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Saturday, October 21, 2017
St. Ursula and Companions
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From Catholic Online in honor of today's Commemoration of St. Ursula in the Liturgy:
According to a legend that appeared in the tenth century, Ursula was the daughter of a Christian king in Britain and was granted a three year postponement of a marriage she did not wish, to a pagan prince. With ten ladies in waiting, each attended by a thousand maidens, she embarked on a voyage across the North sea, sailed up the Rhine to Basle, Switzerland, and then went to Rome.  
On their way back, they were all massacred by pagan Huns at Cologne in about 451 when Ursula refused to marry their chieftain. According to another legend, Amorica was settled by British colonizers and soldiers after Emporer Magnus Clemens Maximus conquered Britain and Gaul in 383. The ruler of the settlers, Cynan Meiriadog, called on King Dionotus of Cornwall for wives for the settlers, whereupon Dionotus sent his daughter Ursula, who was to marry Cynan, with eleven thousand maidens and sixty thousand common women.  
Their fleet was shipwrecked and all the women were enslaved or murdered. The legends are pious fictions, but what is true is that one Clematius, a senator, rebuilt a basilica in Cologne that had originally been built, probably at the beginning of the fourth century, to honor a group of virgins who had been martyred at Cologne. They were evidently venerated enough to have had a church built in their honor, but who they were and how many of them there were, are unknown.  
From these meager facts, the legend of Ursula grew and developed. 
Collect:

O Lord our God, grant that we may always honor the victories of Your blessed virgin martyrs Ursula and her companions. Although we are unable to pay them the honor that is due, may we at least offer them our humble tribute. Through our Lord . . .
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Monday, October 16, 2017
Purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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October 16th is the Feast of the Purity Of The Blessed Virgin Mary in Some Places.  

This Feastday is kept by various religious orders in the Church as it is one of the Masses Said in Some Places.  While not on the Universal Tridentine Calendar, it nevertheless is worthy of our devotion on this day.

The following is taken from Our Lady's Feastdays by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D:
1. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Virgin most pure because you are the Immaculate Conception. The closer a soul is to God, the farther it is from sin. God is infinite good; sin, horrible evil. No one could have had a closer approach to God than you, for it is impossible for any creature to be closer to God's Son than His own Mother. From eternity, before anything was, you were united to your Son in the mind of God as His most pure Mother. When God decreed the incarnation of the Word, His very own Son, through you alone, you had a place in the same plan as Jesus. Since the conception of the Son of God is all holy, all pure, infinitely removed from every appearance of sin, it was supremely fitting that your conception should be equally far from sin. For that reason you were conceived by your mother, Saint Anne, without even the shadow of sin. You are the Virgin most pure. 
Because you were to be the Mother of God, original sin, which like all Eve's daughters you should have contracted, could not touch you. Such a stain would have reflected upon your Son, who is Holiness itself. Then Satan could boast that he had overcome Jesus in you, His Mother. You are pure and sinless. You expressed this to Saint Bernadette at Lourdes when you said, "I am the Immaculate Conception." 
Mary, My Mother, there is no sin in you; in you there is only God's grace—His light, His splendor, His love, His unspeakable delight. You are truly His beloved Daughter, the only one in whom there was never a stain. With you all is pure, virginal, immaculate In you there is no inclination to evil—no impure thoughts or desires. You are God's purest and holiest creature, the one chosen to conceive and bear the Son of God. Who would not love you and endeavor to imitate you, most beautiful and immaculate Mother of God? 
2. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Virgin most pure because you are full of grace. You are the most beautiful of creatures, the one in whom there is no spot, God's masterpiece. You are full of grace, the Lord's free gift, and it overflows in you filling your soul with every virtue and perfection. What marvels of grace possessed your soul! Sanctifying grace made you God's adopted child and the lawful heir to His eternal kingdom, putting you in possession of God's goods and of God Himself forever. That grace made you holy and most pleasing in God's eyes, the special object of His love. Sanctifying grace likened you to God as it did no other pure creature. Because you were full of God's grace and a Virgin most pure, Gabriel could exclaim, "You have found grace with God." No one has found or received such grace as you. 
But who can describe the matchless purity and beauty of your soul? Jesus is the most beautiful of men; you were His mould, His mirror, and He, yours. Your soul contained all the marvels of God's grace, for which reason the Church calls you the Singular Vessel of Devotion. 
Mary, My Mother, you are all beautiful—beautiful in mind, in body, in soul! In you I behold the charm of the purest of virgins, the majesty of the noblest of mothers. You are beautiful at your presentation in the temple; in prayer before Gabriel as he awaited your answer, in Nazareth's hidden life and later as you followed Jesus and listened to Wisdom speak. You were beautiful when you stood as the brave Queen of Martyrs beneath the cross of your dying Son; in the supper room beneath the fiery tongues of the Divine Spirit; beautiful, above all, in the glory in which you reign with Jesus. If a single soul in the state of grace by far excels in beauty all other earthly beauty, what beauty must you possess, Virgin most pure, who surpassed in holiness all other souls in the state of grace! 
3. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Virgin most pure because you are the holiest of God's creatures. You are the holiest of God's creatures because you are the Mother of God. The Prophet tells us that God is "wonderful in His saints" (Ps. 67, 36). How wonderful, then, He must be in the Mother of the Saint of saints! In you, to an eminent degree, all the privileges of other saints meet. The Church venerates many holy virgins, martyrs and other saints, but no one of them has merited or obtained your title of Holy Virgin, Virgin most pure. Whatever of sanctity, of dignity, of merit, of grace and of glory, that we can imagine, all is in you. 
Holiness is a complete separation from creatures and perfect union with God through love. No one ever belonged to Jesus as completely as you, for you are His Mother. Jesus belonged entirely to you, the holiest among women. Your womb was so pure, so immaculate that it became the Holy of Holies, in which Jesus Christ our Lord, the Eternal High Priest, alone found entrance. 
Mary, My Mother, God raised you so high in Himself that He never has created and never will create a holier person more worthy of Himself, of His greatness, of His love, than you, O Virgin most pure. Having carried within you Jesus Christ, the Son of God, you share, as no one else does, in your divine Son's holiness and purity. You come nearest to the holiness of God. 
You are the holiest of women, the Virgin-Mother thrice holy, because you are holy of the Father, holy of the Son, holy of the Holy Spirit of Love. Hence with Holy Church I repeat, "You are all fair, Mary, and the stain of original sin is not in you. You are the Glory of Jerusalem; you are the Joy of Israel; you are the Honor of our people."
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Friday, October 13, 2017
100 Year Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun
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With over 70,000 witnesses, the Miracle of the Sun is the greatest miracle that has occurred after Apostolic Times.  It is life changing.  May we all immediately change our lives to conform with the message of Our Lady of Fatima before it is too late.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017
St. Padre Pio on Guardian Angels
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"Your Guardian Angel was one of those great warriors who, together with the Angel Saint Michael, defended the honour of God against Satan.  He is still powerful against the devil...and his charity has not diminished, nor will he ever fail in defending us.  Develop the beautiful habit of always thinking of him; that near us is a celestial spirit, who, from the cradle to the tomb, does not leave us for an instant, guides us, protects us as a friend, a brother; will always be a consolation to us especially in our saddest moments.

"Know, my child, that this good Angel prays for you; offers to God all the good works you accomplish; your holy and pure desires. In the hours when you seem to be alone and abandoned, do not complain of not having a friendly soul to whom you can unburden yourself and in whom you can confide your sorrows. For pity's sake, do not forget this invisible companion, always present to listen to you; always ready to console you."

