When Praying with Baal and His Friends is Considered A Gesture of "Fraternity"
Thomas A. Droleskey
One of the consoling aspects of coming to recognize that the ecclesiastical events of the past forty-eight years are not from God but from a counterfeit church steeped in the mire of Modernism is the simple fact that there is no need whatsoever to be "stampeded" into making comments on each abomination and outrage that is authored by said counterfeit church. This is why I have been relatively mute concerning Benedict XVI's pilgrimage Turkey, which has, thankfully, been concluded without any violence being done to his person by the Mohammedans as some had feared would be attempted. Benedict's pilgrimage to Turkey was just par for the conciliarist course, containing little in the way of novelty that had not been pioneered by either Paul VI and/or John Paul II.
To wit, Benedict's overtures to the Orthodox continue the themes outlined by Paul VI and John Paul II. They constitute a willingness to redefine the "Petrine Ministry" in such a way as to be acceptable to the Orthodox, overlooking little theological issues such as the Filioque, Purgatory, contraception, divorce and remarriage and other matters. Benedict's overtures, most of which were outlined in his Principles of Catholic Theology, overlook these eternal truths contained in Pope Leo XIII's Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1894:
First of all, then, We cast an affectionate look upon the East, from whence in the beginning came forth the salvation of the world. Yes, and the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches, so illustrious in their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the fold they have abandoned. We hope it all the more, that the distance separating them from Us is not so great: nay, with some few exceptions, we agree so entirely on other heads that, in defense of the Catholic Faith, we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the teaching, the Rites, and Customs of the East.
The Principal subject of contention is the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff. But let them look back to the early years of their existence, let them consider the sentiments entertained by their forefathers, and examine what the oldest Traditions testify, and it will, indeed, become evident to them that Christ's Divine Utterance, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, has undoubtedly been realized in the Roman Pontiffs. Many of these latter in the first gates of the Church were chosen from the East, and foremost among them Anacletus, Evaristus, Anicetus, Eleutherius, Zosimus, and Agatho; and of these a great number, after Governing the Church in Wisdom and Sanctity, Consecrated their Ministry with the shedding of their blood. The time, the reasons, the promoters of the unfortunate division, are well known. Before the day when man separated what God had joined together, the name of the Apostolic See was held in Reverence by all the nations of the Christian world: and the East, like the West, agreed without hesitation in its obedience to the Pontiff of Rome, as the Legitimate Successor of St. Peter, and, therefore, the Vicar of Christ here on earth.
And, accordingly, if we refer to the beginning of the dissension, we shall see that Photius himself was careful to send his advocates to Rome on the matters that concerned him; and Pope Nicholas I sent his Legates to Constantinople from the Eternal City, without the slightest opposition, "in order to examine the case of Ignatius the Patriarch with all diligence, and to bring back to the Apostolic See a full and accurate report"; so that the history of the whole negotiation is a manifest Confirmation of the Primacy of the Roman See with which the dissension then began. Finally, in two great Councils, the second of Lyons and that of Florence, Latins and Greeks, as is notorious, easily agreed, and all unanimously proclaimed as Dogma the Supreme Power of the Roman Pontiffs.
We have recalled those things intentionally, for they constitute an invitation to peace and reconciliation; and with all the more reason that in Our own days it would seem as if there were a more conciliatory spirit towards Catholics on the part of the Eastern Churches, and even some degree of kindly feeling. To mention an instance, those sentiments were lately made manifest when some of Our faithful travelled to the East on a Holy Enterprise, and received so many proofs of courtesy and good-will.
Therefore, Our mouth is open to you, to you all of Greek or other Oriental Rites who are separated from the Catholic Church, We earnestly desire that each and every one of you should meditate upon the words, so full of gravity and love, addressed by Bessarion to your forefathers: "What answer shall we give to God when He comes to ask why we have separated from our Brethren: to Him Who, to unite us and bring us into One Fold, came down from Heaven, was Incarnate, and was Crucified? What will our defense be in the eyes of posterity? Oh, my Venerable Fathers, we must not suffer this to be, we must not entertain this thought, we must not thus so ill provide for ourselves and for our Brethren."
Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our request. It is not for any human motive, but impelled by Divine Charity and a desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the reconciliation and union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect and complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else was brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the Tenets of Belief and an intercourse of Fraternal love. The True Union between Christians is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church, instituted and desired, and which consists in a Unity of Faith and Unity of Government.
Nor is there any reason for you to fear on that account that We or any of Our Successors will ever diminish your rights, the privileges of your Patriarchs, or the established Ritual of any one of your Churches. It has been and always will be the intent and Tradition of the Apostolic See, to make a large allowance, in all that is right and good, for the primitive Traditions and special customs of every nation. On the contrary, if you re-establish Union with Us, you will see how, by God's bounty, the glory and dignity of your Churches will be remarkably increased. May God, then, in His goodness, hear the Prayer that you yourselves address to Him: "Make the schisms of the Churches cease," and "Assemble those who are dispersed, bring back those who err, and unite them to Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." May you thus return to that one Holy Faith which has been handed down both to Us and to you from time immemorial; which your forefathers preserved untainted, and which was enhanced by the rival splendor of the Virtues, the great genius, and the sublime learning of St. Athanasius and St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzum and St. John Chrysostom, the two Saints who bore the name of Cyril, and so many other great men whose glory belongs as a common inheritance to the East and to the West.
