The World Needs Saints
Thomas A. Droleskey
Every believing Catholic knows that the Church needs saints. Each of us is created by God in order to know, love and serve Him in this mortal vale of tears through His true Church in order to be happy with Him for all eternity in Heaven, where we are meant to be forever singing His praises with all of the other members of the Church Triumphant. Whether or not we get home to Heaven, of course, depends upon whether we cooperate to the point of our dying breaths with the graces won for us by the shedding of every single drop of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood and whether we plead constantly with Our Lady, the Queen of all Angels and Saints, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, especially through her Most Holy Rosary.
This month of August, which closes today with the Feast of Saint Raymond Nonnatus, who belonged to the Order of Our Lady of Ransom, is the richest month of the Church's traditional liturgical calendar. No one month has as many days dedicated to the commemoration of the lives of the saints.
For example, the Feast of Saint Rose of Lima, who was born in Lima, Peru, just shy of a century after Christopher Columbus had arrived on the Island of San Salvador, in 1492, was celebrated yesterday, August 30, 2006. How many Catholics understand her importance for us in these days of spiritual ruin in the Americas? She, the first saint of the Americas teaches us yet about the necessity to do penance for our sins and for those of the whole world. She lived at the beginnings of Catholic America, a land that was far from perfect but had begun the long and not-so-easy process by which the entirety of social life would be referred to the standard of the Holy Cross. It is precisely because the Cross of the Divine Redeemer did become implanted in the soil of Latin America, especially after Our Lady's appearance to Juan Diego in 1531, that Freemasons and their revolutionary friends in other movements had to attack the life of the Faith so vigorously there following the founding of the United States of America. Entire lands devoted to the Catholic Faith could not be allowed to stand in the midst of the devil's playground to the north, where religious indifferentism and cultural pluralism reigned supreme as men convinced themselves that they did not need to be Catholics to know the truth and to sanctify their immortal souls.
Conscious of the many sins that were being committed by the Spanish conquistadors, of which her own father was one, against the indigenous peoples and how these cruel injustices were impediments to the conversion of the native people, Saint Rose took upon herself severe penances. Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., wrote the following in The Liturgical Year:
In spite of the indignant protestations of the missionaries: in spite of orders received from another country: in a few years [Juan] Pizarro and his companions had exterminated one third of the inhabitants of the flourishing regions; another third perished miserably under a slavery worse than death: the rest fled to the mountains carrying with them a hatred of the invaders., and too often of the Gospel as well, which in their eyes was responsible for atrocities committed by Christians. Avarice opened the door to all vices in the souls of the conquerors, without, however, destroying their lively faith. Lima, founded at the foot of the Cardiilleras, as metropolis of the subjugated provinces, seemed as if built upon the triple concupiscence. Before the close of the [Sixteenth] century, a new Jonas, Saint Francis Solano, came to threaten this new Ninive with the anger of God.
But mercy had already been beforehand with wrath: 'justice and peace had met', in the soul of a child, who was ready, in her insatiable love, to suffer every expiation. Here we should like to pause and contemplate the virgin of Peru, in her self-forgetful heroism, in her pure and candid gracefulness: Rose, who was all sweetness to those who approached her, and kept to herself the secret of the thorns without which no rose can grow on earth. This child of predilection was prevented from her infancy with miraculous gifts and favours. The flowers recognized her as their queen; and at her desire they would blossom out of season. At her invitation, the plants joyfully waved their leaves; the trees bent down their branches; all nature exulted; even the insects formed themselves into choirs; the birds vied with her in celebrating the praises of their common Maker. She herself, playing upon the names of her parents, Gaspard Flores and Mario Oliva, would sing: 'O my Jesus, how beautiful Thou art among the olives and the flowers, and Thou dost not disdain Thy Rose!'
Eternal Wisdom has, from the beginning, delighted to play in the world. Clement X relates, in the Bull of canonization, how one day when Rose was very ill, the Infant Jesus appeared and deigned to play with her, teaching her in a manner suitable to her tender age, the value and the advantages of suffering. He then left her full of joy, and endowed with a life-long love of the cross. Holy Church will tell us in the legend how far the saint carried out, in her rigorous penance, the lesson thus divinely taught. In the superhuman agonies of her last illness, when someone exhorted her to courage, she replied: 'All I ask of my Spouse is that He will not cease to burn me with the most scorching heat, till I become a ripe fruit that He will deign to cull from the earth for His His heavenly table.' To those who were astonished at her confidence and her assurance of going straight to heaven, she gave this answer which ell expresses her character: "I have a Spouse who can do all that is greatest, and who possesses all that is rarest, and am I to expect only little things from Him?' And her confidence was rewarded. She was but thirty-one years of age, when, at midnight on the feat of St. Bartholomew in the year 1617, she heard the cry, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh!" In Lima, in all Peru, and indeed throughout America, prodigies of conversions and miracles signalized the death of the humble virgin, hitherto so little known. 'It has been juridically proved,' said the Sovereign Pontiff, 'that, since the discovery of Peru, no missionary has been known to obtain so universal a movement of repentance. Five years later, for the further sanctification of Lima, there was established the monastery of St. Catharine of Siena, also called Rose's monastery, because she was in the eyes of God it s true foundress and mother. Her prayers had obtained its erection, which she had also predicted; she had designed the plan, pointed out the future religious, and named the first superior, whom she one day prophetically endowed with her own spirit in a mysterious way.
