a willow tree, which grew beside the road. But as soon as he cut into the willow, the tree bled! Pierre was shocked as the blood flowed out of the tree and splashed onto his hands and arms. At first Pierre thought he was wounded, but finding that he was not injured, he stabbed the willow tree another time, and again the tree bled!

Around this time, Pierre's wife passed by on her way to church. Seeing that her husband's arms were covered with blood, she rushed over to help him. While she was looking for the wound, Pierre tried to explain to his wife what had just taken place. Jeanne tried to calm her husband and cut the tree with his knife, but nothing happened. When Pierre noticed that no blood came from the tree, he grabbed the knife from his wife and cut off a willow branch. The blood came gushing out of the tree!

By now Pierre was terribly frightened! He called to Louis, a neighbour who was just passing by, and begged him to come and see what happened. But when Louis took the knife and tried to cut the tree, no blood came out. As the other villagers passed by they began to realize that the blood from the tree was a warning from God to Pierre, so that he would come back to the Catholic Faith and not work on Sundays.

Before long, Pierre was brought to court for working on this special Feast Day and he had to pay a fine. And when the Bishop heard about the miracle of the bleeding willow tree, he ordered some priests to look into the matter. Pierre and others who saw the miracle were questioned. In the end it was decided that this miracle was a stern warning from God to Pierre, so that he would mend his ways!

Pierre had a change of heart and realizing that he was wrong, he would often go to pray near the willow tree. But when some of his Calvinist friends saw him, they threatened to hurt him if he left the Calvinist religion. Because of this Pierre refused to go back to the Catholic Church.

Heaven was watching over Pierre and after seven years, on March 25, 1656, Our Lady appeared to him. On that day, Pierre was working in the field and saw a Lady standing far away on a little hill. The Lady wore a white dress, a blue mantle and had a black veil over her head, which partly covered her face. As the Lady came toward Pierre, she suddenly picked up speed and in a flash, she stood beside him. With her beautiful, sweet voice, the Lady spoke to Pierre, "God be with you my friend!"

For a moment, Pierre stood in amazement. The Lady spoke again, "What is being said about this devotion? Do many people come?"

Pierre replied, "Yes many people come,"

Then the Lady said, "Where does that heretic live who cut the willow tree? Does he not want to be converted?"

Pierre mumbled an answer. The Lady became more serious, "Do you think that I do not know that you are the heretic? Realize that your end is at hand. If you do not return to the True Faith, you will be cast into Hell! But if you change your beliefs, I shall protect you before God. Tell people to pray that they may gain the good graces which, God in His mercy has offered to them."

Pierre was filled with sorrow and shame and moved away from the Lady. Suddenly realizing that he was being rude, Pierre stepped closer to her, but she had moved away and was already near the little hill. He ran after her begging, "Please stop and listen to me. I want to apologize to you and I want you to help me!"

The Lady stopped and turned. By the time Pierre caught up to her, she was floating in the air and was already disappearing from sight. Suddenly, Pierre realized that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary had appeared to him! He fell to his knees and cried buckets of tears, "Jesus and Mary I promise you that I will change my life and become a good Catholic. I am sorry for what I have done and I beg you please, to help me change my life…"

On August 14, 1656, Pierre became very sick. An Augustinian priest came to hear his confession and accepted him back into the Catholic Church. Pierre received Holy Communion the next day on the Feast of the Assumption. After Pierre returned to the Catholic Faith, many others followed him. His son and five daughters came back to the Catholic Church as well as many Calvinists and Protestants. Five weeks later on September 8, 1656, Pierre died and was buried under the miraculous willow tree, just as he had asked.

Fr. Fais, the parish priest from the nearby town of Vinay, helped a lady to buy the field where Pierre had spoken to Our Lady. In time the chapel of Our Lady of Good Meeting was built on the spot where Our Lady had spoken to Pierre. Soon, a large church was built over the spot of the miraculous tree, and named in honour of Our Lady of the Willow. Some good person also carved a statue of Our Lady similar to the way Pierre had described the Blessed Virgin Mary. When this statue was placed in the church, many people came to honour Our Lady of the Willow.

But alas, because of the sinfulness of man, this beautiful shrine did not last and was ruined by members of the horrible French Revolution. These wicked men took the statue of Our Lady of the Willow and chopped it to pieces! Oh, what a terrible way to treat Our Lady's image! However, all was not lost! A good lady gathered up the pieces of the statue and hid them until the French Revolution was over. A piece of the willow tree was also saved from the hands of these wicked men.