Suffer that We should address you more particularly, nations of the Slavonic race, you whose glorious name and deeds are attested by many an ancient record. You know full well how much the Slavs are indebted to the merits of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, to whose memory We Ourselves have rendered due honor only a few years ago. Their virtues and their labors were to great numbers of your race the source of civilization and salvation. And hence the admirable interchange, which existed for so long between the Slavonic nations and the Pontiffs of Rome, of favors on the one side and of filial devotion on the other. If in unhappy times many of your forefathers were separated from the Faith of Rome, consider now what priceless benefits a return of Unity would bring to you. The Church is anxious to welcome you also to her arms, that she may give you manifold aids to salvation, prosperity, and grandeur.
Pope Leo XIII was calling the Orthodox to come back. He was not willing to compromise on some matters of the Faith, say, those decided after the Eleventh Century and not accepted by the Orthodox, in order to forge a false "reconciliation" with the schismatic and heretical Orthodox. Pope Leo XIII's uncompromising invitation to the Orthodox to return to the Catholic Church stands in sharp contrast with the obsequiousness of the conciliar pontiffs and their curial officials, which has included the returning of venerable icons to the Orthodox and the handing over of Saint Theodore's Church in Rome itself to the heretics and schismatics.
All in all, however, there was nothing new concerning Benedict's approach to the Orthodox. And there was really nothing new to the way he dealt with the Mohammedans, taking refuge as he did in Pope Saint Gregory VII's diplomatic words in the year 1076 to a Mohammedan prince of what is now modern-day Algeria that Christians and Mohammedans
"confess one God, admittedly, in a different way, and daily praise and venerate him, the creator of the world and ruler of this world." Pope Saint Gregory VII, however, did not enter in a mosque nor did he turn in the direction of Mecca as a Mohammedan did in a "gesture of fraternity." Such would be, as Pope Saint Gregory VII knew, a violation of the First Commandment.
The truth is, however, that Mohammedans, however much natural virtue they may exhibit in their lives, are not saved. They need to be invited to convert to the true Faith. These telling words contained in Cantate Domino, issued by Pope Eugene IV during the Council of Florence, are not some merely "pastoral" decree that can be ignored by those who think that the "anchorages" of past "formulations" of truth can be lifted and placed down wherever we would like to suit the "needs" of "modern" man:
It [the Holy Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.
Benedict XVI committed, objectively speaking, a Mortal Sin by turning in the direction of Mecca so as a "gesture of fraternity" with his Mohammedan hosts in a place of false worship, a mosque. Even to enter a mosque or any other place of false worship has been considered by the Church from time immemorial to be scandalous and a sin against the First Commandment. Benedict compounded this by crossing his arms in the Mohammedan gesture known as the "posture of tranquility." Our Lord Himself would not enter a place of false worship save to convert those who were worshiping false gods and/or false conceptions of God. He would not turn in the direction of Mecca, for example. He would not cross His Holy Arms that our sins nailed to the wood of the Holy Cross in a Mohammedan gesture known as the "posture of tranquility. How could one who believes himself to be the Vicar of Christ do so?
This is beyond all argumentation. Anyone who believes otherwise does not understand Who God is nor does he take seriously these words of Saint John the Evangelist:
Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. For he that saith unto him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works. (2 John 1: 9-11)
Moreover, countless are the number of canonized saints who gave up their lives rather than to give any appearance at all that they were approving of false religions or that they could pray in the presence of pagans and heathens and infidels.
Indeed, an example cited in yesterday's commentary, A Champion for All Ages, is quite pertinent:
A lady was lately told that she should be let out of prison if she would just once allow herself to be seen walking through an Anglican church. She refused. She had come into prison with a sound conscience and would depart with it, or die. In Henry's day [King Henry VIII], the whole kingdom, with all its bishops and learned men, abjured its faith at one word of the tyrant. Be now, in his daughter's days [the daughter was Queen Elizabeth], boys and women boldly profess their faith before the judges and refuse to make the slightest concession even at the threat of death [Father Harold C. Gardiner, Edmund Campion: Hero of God's Underground.]
The lady cited above by Blessed Edmund Campion himself in a letter to Rome was simply carrying on the witness given by the early martyrs themselves, men and women who simply refused to give any appearance of indifferentism and/or approval of false religions and/or their places of false worship. Consider this account of the martyrdom of Placidus (who took the name Eustace at his baptism) contained in Father A. J. O'Reilly's The Martyrs of the Coliseum:
It was one evening during these celebrations, that word was brought to the city that the army of Placidus had arrived, and was already on the Appian Way. A new impulse was given to the rejoicings, and a new triumph and procession were prepared for the victorious army. There is nothing so calculated to excite a people's enthusiasm as the return of its armies from a triumphant campaign. Those who remember the day on which the heroes of the Crimea landed on the shores of England can well picture the veteran armies of Rome entering the capital in triumph. According to custom the Emperor went out to meet the general, and embraced him. As the evening was far advanced, and the sun was already sinking beneath the blue Mediterranean, the Emperor gave orders that the army should encamp outside the walls for the night, in order to enter the city in triumph next morning. Placidus and his family returned with the Emperor to the Palatine, and were entertained at a sumptuous banquet. He gave the Emperor the history of his campaign, and spoke until a late hour of his battles, his conquests, the bravery of his two sons, and the extraordinary discover of his wife and family.