~ St. Padre Pio
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The Detestable and Abominable Practice of Cremation
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A fitting reminder in this sermon on cremation.  For my past article on cremation, see Why Cremation is Not Permitted for Catholics


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Monday, October 2, 2017
St Ignatius of Antioch on the Life of A Christian
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Strong words from St. Ignatius of Antioch.

"Just beg for me the courage and endurance not only to speak but also to will what is right, so that I may not only be called a Christian, but prove to be one. For if I prove myself to be a Christian by martyrdom, then people will call me one, and my loyalty to Christ will be apparent when the world sees me no more. ... Our task is not one of producing persuasive propaganda; Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world."
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Sunday, October 1, 2017
Pastoral Care Commands a Return of the Old Mass
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Guest Post by David Martin

With the ensuing eclipse of the Faith ever enshrouding the Church in darkness, enough cannot be done to push for a return of the Traditional Latin Mass, since this is the eternal torch that led the way through the centuries with generation after generation of sanctified fruits. (Mt. 7:20)

Unfortunately, some today see the old Mass as a specialty item or nostalgia piece, forgetting that it was the essential center-piece that Christ gave his Church for the preservation of its doctrine and unity. God's vision for the Church was that it be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, and that it be bonded by one universal language and rite.

Hence a universal return of the Latin Mass would be a powerful means of restoring unity to the Church against the influence of the new Mass which has divided the Church since Vatican II. For with the Mass said today in the language of each country (vernacular), this has fostered the idea that the Church is something that is secular and divided, as opposed to holy and universal, so a return of Latin is needed to help bring about a true unity as it existed before the Council.

However, the tables will never completely be turned back in the right direction unless Rome reverses what was the single most destructive innovation implemented after Vatican II, and that was when they turned the priest around so that he says the Mass facing the people with his back to the tabernacle. (versus populum) What has ensued is a historic shift of focus such that the emphasis today is on the community instead of on God.

This detriment is cited by acclaimed liturgist Monsignor Klaus Gamber, whom Pope Benedict while a cardinal proclaimed as a prophet for our time: "We must draw the necessary conclusion and admit that the celebration facing the people is, in fact, an error. In the final analysis, celebration facing the people is a turning towards man, and away from God."  (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, 1993)

Fr. Gamber speaks a pure sentence. The Faithful today have been taken up with all manner of distraction and adulterated teachings (e.g. Amoris Laetita), the reason being Christ is no longer central before the public eye, so the old Mass is needed to pull the faithful back into focus. Christ needs to be lifted up in center-view before the Church so that the Mystical Body can be healed of the many serpentine bites that now afflict it. (Numbers 21:9, John 3:14)

Such a renewal is only Magisterial. The offering of Mass facing the altar (ad orientem) has its roots in the Old Testament and has been the universal norm for the entire span of the New Testament. The Old Testament offerings facing the tabernacle were a figure of Christ’s Sacrifice that would continue perpetually in this manner through the priests, so that since the time of Christ there is no evidence of the Church having deviated from this pattern.

This point is affirmed by Monsignor Gamber: "We can say and convincingly demonstrate that neither in the Eastern nor the Western Church was there ever a celebration facing the people." (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy) Even from the time of Abel to the time of Pope Paul VI, the sacrificial offering was always done facing God.

Vatican II marked the first time ever that priests were asked to depart from this age-old pattern. The September 26, 1964, Instruction on the Liturgy, Inter Oecumenici, now ruled that "The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit walking around it and celebration facing the people." (Article 91)

This one change alone served mightily to deflect the Barque from its chartered course. This was the hub that set into motion the new order of liturgical chaos that has caused a wide body of the church to turn its back on Christ. Though some initially thought the liturgical reform was inspired of God, 1 the Novus Ordo was born of an aversion for God's goodness and a desire to "turn towards man, and away from God."

It was for reason that Pope Paul VI, in recounting the destructive aftermath of Vatican II, declared to the world: "From some fissure the smoke of satan entered into the temple of God." (June 29, 1972) The adversary knew that if he could get his foot in the door, he could use the Church’s liturgical apparatus as a tiller to drive the Church shipwreck onto secular coasts.

Monsignor Gamber, whose work was highly praised by Cardinal Ratzinger, had this to say about the change of liturgy: "The liturgical reform welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions, a debacle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped-for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests."

Cardinal Ratzinger himself had this to say: "What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it—as in a manufacturing process—with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product." (From his preface to The Reform of the Roman Liturgy)

Cardinal Ottaviani, who was special adviser to Pope Paul VI, refuted the New Mass in a letter to His Holiness on September 25, 1969, saying, "The Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass." (From his cover letter to his famous Ottaviani Intervention on the New Mass)

"The Catholic theology of the Mass" is a reference to the Sacred Mysteries. During the elevation of the Host and Chalice, the Sacrifice of Calvary is reenacted, whereby the substance of bread and wine is changed into the very substance of Jesus Christ, so that the substance of bread and wine ceases to be. It is now the substance of Jesus Christ, only and entirely, without any other substance mingling with it. Only the accidents or physical properties of bread and wine remain (e.g. taste, smell, touch), but the substance itself is now Christ, and only Christ. This Divine substance under the appearance of bread and wine is what we call The Mystery of Faith.

All care must be taken to preserve the integrity of the liturgical text as it was given to us by the holy men of God, that it might impart the proper light and understanding concerning this Mystery of Faith—the very heart of the Mass. The liturgy is supposed to enhance our awareness of this Mystery by rendering honor to our Eucharistic King on the altar, but today's liturgy has diverted the attention away from Christ and turned the Mass into an occasion of festive encounter between the congregation and priest.

During an international teleconference on August 30, 2016, Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura lamented the scandal of Mass versus populum, arguing that it turns the Mass into a performance or dialogue. "There’s the great temptation when the priest is facing the people to see him as some kind of a performer," the former St. Louis archbishop said. "Instead of the priest together with the people relating to God, somehow it becomes an interaction between the priest and the people."

This liturgical aberration, when combined with flippant liturgical text spiked with political agenda, make-shift Eucharistic prayers, and casual socializing before Communion with the hand shake of peace, have worked together to bring about what can be called the greatest crisis facing the Church today, namely, the loss of the awareness of the supernatural presence of Christ in his sanctuary. We might say that a form of Eucharistic atheism prevails today, thanks to the modern Mass.

It was for reason that St. Pope Pius V issued ex-cathedra his superlative papal bull Quo Primum (July 14, 1570), whereby he instituted a perpetual mandate that the Mass of the Council of Trent alone be said. "This present Constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall ever remain valid and have the force of law." Therein he makes clear that any future efforts to alter or deviate from the Tridentine formula of the Mass will "incur the 2 wrath of  Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."

What is interesting is that Pope Paul VI, so often accused of imposing the new Mass, never forbade the old Mass. In 1986, a panel of nine Vatican cardinals concluded that Pope Paul VI never abrogated the Mass of Pius V, nor did he mandate the New Mass, nor did he grant bishops the right to forbid or restrict priests from saying the Tridentine Latin Mass. Pope John Paul II had commissioned the cardinals to look into the legal status of the old Mass, as it was his intention to bring its legality to light.