The first saint of the Americas lived the life of the Cross. In the course of the three decades following her own death in the year 1617 there would be the first martyrs for the Faith, raised to the altars of the Church on June 29, 1930, by Pope Pius XI, from the Americas, the Frenchmen who gave up their lives in North America in order to try to convert the indigenous people in what is now Canada and upstate New York. The North American Martyrs underwent a torrent of suffering that was imposed upon them by others, solely to bring about the conversion of the land to which they had traveled to the Catholic Faith, which alone gives men peace in their souls and order in the midst of the world. Although they were separated by thirty years and thousands of miles, Saint Rose of Lima and the North American Martyrs had only one goal: to do convert souls by being willing to suffer greatly for the great, unmatched love that was shown for all men for all ages by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man as He suffered and died for us on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Saint Raymund Nonnatus lived a little over three centuries before the birth of Saint Rose of Lima. Burning with love for Our Lady and desirous to ransom the Christian slaves held in captivity to the Mohammedans, Saint Raymund was willing to become a slave to free others from their own bondage, imitating the desire of the Divine Redeemer to surrender Himself over to the hands of His executioners, namely, each one of us by means of our sins, in order to ransom us by the power of sin and eternal death. He recognized that all men in all places needed to be converted to the Catholic Faith in order to be ransomed from their captivity to the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The Roman Breviary, quoted by Dom Gueranger in The Liturgical Year, states:
He frequently visited the chapel of St. Nicholas, near Portelli, in order to venerate in it a holy image of the Mother of God, which is still much honoured by the faithful. There he would pour out his prayers begging God's holy Mother to adopt him for her own son and to deign to teach him the way of salvation and the science of the saints.
The most benign Virgin heard his prayer, and gave him to understand that it would greatly please her if he entered the religious Order lately founded by her inspiration, under the name of the Order of 'Ransom, or of Mercy, for the redemption of captives.' Upon this Raymund at once set out for Barcelona, there to embrace that institute so full of brotherly charity. thus enrolled in the army of holy religion, he persevered in perpetual virginity, which he had already consecrated to the blessed Virgin. He excelled also in every other virtue, most especially in charity towards those Christians who were living in misery, as slaves of the pagans. He was sent to Africa to redeem them, and freed many from slavery. But when he had exhausted his money, rather than abandon others who were in danger of losing their faith, he gave himself up to the barbarians as a pledge for their ransom. Burning with a most ardent desire for the salvation of souls, he converted several Mahometans to Christ by his preaching. On this account he was thrown into a close prison, and after many tortures his lips were pierced through and fastened with an iron padlock, which cruel martyrdom he endured for a long time.
This and his other noble deeds spread the fame of his sanctity far and near, so that Gregory IX. determined to enroll him the august college of cardinals of the holy Roman Church. When raised to that dignity the man of God shrank from all pomp and clung always to religious humility. On his way to Rome, as soon a she reached Cardona, he was attacked by his last illness, and earnestly begged to be strengthened by the Sacraments of the Church. As his illness grew worse and the priest delayed to come, angels appeared, clothed in the religious habit of his Order, and refreshed him with the saving Viaticum. Having received It he gave thanks to our Lord on the last Sunday of August in the year 1240.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus begged Our Lord to teach him the "way of salvation and the science of the saints." Shouldn't this be our prayer on a daily basis? We need the help of the saints to become saints. We need them to help us to make good resolutions to get ourselves to the daily offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition in the catacombs and to pray our Rosaries every day with fervor. We need the saints to help us to flee from the world as far as is possible in order that our own lives of prayer and penance and mortification and almsgiving, offered to God through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, might undo some of the damage we have done to our own souls by means of sins and might help to effect the conversion of souls whom we may meet only in eternity, please God we die in a state of Sanctifying Grace.
Although the world of Modernity wrought by Protestantism, especially in its Lutheran and Calvinist strains, the latter of which sought to smash the statues of saints with demonic fury (quite similar to what has happened in the era of conciliarism, is it not?), rejected the necessity of relying upon the intercessory power of the saints and of imitating their example of holiness on a daily basis, the world nevertheless needs saints. That is, men need others to look up to, admire and imitate. This is why young people, for example, strive to appear and to behave as do the "secular saints" ("entertainers," "musicians," athletes, stock car racers, hoodlums from their own neighborhoods or schools) at whose altars they worship. Older people do this as well, idolizing figures from the past and present
The examples are endless: the Founding Fathers of the United States, the various men who have served as dictators, excuse me, presidents of the United States, celebrities of one sort or another, among many others, to name just a few categories from which people in the modern, anti-Incarnation world, born in the specific and categorical rejection of the Social Reign of Christ the King, seek for consolation and guidance i their daily lives. The living celebrities are treated as the contemporary version of royalty (the Kennedys, for example) and/or the pagan high priests and priestesses without which life as is known today would not be possible (Rush Limbaugh, Oprah Winfrey, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Schlesinger, et al.). The living celebrities will take their place in the pantheon of "secular saints" (John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lennon) after their deaths.