Loud, shrill and cheerful were the trumpet blasts that roused the sleeping army on the following morning. The cup of joy for these poor creatures was full to the brim. They knew of no greater reward for years of hardship and trial, for the scars and wounds which disabled them for life, than the shouts of a brutal and barbarous mob, who hailed them along the road of triumph.
As they poured in through the gates, each of them received a laurel crown, whose freshness and beauty contrasted deeply with the sunburnt features and tattered garments of the veterans. Round their necks and about their persons they carried a profusion of tinsel trinkets, which they took from the conquered people as ornaments for their wives and children. These were waggons drawn by oxen laded with spoils, that made the massive pavements of the Appian Way creak; armour, gold and brass ornaments, wild animals in cages, and everything that could show the habits and manners of the conquered people. The general, together with his wife and two sons, was in a gilt chariot, drawn by four white horses, in the rear of his army. None of the pride and flush of drunken joy that characterised the pagan conqueror was to be seen in the meek countenance of Placidus. All this rejoicing and gorgeous display was to him and his Christian family the funeral pomp that led them to their tomb. The king who, on this death-bed, had himself invested with his crown and royal robes to meet death as a monarch, was a picture of Placidus led in triumph to martyrdom--a tale of emptiness and instability of human greatness, often told in the vicissitudes of history! He was silent and collected; not even the deafening peals of applause from crowds of idle spectators, who made his name ring through the palaces and tombs that bend over the streets from the Capena gate to the Forum, induced him to look up with the smile of joyful approbation. He was well aware that in a few moments his belief in Christianity would be declared, for he could not sacrifice to the gods.
Whilst the procession was moving along, a murmur passed through the crowd. They asked one another where were the victims?--where the captive chiefs?--where the salves usually dragged at the chariot wheels of the conqueror?--where the wailing matrons and daughters of the conquered race to sound the mournful music of triumph? Arrived at the Forum, the procession halted as usual, and the executioners and keepers of the Mamertine prison looked in vain for their victims; it was the first time in the annals of triumph that axes had not bee steeped in the blood of heroes, whose only crime was that they fought bravely for their homes and their countries. They knew nothing of the sublime morality that can forgive an enemy. Placidus pardoned the moment he had conquered, and instead of dragging helpless victims from their country and family, to be immolated to the demons of Rome, he left his name in the traces of his march in love and benediction.
But now the process arrived at the entrance to the Temple of Jupiter. The priests were waiting in their robes, and snow-white oxen, with gilded horns and crowns of flowers, were held by the altar. Immense faggots were blazing in the heart of the temple to consume the victims, and fragrant incense was burning in golden vessels. Placidus and his family descended from their chariot and stepped on one side; they refused to enter; they would not sacrifice.
If an earthquake had shaken the temple to its foundations, or a sudden eclipse had darkened the sun, there could not have been given a greater shock or surprise to the assembled thousands. The news ran like fire in a train of powder through the vast crowd. A deep heavy murmur, like the swell of the troubled deep breaking on its boundaries, rose from the multitudes in the Forum. Indignation and fury were the passions that swayed the mob. The demon of paganism reigned in their hearts; pity, justice and liberty were virtues unknown. From shouts of applause with which they hailed Placidus as the conqueror, the glory of the Empire, and the beloved of the martial god, they know hooted him with groans and hisses; and loudly from the gilded temples of the Capitol were echoed the terrible cries of "Death to the Christians!"--"Away with the Christians!" But the hour of another and grander triumph had come for our hero. Let us hurry through the dark picture of cruelty and ingratitude that closed his career on this side of the grave, to usher in the triumph that was to last for ever.
The noble general and his family were brought before the Emperor. Was Adrian glad to have Placidus brought before him as a criminal? Doubtless he looked with a jealous eye on the glory, popularity and real triumph of one who, a few months before, was his equal as a commander of the army, and his acknowledged superior in skill and attainments, whilst his own triumph was but a mockery--the borrowed plumes of a deceased hero, whose panegyric he reluctantly preached from the chariot of triumph. Moreover, weak-minded and servile, he must have rejoiced in an opportunity of pandering to the depraved taste of a cruel and brutal mob, who were accustomed to look on all authority as usurpation and oppression, and who hated Christianity with satanic virulence. Like Trajan, he determined to prove his piety towards the gods by the public execution of the greatest man in the Empire. He received the old chief in the Temple of Apollo, and in a prepared speech, pretended what he never felt--sympathy for his folly. When asked by the haughty Adrian why he would not sacrifice to the gods, Placidus answered, bravely and fearlessly, "I am a Christian, and adore only the true God."
"Whence comes this infatuation?" asked the Emperor, quickly. "Why lose all the glory of the triumph, and bring the grey hairs to shame? Dost thou not know that I have the power to put thee to a miserable death?"
Placidus meekly replied: "My body is in your power, but my soul belongs to Him who created it. Never shall I forget the mercy He has down me in calling me to the knowledge of Himself, and I rejoice to be able to suffer for Him. You may command me to lead your legions against the enemies of the Empire, but never will I offer sacrifice to any other god than the One great and powerful God who created all thins, stretched out the heavens in their glory, decked the earth in its beauty, and created man to serve Him; He alone is worthy of sacrifice; all other gods are but demons who deceive men."