This laid the groundwork for Benedict XVI to continue the process of liberating the old rite, which he did via Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007), which reaffirmed the legality of the pre-conciliar Latin Mass. The Motu Proprio did not make the old Mass legal, but made official what already was the case, namely, that it always was the right of priests to say the old Mass without permission from their bishops. After all, if priests today do not need permission to say a Mass that was never mandated, they certainly don’t need permission to say the Mass that was. Do they need permission to keep the Ten Commandments too?

If Pope Paul VI had truly mandated the New Mass, he would have specified this, but this was never done. Nowhere in the 1969 Missale Romanum does it mandate that the New Mass has to be said. The document merely mandates the publication of the new missal, ordering that "the prescriptions of this Constitution go into effect [are validated] November 30th of this year" and that it "be firm and effective now and in the future." But there is no mention of its use. The document was issued as an indult for those that wanted the new Mass.

Pius V, on the contrary, laid down the law with his subjects, saying, "We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the [Tridentine] Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us." He said: "Let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us" mandating that "This new rite alone is to be used."

THIS IS THE MASS that needs to be returned if the light of true faith is to be preserved. Monsignor Gamber says, "A real change in the contemporary perception of the purpose of the Mass and the Eucharist will occur only when the table altars are removed and Mass is again celebrated at the high altar; when the purpose of the Mass is again seen as an act of adoration and glorification of God... and as the mystical reenactment of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross."

Returning the old Mass would show true pastoral care in that it would give the eternal riches of God back to his people and provide a true renewal in which the light of tradition can again shine through the liturgy and dispel the darkness of our time. Christ instituted his Church that it might be a light to the nations, signified by the Latin word Lumen Gentium. The eternal light emanating from the old Rite is that Lumen Gentium wherewith to attract the world to Christ, but by withholding this light it has deprived man of good things and wrought his alienation from God.

It is high time that Rome "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Pope Benedict XVI, in speaking of the Tridentine Mass, accentuated this very point on April 30, 2011: "What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well." (Universae Ecclesia)

Let us clamor then for the restoration of the main altar and that priests everywhere will begin offering the Mass facing the altar. The Vatican's chief liturgist Cardinal Robert Sarah is calling for a universal return of saying the Mass ad orientem, and said on September 7, 2017, that the world has "forgotten about God" because the priests "who are supposed to be 'the light of the world' (Mt 5:14) are not approaching the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed."

In an interview published on September 21, Cardinal Burke was asked which of the liturgical reforms requested by Cardinal Sarah should come first. Burke answered, "Offering the Mass with everyone facing the Lord [ad orientem]." He said, "This will help so much to restore the sense of worship and to show that the Mass is not some kind of social event between the priest and parishioners or the parishioners among themselves."

According to Cardinal Burke, priests effectively assume a pastoral role when they say the Traditional Latin Mass facing the altar. "The priest as our spiritual father is leading us in this worship to lift our minds and hearts to God." (August 30, 2016)

1 The principal architect of the new Mass was Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, a suspected Freemason who twice was expelled from the Vatican because of suspicious activity. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liturgical-time-bombs-in-vatican-ii-michael-davies/1114285164?ean=9781618904331

2 The wrath of Almighty God and SS. Peter and Paul is not incurred by priests who innocently comply with the Novus Ordo thinking it is the right thing to do, but by perpetrators such as those that authored the perfidious Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium which, under the guise of restoration, proposed devious changes to the Mass in violation of the everlasting ordinance. Even so, the Mass today remains valid in that it reenacts the Sacrifice of Christ.
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Monday, September 25, 2017
On Impurity by St. Alphonsus Liguori
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Excerpted from "On Impurity" by St. Alphonsus Liguori. May we be inspired by these holy words to conquer all of these temptations, which much afflict us in this era. Lord have mercy!
The vice of impurity also brings with it obstinacy. To conquer temptations, particularly against chastity, continual prayer is necessary. ”Watch ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” (Mark xiv. 38.) But how will the unchaste, who are always seeking to be tempted, pray to God to deliver them from temptation? They sometimes, as St. Augustine confessed of himself, even abstain from prayer, through fear of being heard and cured of the disease, which they wish to continue. “I feared,” said the saint, “that you would soon hear and heal the disease of concupiscence, which I wished to be satiated, rather than extinguished.” (Conf., lib. 8, cap. vii.)

St. Peter calls this vice an unceasing sin. ”Having eyes full of adultery and sin that ceaseth not.” (2 Pet. ii. 14.) Impurity is called an unceasing sin on account of the obstinacy which it induces. Some person addicted to this vice says: I always confess the sin. So much the worse; for since you always relapse into sin, these confessions serve to make you persevere in the sin. The fear of punishment is diminished by saying: I always confess the sin. If you felt that this sin certainly merits hell, you would scarcely say: I will not give it up; I do not care if I am damned.

But the devil deceives you. Commit this sin, he says; for you afterwards confess it. But, to make a good confession of your sins, you must have true sorrow of the heart, and a firm purpose to sin no more. Where are this sorrow and this firm purpose of amendment, when you always return to the vomit? If you had had these dispositions, and had received sanctifying grace at your confessions, you should not have relapsed, or at least you should have abstained for a considerable time from relapsing.

You have always fallen back into sin in eight or ten days, and perhaps in a shorter time, after confession. What sign is this? It is a sign that you were always in enmity with God. If a sick man instantly vomits the medicine which he takes, it is a sign that his disease is incurable.

...

11. St. Remigius writes that, if children.be excepted, the number of adults that are saved is few, on account of the sins of the flesh. ”Exceptis parvulis ex adultis propter vitiam carnis pauci salvantur.” (Apud S. Cypr. de bono pudic.) In conformity with this doctrine, it was revealed to a holy soul, that as pride has filled hell with devils, so impurity fills it with men. (Col., disp. ix., ex. 192.) St. Isidore assigns the reason. He says that there is no vice which so much enslaves men to the devil as impurity. ”Magis per luxuriam, humanum genus subditur diabolo, quam per aliquod aliud.” (S. Isid., lib. 2, c. xxxix.) Hence, St. Augustine says, that with regard to this sin, ”the combat is common and the victory rare.” Hence it is, that on account of this sin hell is filled with souls.

12. All that I have said on this subject has been said, not that any one present, who has been addicted to the vice of impurity, may be driven to despair, but that such persons may be cured. Let us, then, come to the remedies. These are two great remedies prayer, and the flight of dangerous occasions. Prayer, says St. Gregory of Nyssa, is the safeguard of chastity. “Oratio pudicitiæ præsidium et tutamen est.” (De Orat.) And before him, Solomon, speaking of himself, said the same. “And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it… I went to the Lord, and besought him.” (Wis. viii. 21.)

Thus, it is impossible for us to conquer this vice without God’s assistance. Hence, as soon as temptation against chastity presents itself, the remedy is, to turn instantly to God for help, and to repeat several times the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, which have a special virtue to banish bad thoughts of that kind. I have said immediately, without listening to, or beginning to argue with the temptation. When a bad thought occurs to the mind, it is necessary to shake it off instantly, as you would a spark that flies from the fire, and instantly to invoke aid from Jesus and Mary.

13. As to the flight of dangerous occasions, St. Philip Neri used to say that cowards that is, they who fly from the occasions gain the victory. Hence you must, in the first place, keep a restraint on the eyes, and must abstain from looking at young females. Otherwise, says St. Thomas, you can scarcely avoid the sin. ”Luxuria vitari vix protest nisi vitatur aspectus mulieris pulchræ.” (S. Thom. 1, 2, qu. 167, a. 2.) Hence Job said: ”I made a covenant with my eyes, that I would not so much as think upon a virgin” (xxxi. 1). He was afraid to look at a virgin; because from looks it is easy to pass to desires, and from desires to acts. St. Francis de Sales used to say, that to look at a woman does not do so much evil as to look at her a second time.