The world, which is in the grip of the devil, needs to provide fallen men with an inversion of the Church, thus blinding men to the fact that it is only the Catholic Church and the men and women she has raised to her altars from time immemorial that can help them to see the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith and then to try to cooperate with the graces that flow to us from Our Lady's loving hands for their daily sanctification and salvation. This inversion of the Church results in the lion's share of men in the world believing it to be a sign of "progress" to attack as "superstitious" the veneration of her saints while the plaster "saints" of the secular world are extolled at every turn.
To wit, Mr. James B. Phillips, who writes to me now and again (and who went to Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, about a decade after I was there in 1983-1984), sent me a most interesting bit of information in response to my article of August 29, Dancing to the Tune of Herod and Herodias. Mr. Phillips said that one of the plaster saints of the United States, the thirty-third degree Mason by the name of Will Rogers, was touring Mexico with the President of Mexico responsible for the warfare against Catholics in Mexico in the third decade of the Twentieth Century, a Jewish Freemason by the name of Plutarco Elias Calles, on the day after the murder of Father Miguel Augustin, Pro, S.J., which would be November 24, 1927. Mr. Phillips led me to the website of Time where this story is to be found.
Here is the story from the December 12, 1927, edition of Time magazine, which accompanied photographs that are not posted on the website:
Strong hands, quick to become doubled fists, a hard jaw, and a heavy scowl have sometimes been called the typical externals of President Plutarco Elias Calles. The fact that he once publicly alluded to "the grunts of the Pope" caused some to fear that his mind might resemble his fists. Last week such mistaken impressions were given the lie when Senor Calles proved himself not only supple of body but adept at mellow geniality. Scene: the $375,000 private train of the President of Mexico which puffed all week, from one hospitable ranch in northern Mexican states to another. On board were the new U. S. Ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Whitney Morrow (onetime Morgan partner), and tart-witted cowboy-clown Will Rogers. They, and other guests of the President, were privileged to see him in playful mood. At Pabellon Ranch, State of Aguascalientes, Senor Calles seated his guests around a bull ring. He had a surprise for them, he said. Quietly picking up a matador's red cape, he entered the arena.
At a flirt of the red, a small but purposeful bull charged, horns down, to gore the President of Mexico. Swirling the cape through a classic "pass," he pivoted and dodged—his chunky body suddenly achieving grace. While guests Morrow and Rogers gripped their seats, President Calles brought off three more hazardous "passes." Then, having shown his guests the dexterous and dangerous phase of bull-baiting, he strode from the ring. No bull was killed, or even pinked, lest U. S. gorges rise.
Came luncheon, provided on the scale of a local fiesta. Peasants and the local gentry mingled. President Calles, beamingly in his element, led hearty singing of mellow Spanish songs. What did the U. S. guests think ?
Mr. Morrow, rising to a toast, said something in English which was apparently not understood. Mr. Rogers then quoted Mr. Morrow in Spanish as having said: "... how could the United States ever enter into armed conflict with people like these? ..." Amid shouted cheers President Calles sprang up and clasped the Ambassador's hand. Later Mr. Morrow said to U. S. correspondents: "All this is very interesting."
"How could the United States ever enter into armed conflict with people like these?" Will Rogers, the Mason was traveling with the American Ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Morrow, who was the future father-in-law of another Mason and American plaster saint, Charles Lindbergh. Morrow knew full well of the war being waged against Catholics, which included the ripping out of the tongues of the condemned before they were shot or crucified to death so that they could not yell out 'Viva Cristo Rey!' as had Father Pro. "All this is very interesting"? Indeed, it is very interesting to a Catholic to see how the venerated icons of popular culture enjoyed themselves so much as Catholics were being slaughtered so cruelly. Can anyone say the Martyrs of the Roman Coliseum in our own day?
As the month of saints, August, dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, draws to a close and we enter September, which is dedicated to the Seven Dolors of Our Lady, may we plead with Our Lady as had Saint Raymund Nonnatus to teach us the way of salvation and the science of the saints so that we will refuse to lionize the enemies of the Church and that we will seek to lift high the Cross of prayer and penance and mortification and almsgiving, as Saint Rose and Saint Raymund both sough to do in their own ways some three and one-half centuries apart.
Yes, the world needs saints in the model of Saint Rose of Lima and Saint Raymund Nonnatus. The world needs us to be Catholics who are faithful to Our Lady's Fatima Message (First Saturday is but two days away), people who are willing to suffer anything and everything that comes our way for the sake of souls, staring with our own, giving everything back to God through the Heart that will indeed triumph in the end over all of the lies of Modernity in the world and Modernism abroad in the conciliar church, the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gregory Lalamont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.