So also answered his wife and two sons. They bantered the Emperor himself for his folly in worshipping senseless pieces of marble and wood. In vain did Adrian try promises and threats, and all the silly arguments which were used in the defense of paganism. The faithful family were inflexible; the eloquence of Placidus was simple, but powerful and earnest; and the palpable defeat of Adrian in his attempt to reason with one gifted with the eloquence promised to those dragged before earthly tribunals, roused his pride and his cruelty, and the desire of revenge. the Coliseum stood but a few paces from them; the games were going on; the criminals and slaves of the Empire were the daily victims of its amusements. The condemnation of Placidus would be a stroke of policy to enhance the prosperity of his reign; it was the fullest gratification of the cruel passions of jealousy and revenge which the demon had stirred up in his heart; he ordered the Christian general and his family to be exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre. [Father A. J. O'Reilly, The Martyrs of the Coliseum, pp. 105-109.]
Father O'Reilly's narrative later describes the scene of the martyrdom of Saint Eustace and his family:
No nation could be sunk more deeply in idolatry, sensuality and vices than the great Empire whose capital has been considered the Babylon of impiety spoken o fin The Apocalypse. "Our wrestling," says St. Paul, "is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Eph. vi. 12). It was not in an amphitheatre stained with the blood of wild beasts and gladiators, and filled with an exited and unfeeling crowd, that the voice of pity or reason could be heard; the impatient clamours of the multitude denounced the Christians as the enemies of the gods and men, and the public condemnation of the Christian general had already rung loudly and repeatedly through the benches of the Coliseum. The coming of the Emperor was announced, the buzz of conversation was hushed, and all eyes were turned towards the entrance on the side of the Esquiline, which was specially reserved for the royal cortege. As soon as he entered the amphitheatre, all rose; the lictors lowered their fasces, and the senators and vestals bowed profoundly. Shouts of "great," "immortal, "divine," resounded from every seat. The crowd of spectators was nothing more than an assembly of miscreant slaves, who trembled at the beck of their rulers. Although the spectators of the Coliseum frequently hated the Emperor as an oppressor and a tyrant, yet, i the wild frenzy of fear, they cried out with lying tongues that he alone was great and powerful. He carried a sceptre of ivory, surrounded with a golden eagle, and a slave followed, bearing over his head a crown of solid gold and precious stones. As soon as he was seated, the shrill blast of a trumpet called for silence and the commencement of the games. After the process of the unfortunate wretches who were to take part in the cruel sport of that day's programme and the sham fight of the gladiators, it was usual to commence with sports of agility and skill, but on this day the order was changed. The crowd called for the condemnation of the Christians, and the Emperor gave the order that Placidus and his family be exposed to the wild beasts.
They were led into the arena in chains. They were silent and rapt in prayer. The editor of the games asked them again to sacrifice to the gods, they refused. The keepers were told to let in some wild beasts to devour them. A death-like stillness reigned around. Every one was struck with their fortitude; no screams of terror, no trembling, no supplications for mercy, no heart-rending and frantic farewells; all was calm and tranquil; they awaited on bended knees with majestic resignation their awful doom. The iron doors of the subterranean keeps grated on their hinges; two lions and four bears rushed into the arena.
They would not touch the martyrs but gambolled around them; one of the lions endeavoured to get his head under the feet of Placidus; the saint permitted it, and a more beautiful or thrilling sight was never seen in the arena of the Coliseum. The king of the forest voluntarily put himself under the foot of the unarmed old man, and crouched down as if with fear and reverence. "Goad the animals!" should the enraged Emperor to the keepers. "Goad them on!" "Make them devour!" rang from every tier, from the senators, the vestals, and the maddened populace of the upper circles; but the animals turned on their keepers, and drove them from the arena. Other animals were called for, but they only served to enhance the sense of triumph, and respectfully licked the feet of their intended victims. He who made use of an animal to bring Placidus to the light of faith, and afterwards to be the instruments of his trial and his sorrow, now made them declare His love and protection over His servants.
The indignation and shame of the pagan Emperor was roused to the highest pitch; his impotent rage and natural cruelty broke forth, and to gratify his brutal passion, he commanded the martyrs to be placed in the bronze bull, and to be consumed by a slow fire. This was a horrible instrument of torture and execution used for the persecution of the Christians. It was made in the shape of a bull, and could hold several persons at the same time in its hollow womb; when fire was applied beneath, it became an oven, and it is not difficult to imagine the excruciating torture a slow fire must have caused to its living victims. We find from several authorities that this dreadful instrument of execution was in use both before and long after the time of Adrian, and thus many martyrs were put to death.