If the devil has not gained a victory the first, he will gain the second time. And if it be necessary to abstain from looking at females, it is much more necessary to avoid conversation with them. “Tarry not among women.” (Eccl. xlii. 12.) We should be persuaded that, in avoiding occasions of this sin, no caution can be too great. Hence we must be always fearful, and fly from them. ”A wise man feareth and declineth from evil; a fool is confident.” (Prov. xiv. 16.) A wise man is timid, and flies away; a fool is confident, and falls.
Read the full account here
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Sunday, September 24, 2017
Monks of Norcia Inaugurate New Cloister, Still Recovering from the Earthquake
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The Monks of Norcia happily announced this update in their most recent newsletter:
Last Sunday, with great joy, we inaugurated the first cloister of our new monastery on the mountainside. Hundreds of friends from Norcia, Italy and even abroad joined us to pray alongside us on that auspicious evening, which began with Solemn Vespers...

We then proceeded throughout the cloister, solemnly blessing it according to ancient custom...

May God bless you all. Keep praying for us, please, as this first step was only the first of many, as we continue to work tirelessly to restore monastic life here in Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict.

Prior Benedict Nivakoff, O.S.B. 

The following is some of the photos from their recent newsletter:

 



http://en.nursia.org/donations
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Recommended Book on the True Martin Luther
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“Luther’s True Face”, written by Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize of the Society of St. Pius X, raises historical facts too often forgotten by Catholics and Protestants alike. What was Luther’s career before 1517? How long was the “shortest seminary formation in history”? Why and how did he form his Protestant doctrine? What was the situation in the Church at the time? All these questions and more receive clear answers in Thomist precision and Aristotelian logic.

Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais wrote a special preface for the first English edition. The book, at an acessible 160 pages, includes short appendices, including Pope’s Pius XI encyclical “Mortalium Animos” on religious unity. This approachable synthesis, based on sound sources, given in objective way, makes “Luther’s True Face” a must read for both Catholic and Protestants.

October 31, 2017 marks the 500th year anniversary of the famous episode (and birth of the Protestant revolution), when Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Church of Wittenberg. Naturally, the revolutionaries have every reason to celebrate. But what is utterly shocking is that Catholics have joined their celebration. Even Pope Francis participated in the 500th anniversary of this revolution. This "is quite simply a scandal" (p.12).

The St. Thomas Aquinas International Institute for Catholic Apologetics was founded in Poland in 2007. Its activity focuses on organizing conferences and distributing information to strengthen the Catholic Faith in dark times of doctrinal confusion and apostasy. Within the last ten years it has succeeded in forming a devoted international team of scholars, linguists, priests and laymen, skilled in theology, philosophy, and history, for the defense of the revealed truth through sound books and conferences.

The book can be ordered from Angelus Press: https://angeluspress.org/products/luthers-true-face

Source: SSPX Website
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Saturday, September 23, 2017
St. Thelca
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While today is the Feast of Pope St. Linus, the first Successor to St. Peter, today is also the Commemoration of St. Thelca.

St. Thelca was a a native of Iconomium who was so impressed by the preaching of St. Paul on virginity that she broke off her engagement to marry Thamyris to live a life of virginity. St. Paul was ordered to be scourged and banished from the city for his teaching, and St. Thecla was ordered burned to death. When a storm providentially extinguished the flames, she escaped with St. Paul and went with him to Antioch. Here she was condemned to wild beasts in the arena when she violently resisted the attempt of Syriarch Alexander to kidnap her, but again escaped when the beasts did no harm to her.

She rejoined St. Paul at Myra in Lycia, dressed as a boy, and was commissioned by him to preach the Gospel. She did for a time in Iconium and then became a recluse in a cave at Meriamlik near Seleucia. She lived as a hermitess there for the next seventy-two years and died there (or in Rome, where she was miraculously transported when she found that St. Paul had died and was later buried near his tomb).

This legend had tremendous popularity in the early Church but is undoubtedly a pious fiction and was labeled apocryphal by St. Jerome. However, St. Thelca did exist adn we invoke her patronage today even if there is doubt on some of the aspects of this pious legend that was recounted in the Acts of Paul and Thecla.

Collect:

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who honor the heavenly birthday of blessed Thecla, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may both rejoice in her yearly festival and profit by the example of so great a faith. Through our Lord.

Source: Catholic.org
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Friday, September 22, 2017
Com. of Sts. Maurice and Companions
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Each year the Holy Church recalls on September 22nd the life of Ss. Maurice and Companions.

When the Emperor Maximian led his army into Gaul, the Theban Legion composed of 660 soldiers under the command of St. Maurice, refused to take part in the ceremonies in honour of the gods. They were massacred out of hatred for the name of Christ, about 286, at Agaunum, now called St. Maurice (Valais, Switzerland), which is near Lake Geneva, Switzerland.

Collect:

O Almighty God, let the solemn feast of Your holy martyrs Maurice and his companions fill us with joy. May we glory in their feast, as we also rely on the power of their intercession. Through our Lord . . .
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Thursday, September 21, 2017
Blessed Noel Pinot
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Introibo ad altare Dei

Blessed Noel Pinot, priest & martyr (feast February 21), Noel was born at Angers in 1747. He became a priest and excelled in ministering to the sick. In 1788, he was made pastor at a parish in Louroux Beconnais, which he revitalized spiritually through his piety and preaching.

Father Noel refused to take the oath of allegiance to the new French Republic which denied the authority of the Church, and was sentenced to be deprived of his parish for two years. Nonetheless, he continued to carry out his ministry in secret. Later, the holy priest even took clandestine possession of his parish and continued his pastoral work, managing to avoid capture for his defiance of the Revolutionary edict.

However, one day while fully vested for Mass, Father Noel was captured and dragged through the streets to the jeers of hostile spectators and soldiers. He remained in jail for twelve days and was given the death sentence for refusing to take the oath. The holy priest went to the guillotine still vested for Mass and uttering the words that began the pre-Vatican II Mass: “I will go to the altar of God, to God Who gives joy to my youth.” He joined his sacrifice to that of his Master on February 21, 1794, and was beatified in 1926.

Source: Facebook
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St. Matthew the Apostle
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Double of the II Class (1954 Calendar): September 21

Before St. Matthew became an Apostle, he was a publican or, more colloquially, a tax collector. St. Matthew may have worked for the Roman Empire or for Herod Antipas. The Roman Empire collected taxes indirectly by farming out the collection process to members of the rich Equestrian class. These Equestrians bought the right to collect taxes at public auctions. The taxes were then deposited in the Roman Treasury while the Equestrians hired local men to collect the taxes from the district’s inhabitants. Anything over the agreed amount of taxes was income to the Equestrians with the local tax collector also collecting his percentage of the earnings. Corrupting elements were built into every transaction.