After the horrible French Revolution, people came again to honour Our Lady of the Willow at this sacred spot. The statue of Our Lady was repaired and in time the shrine was placed in the hands of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Now some priests were caring for the shrine and could help the many people who came there.

In 1856, two hundred years after the apparition of Our Lady to Pierre, Blessed Pope Pius IX decreed that the statue of Our Lady should be crowned on September 8 of that year. More than 30,000 people were present at the shrine for the crowning of Our Lady of the Willow, and at least four hundred priests were also present at the ceremony. And this same Pope ordered that another crowning should take place in 1873!

On March 17, 1924, Pope Pius XI declared that Our Lady of the Willow Church was now a minor basilica. Here the statue of Our Lady of the Willow is venerated. A box containing a piece of the old willow tree lies under her altar and Pierre's grave is at the foot of the altar.

Many people come to honour Our Lady of the Willow at this shrine and many have left little plaques in thanksgiving to Our Lady, for some special grace which she has given them. Also more than a hundred miracles are reported to have taken place at this shrine. Thank-you Jesus and Mary for your great mercies.

Our Lady of the Willow, Pray for Us! (Our Lady of the Willow Tree)


The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel occurs seven days from now. It would be good to continue to pray this Novena for the needs of Holy Mother Church and for the conversion of our country and the world to the Social Reign of Christ the King that was overthrown by the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Judeo-Masonry:

O, beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular, Who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a Pure Virgin, assist me in this necessity.

O, Star of the Sea, help and protect me. Show me that Thou art my Mother.

O, Mary, conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

Mother and Ornament of Carmel, pray for us. Virgin, Flower of Carmel, pray for us.

Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, pray for us.

Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, pray for us.

St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.

St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, pray for us.

St. Joseph, our Patron, pray for us.

O, Sweet Heart of Mary, be our Salvation.  

This is the situation that God has known from all eternity would befall us in our own lives at this time of salvation history. The graces won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady are sufficient for us to prosper under the crosses, whether personal or social or ecclesiastical, that we are asked to bear now. Let us lift high the Cross in our lives, thankful for each and every cross that is sent our way, understanding that the all merciful Redeemer Who shed His Most Precious Blood to redeem us wants us to plant a few seeds for the restoration of His Social Reign on earth as the fruit of the Triumph of His Most Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart. We must enfold ourselves in the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary with perfect confidence.

Let us continue to participate in His Excellency Bishop Robert McKenna's fifteen Saturdays' Rosary Crusade that has now begun. Let us also remember these words of Our Lady, who hates all heresies, to Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers to which Bishop McKenna has belonged for fifty-eight years, fifty-one of them as a priest:

"One day, through the Rosary and Scapular I will save the world."


I know this article was brief. It did borrow from some earlier material. I am, to tell you the truth, very happy that Ratzinger/Benedict is going to on vacation. I could use one myself right about now. However, I will have another article for you on matters of the civil state by Sunday, July 11, 2010.


Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.


Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

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

Saint Francis de Sales, who converted thousands of Calvinists, pray for us.

Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, pray for us.

Saint John Fisher, pray for us.

Saint Thomas More, pray for us.

The Martyrs of Gorkum, whose feast day is three days from now, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints


Appendix A: The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Our Risen Lord would have around him a bright phalanx of martyrs. Its privileged members belong to the different centuries of the Church's existence. Its ranks open to-day to give welcome to a brave combatant, who won his palm, not in a contest with paganism, as those did whose feasts we have thus far kept, but in defending his mother, the Church, against her own rebellious children. They were heretics that slew this day's martyr, and the century that was honoured with this triumph as the seventeenth.

Fidelis was worthy of his beautiful name. Neither difficulty nor menace could make him fail in his duty. During his whole life, he had but the glory and service of his divine Lord in view: and when the time came for him to face the fatal danger, he did so, calmly but fearlessly, as behooved a disciple of that Jesus who went forth to meet his enemies. Honour, then, be to-day to the brave son of St. Francis ! truly he is worthy of his seraphic Patriarch, who confronted the Saracens, was a martyr in desire !