In this way Placidus and his family received their crown. Almighty God wished to show it was His will, and not the commands of the Emperor, or the instruments of torture that deprived his servants of life, by performing a great miracle. After three days the bodies of the Saints were taken out in the presence of the Emperor; no trace of fire was to be seen upon them; they exhaled a beautiful odour, and seemed to be lying in a sweet sleep. Their relics were laid on the ground for several days, and the whole city rushed to see the wonder. As Almighty God does nothing in vain, many were converted by this miracle, and became fervent Christians. The bodies of the glorious martyrs were stolen by the Christians, and were afterwards buried, together with the brazen bull in which they suffered, on the spot where their martyrdom took place. A beautiful church sprung up in the very earliest ages of Christianity over the shrine of Eustachius and his family. That divine institution which spreads its maternal wings over every sacred deposit left in her bosom has preserved with scrupulous care the shrines and relics of the heroes of the past. In the very heart of modern Rome there now stands a favourite church, which has been rebuilt and repaired several times in the past fifteen hundred years, and still commemorates the name and preserves the relics of the brave and virtuous Placidus. In the same urn lie the hallowed remains of his faithful spouse and children, awaiting the trumpet call of the angel of the last day.
They would not touch the martyrs but gambolled around them; one of the lions endeavored to get his head under the food of Placidus; the saint permitted it, and a more beautiful or thrilling sight was never seen in the arena of the Coliseum.
The Bollandists enter into a long and learned discussion concerning the authenticity of the Acts of Eustachius, which they give in the original Greek version. Although in the above narrative we have endeavored the avoid the monotony of isolated facts, and have cast around the romantic history of this great Saint an imaginary dress, yet we have substantially adhered to the facts given in the Acts. The obscurity and doubt which the lapse of seventeen centuries, and the extraordinary character of the facts recorded, must necessarily make us hesitate to declare this strange story an incontestable fact. Yet it seems to stand the test of the strictest examination. Some of the oldest and most remarkable Martyrology mention his extraordinary conversion through a stag, and his martyrdom in the brazen bull. St. John Damascene quotes the history of Eustachius in a sermon in preached in A.D. 734. Tradition points out the very spot in the apennines where this extraordinary vision took place. A small chapel was built there in the fourth century, supposed to have been erected by the order of Constantine, whose first care, after his conversion and triumph, was to dedicated and preserve the shrines of the early Church. A rude mosaic of the fourth century, representing a stag, with a figure between its horns, and other events in the life of Eustachius, was removed from this little church, and is still preserved in the Kircherian Collection. The learned and trustworthy Baronius, after a close examination of the Acts, can only use those words ("We think, however, many things have been added to them."). The Bollandists, however, seem to learn to their probability.
It is useless and absurd to ask why Almighty God used these extraordinary means for the conversion of Placidus. There are enigmas in the dispensation of the divine favours that can be solved only by the illuminated intelligence of the beatified vision. You may as well ask why St. Paul was converted on the road to Damascus and not in the city, and why made a vessel of election before so many others more deserving? Why did our Blessed Lord perform one of His greatest miracles with clay moistened with spittle? Why did he make a poor, simple fisherman the head of his Church? There are things written in the sacred records of revelation more extraordinary than anything in the above narrative. Around us, in every moment of our existence, and in every portion of the Church of God, there are supernatural interpositions of mercy and love--miracles if you wish to call them--that no human intelligence can understand. It is the height of pride, and the first mark of infidelity, to scoff at the works of God because they appear strange.
Who shall set limits to the power or the love of God? He who has not the humility and simplicity of faith. Although we are not bound under pain of anathema to accept all that is recorded in the lives of the Saints, yet we are not prepared to say that they are nothing but romances and idle tales. But some of them are, you will add. It may be so, but it is difficult to name them. The moment you come to examine any one of those strange lives that the Church has put under the seal of her recommendation, you are driven back with a storm of proofs and authority that make you ashamed of your doubt. We have tried it, and we speak from experience; there is no fair and honest student of history who will not acknowledge the same. But there are many ignorant and conceited persons in the world, who look at everything through the coloured glasses of prejudice; all that is strange, consoling, or terrific in the sacred annals of the past are to them but glimpses from the regions of fancy, and are condemned with the smile of sarcasm; their faith, their past, and their future, is nought but tinsel, shadow and unreality.*
*We can scarcely give the reader a better proof of the authenticity of these Acts than by referring him to the sanction given by the Church; for in the oldest editions of the Roman Breviary, the lessons for the feast of the 20th of September give this strange tale in an abbreviated form. [O'Reilly, pp. 114-119.]
Saint Eustace and wife and two sons refused to enter a "temple" to worship false gods. This is the authentic patrimony of the Catholic Church, not the aberrations of two conciliar popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, entering the temples of the Talmud and the Koran to express their admiration for two different false religions, to stand by as prayers are offered to false gods, to even venerate the Koran, as in the case of John Paul II, and to face Mecca and to cross one's arms in a gesture of "fraternity, as in the case of Benedict XVI. Oh, as Father O'Reilly notes in his narrative above, "modern" man is quick to discount the "fables" of the past, intent on inventing his own fables in order to justify his immersion in novelty and abomination. The plain truth of the matter, however, is that the Catholic Church could not have been wrong for, say, nearly fifteen or sixteen or seventeen centuries in venerating the saints who refused to give the remotest appearance of religious indifferentism, no less veneration of false religions and their false gods.