Without strong safeguards, the collection of custom duties may become arbitrary and tyrannical. The tax collector is able to force merchants or travelers to unpack every wagonload and loosen every package. To add the injury of national pride to monetary loss, the local tax collectors were Jewish helping the hated invader, Rome. Even if St. Matthew worked for Herod Antipas, he would still have been ostracized:
“Even in Galilee, where one like Matthew may have been serving Herod Antipas and may have been collecting lawful customs from the caravans which moved along the great commercial highway, he would be regarded with suspicion and classed with social and religious outcasts.” (Erdman. 1920. pg. 7)
Publicans were in the same class as heretics and offenders against the Church. Of course, this is not to say that St. Matthew himself was dishonest or tyrannical as he went about his tax-collecting. It is, however, a measure of his ambition or his need for money that he was willing to take a job that was despised by the rest of the inhabitants of Galilee. The Gospels tell us that St. Matthew did well too – well enough to host a banquet for many of his friends when he decided to follow Jesus. It is even more remarkable then that he walked away from his lucrative if unsavory occupation and towards Jesus when Christ called him.

Learn more in Frances Spilman's book "The Twelve: Lives and Legends of the Apostles"

Collect:

O Lord,may the prayers of the blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew help us to obtain the graces we ourselves cannot acquire by our merits. Through our Lord . . .
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017
St. Eustace and Companions
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Double (1954 Calendar): September 20

St. Eustace was a distinguished Roman officer. He owed his conversion to the vision of a stag with a crucifix between its antlers, seen by him while he was hunting. His wife and their two sons became Christians at the same time. In about the year 120 AD, St. Eustace and his wife and two children, after undergoing many cruel tortures, were martyred for having refused to offer sacrifice to false gods.

Collect:

O God, who granted us the grace to celebrate the birthday of Your blessed martyrs Eustace and companions, grant that we may also share their eternal happiness in heaven. Through our Lord . . .
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September Ember Day Alert
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Remember that this week contains the Fall Ember Days.

Catholics have forgotten this ancient and venerable tradition! Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday - mark your calendars! Up until the late 1960s, Catholics between the ages of 21-59 were bound to the Laws of Fast on these days; those who have reached their 7th year or older were bound by the law of abstinence.

The Ember Days were instituted for a good harvest and to draw down God’s blessings upon the September ordinations. Pray for priests! Join in this ancient fasting, abstinence, and prayer tradition beginning today on Wednesday and then again this upcoming Friday and Saturday as penance.

Learn more in the Ember & Rogation Day Manual
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Anniversary of Our Lady of La Salette
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On September 19, 1846, the Blessed Mother appeared to two young people at La Salette, France. Both of the children, Maximin Giraud, age 11, and Melanie Calvert, age 15, along with the local villagers, had become lax in prayer and participation in the Sacraments.

Mary appeared only once to the children. Through tears, she called for a renewal of faith. Specifically, she warned that those who did not obey the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath Day and to honor our Lord, were causing Jesus great pain. This vision and message was received and taken to heart by thousands of people, as word of the vision spread.

La Salette brought a revival of faith during a time when such renewal was greatly needed. Unlike the visionaries of Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe and elsewhere, the visionaries at La Salette struggled and could not seem to adjust to instant fame and intense scrutiny. Both of the visionaries wandered from place to place and seemed to flounder throughout the rest of their lives.

Source:  CatechismClass.com Course on Mariology
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Monday, September 18, 2017
Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit Seeks to Expand
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Within the walls of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, New Jersey, rows of simple crosses mark the graves of sisters who have gone before. It’s a potent symbol of life in the monastery, where women enter cloistered life intending never to leave, even in death.

These Dominican nuns have been in this place of peace for almost 100 years, sustaining the Church every day through their prayer and devotion. And while many religious orders are facing an aging religious population and steady decline, these sisters have seen the opposite trend.

In the past 10 years, 12 new women have entered the life, seven have stayed, and a steady stream of new young women visits to discern whether or not this is the life for them.

Continue Reading on Our Sunday Visitor
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Saturday, September 16, 2017
Feast of Ss Cornelius and Cyprian
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Semidouble (1954 Calendar): September 16

Today the Catholic Church commemorates two friends in the service of Christ and his Church who are mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
Pope Cornelius (251-253) was the successor to Pope Fabian. During his reign a controversy arose concerning the manner of reinstating those who had fallen from the faith under the duress of persecution. The Novatians accused the Pope of too great indulgence and separated themselves from the Church. With the help of St. Lucina, Cornelius transferred the remains of the princes of the apostles to places of greater honor. On account of his successful preaching the pagans banished him to Centumcellae, where he died. St. Cyprian sent him a letter of condolence. At the time of Pope Cornelius there were at Rome forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two clerics and more than five hundred widows who were supported by the Church (according to Cornelius' letter to Bishop Fabian of Antioch). 
Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, illustrious as a pagan rhetorician in Carthage, embraced the true faith in the year 246 and was soon thereafter consecrated priest and bishop of that city (248). He was an energetic shepherd of souls and a prolific writer. He defended the unity of the Church against schismatic movements in Africa and Italy, and greatly influenced the shaping of Church discipline relative to reinstating Christians who had apostatized. He fled during the Decian persecution but guided the Church by means of letters. During the Valerian persecution (258) he was beheaded. He suffered martyrdom in the presence of his flock, after giving the executioner twenty-five pieces of gold. St. Jerome says of him: "It is superfluous to speak of his greatness, for his works are more luminous than the sun." Cyprian ranks as an important Church Father, one whose writings are universally respected and often read in the Divine Office. His principal works are: On the Unity of the Church; On Apostates; a collection of Letters; The Lord's Prayer; On the Value of Patience. 
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Collect: 

O Lord, let the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishops Cornelius and Cyprian, whom we honor today, gain us Your protection. Through our Lord . . .
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Friday, September 15, 2017
Commemoration of St. Nicomedes
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Today the Church recalls a lesser known saint in the Commemoration of St. Nicomedes.  His life is recounted in Butler's Lives of the Saints:
HE was a holy priest at Rome, who was apprehended in the persecution of Domitian for his assiduity in assisting the martyrs in their conflicts, and for interring their bodies. Refusing constantly to sacrifice to idols, he was beaten to death with clubs about the year 90. His tomb was on the road to Nomento, and he is commemorated on this day in the sacramentary of St. Gregory the Great, and in the Martyrologies of St. Jerom, Bede, &c. See the Acts of SS. Nereus and Achilleus.
Collect:

Stay close to Your people, O Lord, so that the brilliant merits of Your blessed martyr Nicomedes may help us, and his prayers win for us Your unfailing mercy. Through our Lord . . .
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Monday, September 11, 2017
Sts. Protus and Hyacinth
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Simple (1955 Calendar): September 11

September 11th is the Feast of Ss. Protus and Hyacinth.
The story of most martyrs of the first three centuries is so obscured by legend that it is difficult for us to cull out the historical kernel; this is true of today's saints. Tradition tells us that the brothers Protus and Hyacinth were chamberlains to the holy virgin Eugenia (listed as a martyr on December 25 in the Roman Martyrology) and were baptized along with their patron by Bishop Helenus. They devoted themselves zealously to the study of Sacred Scripture and lived for a time with the hermits in Egypt, illustrious for humility and holiness of life. At a later date they accompanied Eugenia to Rome and were arrested by Emperor Gallienus (260-268) for their profession of the Christian faith. In no manner could they be persuaded to deny the faith or worship the gods. Accordingly, after an inhuman scourging, they were beheaded on September 11. 
Veneration of the two martyrs in the Church of Rome dates to venerable antiquity. Ancient registers contain their names, Pope Damasus praises them in verse at the end of the age of martyrs. The cemetery of Basilla marked the site of their graves; relics of St. Hyacinth were discovered there in 1845 and now are honored in the chapel of the Propaganda. 
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Collect:

May the glorious profession of faith of Your blessed martyrs Protus and Hyacinth strengthen us, O Lord, and may the power of their intercession shield us. Through our Lord . . .
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Sunday, September 10, 2017
Video Reminder On the Importance of Modesty
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Francis Empowers Bishops to Lay Down Their own Liturgical Regulations
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Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Villavicencio, Colombia, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)
 
Guest Post By David Martin

Pope Francis has issued a motu proprio Magnum Principium, a modification of Canon Law 838, which grants bishops’ conferences greater control over the translation of liturgical texts. This includes the power to make adaptations which the bishops deem appropriate for their regions. 