Protestantism was established and rooted by the shedding of torrents of blood; and yet Protestants count it as a great crime that, here and there, the children of the true Church made an armed resistance against them. The heresy of the sixteenth century was the cruel and untiring persecutor of men, whose only crime was their adhesion to the old faith--the faith that had civilized the world. The so-called Reformation proclaimed liberty in matters of religion, and massacred Catholics who exercised this liberty, and prayed and believed as their ancestors had done for long ages before Luther and Calvin were born. A Catholic who gives heretics credit for sincerity when they talk about religious toleration proves the he knows nothing about the past or the present. There is a fatal instinct in error, which leads it to hate the Truth; and the true Church, by its unchangeableness, is a perpetual reproach to them that refuse to be her children. Heresy starts with an attempt to annihilate them that remain faithful; when it has grown tired of open persecution it vents its spleen in insults and calumnies; and when these do not produce the desired effect, hypocrisy comes in with its assurances of friendly forbearance. The history of Protestant Europe, during the last three centuries, confirms these statements; it also justifies us in honouring those courageous servants of God who, during that same period, have died for the ancient faith.

Let us now respectfully listen to the account given us, in the Liturgy, of the life and martyrdom of St. Fidelis; we shall find that the Church has not grown degenerate in her Saints.

Fidelis was born at Sigmaringen, a town of Swabia. His parents, whose name was Rey, were of a respectable family. He was remarkable, even when a child, for his extraordinary gifts both of nature and grace. Blessed with a talent of a high order, and trained to virtue by an excellent education, he received at Freiburg the well-merited honours of Doctor in Philosophy and in Civil and Canon Law, at the same time that, in the school of Christ, he strove to attain to the height of perfection by the assiduous practice of all virtues. Being requested to accompany several noblemen in their travels through various countries of Europe, he lost no opportunity of encouraging them, both by word and example, to lead a life of Christian piety. In these travels, he moreover mortified the desires of the flesh by frequent austerities; and such was the mastery he gained over himself, that in the midst of all the troubles and excitement, he was never seen to lose his temper in the slightest degree. He was a strenuous upholder of law and justice, and, after his return to Germany, he acquired considerable reputation as an advocate. But finding that this profession was replete with danger, he resolved to enter on the path that would best lead him to eternal salvation. Then enlightened by the divine call, he shortly afterwards asked to be admitted into the Seraphic Order, among the Capuchin Friars.

His pious wish being granted, he showed from the very commencement of his novitiate how thoroughly he despised the world and himself; and when, with spiritual joy, he had offered to God the vows of solemn profession, his regular observance was such as to make him the admiration of, and a model to, all around him. He devoted himself to prayer and to sacred studies; as also to preaching, for which he had a special grace, and by which he not only converted Catholics from a life of wickedness to one of virtue, but also drew heretics to knowledge of the truth. He was appointed superior as several convents of his Order, and fulfilled his office with admirable prudence, justice, meekness, discretion and humility. His zeal for strict poverty was so great, that he would allow nothing to be in the convent which was not absolutely necessary. He practised severe fasting, watching and disciplines, out of holy hatred against himself; whereas his love towards others was that of a mother for her children. A contagious fever having broken out among the Austrian soldiers, causing frightful mortality, he devoted his whole energies to untiring acts of charity in favour of the sick, whose sufferings were extreme. So admirable was he, both in advice and action, in settling disputes, and relieving everyone in trouble or trial, that he won for himself the name of the Father of his country.

He was extremely devout to the Virgin Mother of God, and a zealous promoter of the Rosary. He besought of God, through the intercession of this Blessed Mother firstly, and then through that of all the Saints, that he might be allowed to shed his blood and lay down his life for the Catholic faith. This ardent desire was increased by the daily and devout celebration of the Holy Sacrifice; and at length, by the wonderful providence of God, this valiant soldier of Christ was placed at the head of the missions recently established among the Grissons, by the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith. Fidelis undertook the arduous task with a ready and cheerful heart, and laboured in it with such earnestness, that he converted many heretics to the true faith, and inspired the hope that the whole of that people would be reconciled to the Church and to Christ. He had the gift of prophecy, and frequently predicted the calumnies that were to befall the Grissons, as also his own death at the hands of the heretics. Being fully aware of the plot laid against him, he prepared himself for the combat, and on the twenty-fourth day of April, in the year 1622, he repaired to the church of a place called Seewis. Hither had the heretics, on the previous day, invited him to come and preach, pretending that they wished to be converted. Whilst he was preaching he was interrupted by their clamours. They rushed upon him cruelly struck and wounded him even to death. He suffered it with courage and joy, thus consecrating by his blood the first-fruits of the martyrs of the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith. His name was rendered illustrious by many miracles, especially at Coire and Veitkirch, where his relics are kept, and honoured by the people with exceeding great veneration.




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