It is indeed very ironic that the lives of the martyrs who refused to give the appearance of religious indifferentism and who refused to venerate false gods and/or make sacrifice to the idols are disputed, if not entirely discounted, by the conciliarists. Merry old Angelo Roncalli suppressed the cult of Saint Philomena in 1961. Just a legend, you understand. Pope Gregory XVI had it wrong. Pope Leo XIII had it wrong. Pope Saint Pius X had it wrong when he said the following in 1912:
To discredit the present decisions and declarations concerning Saint Philomena as not being permanent, stable, valid and effective, necessary of obedience, and in full-effect for all eternity, proceeds from an element that is null and void and without merit or authority.
This should tell one something about the way in which John XXIII had receded from the Catholic Faith. Yes, the man who told Roger Schutz that the Church was "increasing in ever widening concentric circles" and that he, Schutz, a Protestant who never converted to the Faith, "was in" should have contempt for Pope Saint Pius X's reaffirmation of the cult of Saint Philomena comes as no wonder. The very men who gave us the Second Vatican Council and those who followed them in its further institutionalization have shown endless contempt for the Catholic past while they show special solicitude for Protestants, Talmudic Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists, Hindus, animists and other assorted false religions. No pope prior to the dawn of conciliarism would have dreamed of going into a synagogue or a mosque, no less say nothing to the adherents of the Talmud or the Koran that they had to convert to the true Faith to be saved, as he know that to do so would offend God, scandalize the faithful, and reaffirm adherents of false religions in their false religions.
Father O'Reilly's The Martyrs of the Coliseum tells the story of Pope Saint Stephen I, a pontiff who fortified Catholics for the persecution that would come their way for refusing to give any credence to the idols of the Roman Empire:
While Valerian was prosecuting his horrible and impure studies in magic, the Christians were aware of the change that had come over his character, and prepared themselves for the impending storm. The Catacombs were opened again, and provisions were brought to those dreary abodes of the dead; the altar and the tabernacle were shorn of their ornaments, and the dread mysteries were celebrated once more by the tombs of the martyrs in the gloomy passages under ground. The catechumens were all baptized, and the faithful were exhorted and fortified by frequent Communion and unceasing prayer. Valerian showed by many signs his altered feelings towards the Christians, and whilst he was premeditating a dreadful carnage of the followers of Christ, an heroic act of zeal and courage by one of the domestics of the palace roused the latent fire of his cruel and perverted heart, and unsheathed the sword for the bloodshed of thousands.
One day a poor woman was seen weeping and distracted with grief outside the gates of the royal palace. A Christian servant of the household was passing, and learned that she was robbed of her child by the Emperor, and she knew they were cutting it to pieces inside. The Christian went to the apartments of the Emperor, and found him with the impious Macrian bending over the lifeless body of a beautiful infant; their hands were stained with blood; they looked more like furies than men. Roused to holy indignation at the dreadful sight, the fearless servant of God reproved the Emperor for his impiety. She threatened him with the judgments of the Eternal God, and made him tremble at the terrible retribution that hangs over the murderer and the oppressor of the poor; but the spirit of evil had already taken possession of the wretched Valerian; the language of reproof grated harshly on his haughty soul, and bursting into rage, he ordered the lictors to remove and torture the Christian that dared to correct him. In the same breath in which he condemned his first martyr, he ordered the bronze plates that announced the decrees of persecution and bloodshed to be hung from the walls of the Capitol and the columns of the Forum.
Pope Stephen called his trembling flock around him, and exhorted them to martyrdom; by holy admonitions and by love of sacred writ he imbued their minds with sentiments of pious confidence. Amongst other things, say the Acts of the martyrdom of this holy Pontiff, which we quote from Baronius (A.D. 259) he addressed them in these words: "My beloved little children, listen to me a sinner, While there is yet time, let us be instant in good works, and that not only to our neighbours, but to ourselves; and, in the first place, let me admonish each one to take up his cross and follow our Lord Jesus Christ, who has vouchsafed to say to us, 'He that loves his life shall lose it, but she that loses his life for my sake shall find it in eternity.' Wherefore, I beseech you all to be most solicitous, not only for your own, but for your neighbours' salvation, so that if any among you have friends or relations still in heathenism, let him hasten to conduct them hither to receive baptism at our hands." [O'Reilly, pp. 270-272.]
No conciliar spoke has spoken thus in "mixed" company, has he? None have because each has receded from the Faith in more than a slight manner, to paraphrase Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1894. The thought of speaking as Pope Saint Stephen I did enters not into their Modernist-soaked minds. This would be to engage in "proselytism" and would violate the precepts of "religious liberty." If, however, "proselytism" is such a terrible action, it must be asked why the first pope, Saint Peter, saw it as his duty to convert the Jews gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost Sunday? If "religious liberty" is such a virtue, why, then, did pope after pope prior to 1958 not only refused to recognize this "virtue" but actually condemned it in no uncertain terms? The answer is simple: the conciliar church is an apostate, counterfeit entity. It wants nothing to do with the witness given by Pope Saint Stephen I to Valerian himself:
After some days, special edicts were issued for the apprehension and punishment of Stephen and the clergy of the Roman Church. Twelve of the latter were immediately seized and put to death without any hearing. Amongst them was that venerable priest named Bonus, or the Good, who had made that glorious declaration when the clergy were addressed in the Catacombs by Pope Stephen. Their bodies were collected, and laid near those of two other holy martyrs in a crypt near the Via Latina, by Tertullian, freedman of Olympius. On learning this, the blessed Stephen sent for Tertullian, and having instructed him regarding the kingdom of God and life eternal, baptized him, and gave him in charge, while yet in his white robes, to a priest, who specially enjoined him to seek out the bodies of the holy martyrs. After two days, he was taken and brought before Valerian, by whom he was interrogated as to the property of Olympius; and having answered, and sustained every species of torture with heroic constancy, he was finally beheaded at the second milestone on the Via Latina. His remains were collected by the blessed Stephen and interred in the same crypt.