Until now, Canon 838 (§1) stated that "The direction of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See." Paragraph §2 said: "It is for the Apostolic See to order the liturgy of the universal Church," but now the Apostolic See has the task of "recognizing adaptations approved under the law of the Episcopal Conference." (§2) In other words, the power of the Curia is reduced from authorizing to approving texts that are generated by episcopal conferences.

Paragraph §4 makes it clear that the pope has now given bishops the power to determine much of the Church's liturgical direction. "Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan bishop to lay down in the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all."

This opens the door, not only to greater liberty in translating liturgical texts, but to creativity in drafting their own texts. What we are seeing is a further attempt to pull the Catholic world away from the Church's centralized authority and have a whimsical free-for-all.

Francis himself, on October 17, 2015, called for a "healthy decentralization" of power in the Roman Catholic Church, including changes in the papacy and greater decision-making authority for local bishops, so this latest motu proprio is part of his plan to execute this decentralization.

It calls to mind the subversive designs of Mgsr. Annibale Bugnini—the key liturgical planner of Vatican II and principal architect of Sacrosanctum Concilium—as he relayed them to Masonic Grand Master Licio Gelli in a *letter dated July 2, 1967: "The greatest liberty was given to choose between the various formulas, to individual creativity, and to chaos!"

Under the pretext of making the Faith more accessible to the laity, the enemies of the Church introduced vernacular at Vatican II for the purpose of rendering the Church secular and divided, as opposed to holy and universal. It appears that Rome is now going the full nine yards with this plan.

However, if holiness, unity, and crystal clear communication from God to man is what Francis aspires for, he will promptly scrap these modernist trappings and return the Mass to its original formula in the Latin Tridentine Rite—the formula which accomplished this perfectly through the centuries. This is what Pope Benedict XVI aspired for during his active pontificate, so why shouldn't Francis?

In speaking of the Traditional Latin Mass, Pope Benedict said on April 30, 2011: "What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well." (Universae Ecclesia)

The irony of all this liturgical updating is that Latin—the very thing that modernists despise—is all too conveniently used as a tool to pull the faithful away from their Latin heritage. Perfidious documents such as the latest are published in Latin to make them appear "religious," but is this not Pharisaic? Vatican bureaucrats should at least have the decency to publish their revolution in their own Esperanto and reserve Latin for the holy things of God.

*This correspondence is taken from Andrea Tornielli's Dossie Liturgia Uma Babel Programada, that appeared in the June 1992 issue of 30 Days.

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/09/breaking-motu-proprio-magnum-principium.html
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Monday, September 4, 2017
Blessed Agnes of Bagno
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http://amzn.to/2eyvsDl

September 4th is the Feastday of Blessed Agnes of Bagno.  Blessed Agnes was a 12th century Camaldolese nun at Santa Lucia near Bagno di Roma in Tuscany (modern day Italy).  Her shrine is at Pereto.  She was a friend of Blessed Joan of Bagno di Romagna.  Devotion to Blessed Agnes of Bagno was confirmed in 1823 but she is not listed in the Roman Martrology. 

May we never forget the lives of these lesser known saints whose lives can still serve as great inspiration for all of us.



Source: The Book of Saints: A Comprehensive Biographical Dictionary by Basil Watkins.  Now fully revised and updated The Book of Saints is a comprehensive biographical dictionary of saints canonised by the Roman Catholic Church. It contains the names of over 10,000 saints, including all modern ones, with significant information about their lives and achievements. Each section begins with an illustration of a particular saint, and the volume includes a list of national martyrs, a bibliography, and a helpful glossary.
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St. Rose of Viterbo (Mass in Some Places)
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While a feria day on the Universal Calendar, today is in some local calendars the Feast of St. Rose of Viterbo.
Almighty God did marvelous things in the soul of Saint Rose of Viterbo. It appears that her parents gave her that name by divine inspiration, for it was symbolic of her entire career. As long as she lived, she bloomed like a sweet-scented rose in the garden of the Church, and in full bloom as she was transplanted to Paradise. 
Before she was able to speak, Saint Rose attempted to pronounce the sweet names of Jesus and Mary; and as soon as she had learned to walk, she asked to be taken to church and to other retired and quiet places to pray. When religious discourses were given, she would listen with great attention. 
When Saint Rose was only 3 years old, God showed how pleased He was with her in a most wonderful way. One of her maternal aunts died. The family were standing around the bier weeping aloud. Deeply moved by the sorrow of her relatives, little Rose went to the coffin, raised her eyes to heaven, and prayed silently. Then she placed her little hand on the body of her deceased aunt and called her by name. The dead woman immediately opened her eyes and reached out to embrace her little niece, who had raised her to life again. 
The child entertained a great compassion for the poor; she always tried to save some food to give to the poor. One day when she left the house with some bread in her apron, she met her father, who asked her in curt fashion what she was carrying off now. The frightened child opened her apron and fragrant roses were found in it. 
When she was 7 years old, Saint Rose of Viterbo retired to a little cell in her father's house. There she spent almost all her time in contemplation and in practicing rigorous penance. She prayed much for the conversion of sinners. Meanwhile our dear Lord was preparing her for an extraordinary mission.

St Rose was not yet 10 years old when the Blessed Mother of God instructed her to join the Third Order of St. Francis. Shortly after, our Lord appeared to her on the Cross, wearing the crown of thorns on His head and bleeding profusely from all His wounds.
St Rose, aghast at the sight, called out: "O my Lord, who has reduced Thee to this state?"
Our Lord replied, "My love, my deep love for men has done this." 
"But," asked Rose, "who has so pierced and torn Thee?" 
"The sins of men have done it," was our Lord's answer. "Sin, sin!" cried the saint, and she scourged herself to make atonement for the sins of the world. 
By divine inspiration, Rose then took a cross in her hand and went up and down the streets and public squares of her city telling people of the terrible tortures our Lord suffered and of the heinousness of sin. Every now and then she would emerge from her solitude to entreat the people to do penance. 
The town of Viterbo, which belonged to the Papal States, had revolted against the authority of the pope. Disregard for religion and moral degradation were the order of the day. But the sermons of this little missionary had marvelous results. The people came in crowds to hear her. The stone on which she stood was seen to rise in the air, and she was sustained there by a miracle while burning words issued from her lips. The greater part of the citizenry had already resolved to do penance and to return to the legitimate papal allegiance when Saint Rose of Viterbo and her parents were repelled by the civil authorities. 
The result was that she now had a wider field of activity. At Soriano and later at Vitorchiano, her preaching had the same blessed results. In the latter place, a sorceress had done much harm among the inhabitants. Fearing that after her departure this woman would undo the good effected there, Rose was desirous of her conversion. Her initial efforts failed. Then our saint had an immense pile of wood prepared in the public square; fire was set to it, and Rose stepped into the fire and mounted to the top of the pile. She remained untouched for three hours in the midst of the flames, singing the praises of God. The sorceress now cast herself at Rose's feet and was sincerely converted. 
Meanwhile the rightful authority of the pope had been re-established at Viterbo, and Rose could return. She was now 15 years old and anxious to enter the convent of the Poor Clares. As she had no dowry, she could not be admitted. 
"Well," said Rose, "you will not receive me while I am alive, but you will receive me after I am dead." She and several companions repaired to a secluded dwelling, where they intended to live as a community. The ecclesiastical authorities, however, did not approve of the plan, and Rose returned home. She died 2 years later, filled with the joyous desire of being united with her God.  
Two and a half years after her death she appeared three times to Pope Alexander IV, who was in Viterbo at the time, and told him to have her body removed to the convent of the Poor Clares. When this was done, her body was found incorrupt; and it has remained in that condition to this day. Miracles are constantly occurring at her tomb. Pope Callistus III canonized her in 1457. 
Although her skin is dark, the body of the saint is still flexible and the internal organs in good condition. In 1921 the heart was removed to be placed in a reliquary for a procession, and it was found to be unblemished and perfectly intact at that time. 
Excerpted from: The Franciscan Book Of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, OFM
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Friday, September 1, 2017
Commemoration of the Holy Twelve Brothers
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The martyrs join with all the saints in praising the glory of God