The next day soldiers were sent to seize Stephen, and the clergy who were with him; and when they had led him into the presence of Valerian, the Emperor said : "Is it your who are endeavouring to overthrow the Republic, and by your persuasion to induce the people to abandon the worship of the gods?"
To which Stephen replied: "I indeed do not overthrow the Republic; but I admonish and exhort the people that, forsaking the demons whom they worship in their idols, they would pay homage to the true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent." Then Valerian commanded him to be led to the Temple of Mars, where his sentence was to be read from the tablets.
Blessed Stephen, being led out of the city on the Via Appia, when he had come to the Temple of Mars, said, lifting his eyes to heaven: "Lord God and Father, who didst destroy the tower of confusion at Babel, destroy this place in which the devil deceives people to superstition." It then began to thunder; and the lightning flashes struck the temple, which in part fell to the ground. The soldiers having fled, Stephen, who remained alone, went with his attendant priests and deacons to the neighbouring cemetery of Lucina, where encouraged the Christians to martyrdom by many exhortations. After this, he offered sacrifice to the Omnipotent God. The soldiers who were sent in pursuit, found in him the act of celebrating mass; but, without being terrified, he continued intrepidly the mysteries which he had commenced until they struck off his head as he sat in the pontifical chair before the altar, on the 4th of the Nones of August. Great were the lamentations made by the Christians at having been deprived of so great a pastor, and they interred his body, which the chair drenched with his blood, in the same crypt, in the place called the cemetery of Callistus. (See Baronius, An. 260.) [O'Reilly, pp. 284-285.]
No conciliar pope is calling for the abandonment of the worship of false gods. None has done so when face-to-face with adherents of false religions. None has had the courage to speak of Mohammedanism as Hillaire Belloc did in his The Great Heresies:
Mohammed did not merely take the first steps toward that denial, as the Arians and their followers had done; he advanced a clear affirmation, full and complete, against the whole doctrine of an incarnate God. He taught that Our Lord was the greatest of all the prophets, but still only a prophet: a man like other men. He eliminated the Trinity altogether.
With that denial of the Incarnation went the whole sacramental structure. He refused to know anything of the Eucharist, with its Real Presence; he stopped the sacrifice of the Mass, and therefore the institution of a special priesthood. In other words, he, like so many other lesser heresiarchs, founded his heresy on simplification.
Catholic doctrine was true (he seemed to say), but it had become encumbered with false accretions; it had become complicated by needless man-made additions, including the idea that its founder was Divine, and the growth of a parasitical caste of priests who battened on a late, imagined, system of Sacraments which they alone could administer. All those corrupt accretions must be swept away.
There is thus a very great deal in common between the enthusiasm with which Mohammed's teaching attacked the priesthood, the Mass and the sacraments, and the enthusiasm with which Calvinism, the central motive force of the Reformation, did the same. As we all know, the new teaching relaxed the marriage laws--but in practice this did not affect the mass of his followers who still remained monogamous. It made divorce as easy as possible, for the sacramental idea of marriage disappeared. It insisted upon the equality of men, and it necessarily had that further factor in which it resembled Calvinism--the sense of predestination, the sense of fate; of what the followers of John Knox were always calling "the immutable decrees of God."
Mohammed's teaching never developed among the mass of his followers, or in his own mind, a detailed theology. He was content to accept all that appealed to him in the Catholic scheme and to reject all that seemed to him, and to so many others of his time, too complicated or mysterious to be true. Simplicity was the note of the whole affair; and since all heresies draw their strength from some true doctrine, Mohammedanism drew its strength from the true Catholic doctrines which it retained: the equality of all men before God--"All true believers are brothers." It zealously preached and throve on the paramount claims of justice, social and economic.
Mohammedanism is, therefore, the sower of both personal and social destruction, presaging the Protestant Revolt in many remarkable aspects, as Belloc relates above. To assert with a straight face that a Mohammedan is going to sit down and discuss the conciliarist concept of "religious liberty," which has been condemned repeatedly throughout the history of the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council is to imagine the scene of a bored Mohammedan imam listening with contempt to Benedict's repeated calls for "tolerance" and "peaceful coexistence" (Nikita Khrushchev, call your office) with the same facial expression as Harrison Ford conveyed in one of the opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Remember? Indiana Jones looked on with disdain as a Mohammedan wielded a machete repeatedly before he, holding a rope, which the machete-wielding infidel thought was his only weapon, simply took a gun out of his jacket and shot the Mohammedan to death. No self-respect Mohammedan is going to negotiate away what his false religion has been winning by procreation (as the West contracepts itself to extinction, both spiritually and demographically) what it lost in battle in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.
Mohammedans have far more integrity than do conciliarist Catholics. Mohammedans are not going to concede their religious convictions in a "dialogue." Conciliarist Catholics, however, are more than willing to let falsehoods be placed on a level of equality with the true Faith, thus paving the way for the takeover of formerly Catholic countries by the very infidels who were stopped at the Gates of Vienna in 1683 by Jan Sobieski. Indeed, we need the spirit of Jan Sobieski today, not the sniveling cowardice and practical indifferentism bred by conciliarism's heresy of ecumenism.The capital of Austria, Vienna, would be Mohammedan today if a Catholic hero from Poland had not met the threat of Mohammedan invasion with armed force, not with "dialogue" and a respect for the "rights" of Mohammedans to propagate their false, demonic religion.
Instead, however, Benedict believes his overtures to the Mohammedans will win him their respect, that it is possible to find "paths to peace" as a press report on his violation of the First Commandment on the Feast of Saint Andrew noted:
As he [Benedict] left the mosque after about half an hour, visibly delighted, the 79-year-old pontiff said: "This visit will help us find together the means and paths to peace, for the good of humanity." (
Some will protest that Benedict, like John Paul II before when he was "surprised" by the presentation of a copy of the Koran for him to venerate, acted "spontaneously" so as not to offend his hosts, that he "couldn't have known" he would have been asked to turn in the direction of Mecca or to cross his arms in the "posture of tranquility." Such delusional thinking is reminiscent of the line uttered by Burt Lancaster's Ernst Janning character in Judgment at Nuremburg. Protesting to Judge Dan Haywood, played by Spencer Tracy, that he, Janning, a German judge who sold out to the Nazis and sentenced innocent people to death, said, "You've got to believe me, Judge. I didn't know it would come to this." Judge Haywood responded by saying: "Herr Janning, you knew it would come to this the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent." The conciliar popes cannot plead ignorance or being victims of the "elements of surprise" then the very diabolical enterprise that they have embraced and institutionalized, ecumenism, places them in situations where no legitimate Catholic pontiff would have ever placed himself voluntarily, acting in ways that the martyrs saw as opportunities to bear a heroic witness to the Faith, not as a means of "reaching out" to worshipers of false gods in order to find "paths to peace."
The proclivity to enter houses of false worship in and of itself shows just how far the conciliar popes have receded from the Catholic Faith. The belief that there is any path to peace other than the conversion of all men and nations to the Catholic Faith shows just how far the conciliar popes have receded from the Catholic Faith. As I have noted endlessly in the past five or six years, no conciliar pope dares speak in the clearly, unapologetically Catholic terms about peace as did the true popes of the past. Take, for example, Pope Pius XI, writing in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace.
The loss of the sensus Catholicus is astounding. We must take refuge from the rot of the counterfeit church in the catacombs of our own day, caring not for what this costs us in human respect or financial security. We must flee from men who care not to convert the souls of pagans and heathens an infidels and schismatics and heretics. We must flee from men who defy the anathemas imposed by dogmatic councils and legitimate pontiffs. We must take refuge in the catacombs as we entrust ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Consider this prayer, based upon the promised made by Our Lord to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, which was used at Queen of the Holy Rosary Traditional Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona, last evening before a First Friday Votive Mass in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thee to adore Thee, to praise Thee, to thank Thee, to repair our pat offenses and to consecrate ourselves to Thy Love.
Remembering thy Divine promises and those of Thy most Immaculate Mother, we say to Thee with the utmost confidence:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, give us all the graces necessary in our state of life: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, establish peace in our homes: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, comfort us in all our afflictions: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, be our secure refuge during life, and above all in death: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, bestow abundant blessings upon all our undertakings: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, may sinners find in Thy Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, may tepid souls become fervent: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, may fervent souls quickly mount to high perfection: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, bless every place in which an image of Thy Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is exposed and honored: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, write in Thy Heart, never to be effaced, the names of those who promote devotion Thy Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, grant to those who go to Communion on the first Friday in nine consecutive months, and to those who make the five first Saturdays, the grace of final penitence; grant that they shall not die in Thy disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, reign in spite of Satan and of all of the efforts of Thy enemies: Lord, Thou hast made us this promise.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place in Thee all our confidence, fearing all thins of our weakness and hoping all things in Thy kindness. Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, be the sole Object of our love, the Protector of our life, the Support of our weakness, the Remedy of our inconsistency, the Repairer of all our sins, the Assurance of our salvation and our sure Refuge in the hour of death. Amen.
As we pray Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary this First Saturday, on which day Advent and the new liturgical year begin with First Vespers this evening, may we keep in mind how we must make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. None of us is free from blame for the problems that beset us, ecclesiastically and civilly, today. We must not only flee from conciliarism. No, we must pray for the graces won for us by the shedding of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, to build up the Kingdom of Christ the King in our own hearts and souls, in our own families, in our own parishes or chapels.
We have no control over what the apostates in the conciliar church do in Mohammedan mosques. We have every control over how we live out the Supernatural Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity in our own lives, praying for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying with confidence and without ceasing for that glorious day when all men and all nations will find themselves under the sweet yoke of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Good Success, 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 Andrew, pray for us.
Saint Bibiana, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Chrysologus, pray for us.
Saint Barbara, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas, 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 Gerard Majella, 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 Eustace and Family, pray for us.
Pope Saint Stephen I, 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 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.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, 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 arm 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.