The "Holy Twelve Brothers" refer to the fourth-century apostles who refused to offer sacrifice to pagan gods. Africans by birth, these saints were martyred in various places in the third century under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. Four were beheaded in Potenza, Italy on August 27. Three were beheaded at Vanossa on August 28. The others were beheaded at Sentiana on September 1. They were brought together and enshrined at Benevento in 760.

Today is also the Feast of St. Giles.

Collect:

O Lord, may the martyrdom of these brothers warm our hearts with joy, enliven our faith by an increase of virtue, and comfort us by the added number of intercessors we have in heaven. Through our Lord . . .
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Commemoration of Ss. Felix and Adauctus
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Each year we recall on August 30th not only the life of St. Rose of Lima but also Ss. Felix and Adauctus.

St. Felix was a Roman priest who was beheaded in c. 303 AD. And St. Adauctus was a Christian layman who insisted on sharing the crown of the martyred priest. Since his name was not known, he was simply called by the Latin equivalent of "added on." Thus, we refer to him as St. Adauctus rather than the name he was called on earth.

Collect:

O Lord, we humbly implore Your majesty to defend us through the intercession of Your saints, just as You fill us with happiness by the celebration of their feast. Through our Lord . . .
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017
St. Sabina
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Today we rejoice along with the Holy Church in the Commemoration of St. Sabina, in addition to the Martyrdom of John the Baptist.

Saint Sabina was a matry from Rome who lived in the 1st century AD until 126 AD.  She was the widow of Senator Valentinus and daughter of Herod Metallarius.

St. Sabina was converted to the Faith by her servant, St. Serapia.  Upon St. Serapia's denouncement as a Christian and subsequent martyrdom by decapitation, St. Sabina rescued her remains and had them moved to the family mausoleum.  Like St. Serapia, St. Sabina too was denounced  and accused of being a Christian.  And after she consented to being one, she was martyred under Elpidio the Prefect in the city of Vindena in the state of Umbria, Italy.

In 430 AD, her relics were brought to a special basilica in her honor in Rome which was built on the spot of a former temple to Juno.  Indeed, the Christian has conquered the Roman pagans.  This church is now the world headquarters of the Dominican Order.

May we pray for the fortitude and patience of the martyrs like St. Sabina.

Collect:

O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood. May the example of the blessed martyr Sabina, whose birthday we celebrate today, draw us closer to You. Through our Lord . . .
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Monday, August 28, 2017
St. Hermes
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Saint Hermes is the figure in the back, in armor. Other saints pictured include Saint James the Great, Saint Joseph,Saint Ghislain, and Saint Eligius.

Few people are likely aware that we as Catholics invoke St. Hermes.  St. Hermes - not at all to be confused with the fictitious mythological deity by the same name - was a real person.  He was a martyr with companions his Rome, who all suffered at the hands of a judge named Aurelian. They are mentioned in the Acts of Pope St. Alexander I .

Butler's Lives of the Saints writes of him:
HE suffered at Rome in the persecution of the emperor Adrian about the year 132. His tomb on the Salarian Way was ornamented by Pope Pelagius II. and his name is famous in the ancient western Martyrologies.
Let us invoke his patronage today, along with today's other saint, St. Augustine of Hippo.

Collect:

O God, it was Your strength that kept the blessed martyr Hermes unfaltering under suffering. May we follow his example in spurning earthly riches for love of You and in fearing no worldly harm. Through our Lord . . .
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Sunday, August 27, 2017
Bishop Fellay's Sermon in Fatima
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Excerpts from the SSPX Website:
He first recalled the vision of hell that the three shepherd children of Fatima contemplated with horror; he explained that this fear is salutary and that those who seek today to anesthetize consciences by offering them a broad path are truly assassins of souls.

Then Bishop Fellay emphasized that the message of Fatima is a message of hope: those who practice the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be saved. This divine promise of salvation offers us an easy means: all we have to do is take it seriously. We must make reparation for the offenses against the Most Blessed Mother of God. Like little Francisco, we must seek to console the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us accept all trials generously, offer them up, and sacrifice ourselves by faithfully accomplishing our duty of state, seeing souls through the eyes of Jesus Christ as He gazed at them from His Cross, and the eyes of Our Lady, standing at the foot of the same cross, stabat Mater.

In conclusion, the Superior General forcefully repeated that the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is willed by God for the world today. Not a superficial or mechanical devotion, but a profound one: her Heart must be our intimate refuge. The prelate also announced that he would renew the consecration of Russia right after the Mass, just as Archbishop Lefebvre did here in Fatima thirty years ago. Of course, it is up to the  Holy Father and all the bishops of the world in union with him to make this consecration. The Society’s act of consecration is a way of expressing its desire to answer Heaven’s request, while fully aware of its limits, with the lively hope that the Vicar of Christ will one day consecrate the country himself.

The Rosary Crusade draws to a close, but its spirit lives on: let us never cease to beg with our fervent prayers the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will come when God wills. But we are assured it will come!
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Com. of Sts. Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian
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1954 Calendar: Commemoration (August 22nd)

Besides today being the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it is the annual day we commemorate Ss. Timothy, Hippolytus, and Symphorian.  The following is shared from Liturgia Latina's website:
Timothy of Antioch came to Rome in 310 and was martyred in 311. He was cruelly beaten and quicklime was sprinkled over his torn flesh. At last he was beheaded. 
On the same day at Ostia, Hippolytus, bishop of Porto, was thrown into a hole filled with water and received the crown of martyrdom about A.D. 225. 
Again on the same day, about A.D. 180, under the reign of Aurelian, Symphorian, who was still a young man, was beheaded at Autun. While he went to execution his mother said to him: "My son, my son, remember eternal life; look up to heaven and see the One who reigns there; life is not taken from thee, it is exchanged for a better one."
Collect:

Deny us not, O merciful Lord, Thy help: but listening to the prayers of Thy blessed martyrs Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, stretch forth over us the right hand of Thy merciful forgiveness.
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Friday, August 18, 2017
Empress Helena (Mass in Some Places)
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While not on the Universal Catholic Calendar, in some parts of the world today is the Feast of Empress Helena. The following is taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia on St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, the one who legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire:

The mother of Constantine the Great, born about the middle of the third century, possibly in Drepanum (later known as Helenopolis) on the Nicomedian Gulf; died about 330. She was of humble parentage; St. Ambrose, in his “Oratio de obitu Theodosii”, referred to her as a stabularia, or inn-keeper. Nevertheless, she became the lawful wife of Constantius Chlorus. Her first and only son, Constantine, was born in Naissus in Upper Moesia, in the year 274. The statement made by English chroniclers of the Middle Ages, according to which Helena was supposed to have been the daughter of a British prince, is entirely without historical foundation. It may arise from the misinterpretation of a term used in the fourth chapter of the panegyric on Constantine’s marriage with Fausta, that Constantine, oriendo (i. e., “by his beginnings,” “from the outset”) had honoured Britain, which was taken as an allusion to his birth, whereas the reference was really to the beginning of his reign. 
 Her son’s influence caused her to embrace Christianity after his victory over Maxentius. This is directly attested by Eusebius (Vita Constantini, III, xlvii): “She (his mother) became under his (Constantine’s) influence such a devout servant of God, that one might believe her to have been from her very childhood a disciple of the Redeemer of mankind”. It is also clear from the declaration of the contemporary historian of the Church that Helena, from the time of her conversion had an earnestly Christian life and by her influence and liberality favoured the wider spread of Christianity. Tradition links her name with the building of Christian churches in the cities of the West, where the imperial court resided, notably at Rome and Trier, and there is no reason for rejecting this tradition, for we know positively through Eusebius that Helena erected churches on the hallowed spots of Palestine. Despite her advanced age she undertook a journey to Palestine when Constantine, through his victory over Licinius, had become sole master of the Roman Empire, subsequently, therefore, to the year 324. It was in Palestine, as we learn from Eusebius (loc. cit., xlii), that she had resolved to bring to God, the King of kings, the homage and tribute of her devotion. She lavished on that land her bounties and good deeds, she “explored it with remarkable discernment”, and “visited it with the care and solicitude of the emperor himself”. Then, when she “had shown due veneration to the footsteps of the Saviour”, she had two churches erected for the worship of God: one was raised in Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of the Ascension, near Jerusalem. She also embellished the sacred grotto with rich ornaments. This sojourn in Jerusalem proved the starting-point of the legend first recorded by Rufinus as to the discovery of the Cross of Christ. 
Her princely munificence was such that, according to Eusebius, she assisted not only individuals but entire communities. The poor and destitute were the special objects of her charity. She visited the churches everywhere with pious zeal and made them rich donations. It was thus that, in fulfilment of the Saviour’s precept, she brought forth abundant fruit in word and deed. If Helena conducted herself in this manner while in the Holy Land, which is indeed testified to by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, we should not doubt that she manifested the same piety and benevolence in those other cities of the empire in which she resided after her conversion. Her memory in Rome is chiefly identified with the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme. On the present location of this church formerly stood the Palatium Sessorianum, and near by were the Thermae Helenianae, which baths derived their name from the empress. Here two inscriptions were found composed in honour of Helena. The Sessorium, which was near the site of the Lateran, probably served as Helena’s residence when she stayed in Rome; so that it is quite possible for a Christian basilica to have been erected on this spot by Constantine, at her suggestion and in honour of the true Cross. 
Helena was still living in the year 326, when Constantine ordered the execution of his son Crispus. When, according to Socrates account (Hist. eccl., I, xvii), the emperor in 327 improved Drepanum, his mother’s native town, and decreed that it should be called Helenopolis, it is probable that the latter returned from Palestine to her son who was then residing in the Orient. Constantine was with her when she died, at the advanced age of eighty years or thereabouts (Eusebius, “Vita Const.”, III, xlvi). This must have been about the year 330, for the last coins which are known to have been stamped with her name bore this date. Her body was brought to Constantinople and laid to rest in the imperial vault of the church of the Apostles. It is presumed that her remains were transferred in 849 to the Abbey of Hautvillers, in the French Archdiocese of Reims, as recorded by the monk Altmann in his “Translatio”. She was revered as a saint, and the veneration spread, early in the ninth century, even to Western countries. Her feast falls on 18 August.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Prayer of Pope Pius XII to Our Lady of the Assumption
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O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of Humanity, we believe with all the fervour of our faith in your triumphal Assumption both in body and in soul into heaven where you are acclaimed as Queen by all the choirs of angels and all the legions of saints; we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord who has exalted you above all other pure creatures and to offer you the tribute of our devotion and our love.

We know that your gaze, which on earth watched over the humble and suffering humanity of Jesus, in heaven is filled with the vision of that humanity glorified and with the vision of uncreated Wisdom, and that the joy of your soul in the direct contemplation of the adorable Trinity causes your heart to throb with overwhelming tenderness; and we, poor sinners whose body weights down the flight of the soul, beg you to purify our hearts so that, while we remain below, we may learn to see God and God alone in the beauties of his creatures.

We trust that your merciful eyes may deign to gaze down upon our miseries and anguish, upon our struggles and our weaknesses; that your countenance may smile upon our joys and our victories; that you may hear the voice of Jesus saying to you of each one of us, as He once said to you of His Beloved Disciple: "Behold you son," and we who call upon you as our Mother, we, like John, take you as the guide, strength and consolation of our mortal life.

We are inspired by the certainty that your eyes, which wept over the earth crimsoned by the blood of Jesus, are yet turned toward this world racked by wars and persecutions, the oppression of the just and the weak. From the shadows of this vale of tears, we seek in your heavenly assistance, tender mercy, comfort for our aching hearts, and help in the trials of Church and country.

We believe finally that in the glory where you reign, clothed with the sun and crowned with stars, you are, after Jesus, the joy and gladness of all the angels and the saints, and from this earth, over which we tread as pilgrims, comforted by our faith in the future resurrection, we look to you our life, our sweetness, our hope; draw us onward with the sweetness of your voice, so that one day, after our exile, you may show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Amen.
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Sunday, August 13, 2017
Sts. Hippolytus and Cassian
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Simple (1954 Calendar): August 13

Hippolytus was a prominent priest of the church of Rome at the beginning of the third century and guardian of St. Laurence. Together with the Pope St. Pontian he was exiled to Sardinia, and his sufferings ended in martyrdom A.D. 235. In about the year 320, officials at Imola, Italy, arrested Cassian, a Christian schoolmaster. The governor ordered him to be tortured by his own pagan pupils. After making barbarous sport of Cassian in various ways, the pagan boys stabbed their former teacher to death with their stilettos.

The following is taken from Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876:

St. Hippolytus, an officer of the body-guard of the emperor Decius, had been born in the darkness of idolatry, but he had become a Christian, with all his household, in consequence of witnessing the many miracles which St. Lawrence performed while in the prison under his charge. He had also been present when the saint, lying on the red-hot gridiron, endured the most terrible tortures. At the sight of the heroism of St. Lawrence, he was filled with the desire to denounce himself a Christian, but he was prevented by St. Lawrence. But when this martyr had gloriously ended his combat, Hippolytus, with the assistance of a priest, named Justinus, buried the sacred remains with great devotion and veneration. The emperor on being informed of it, had Hippolytus seized and brought before him. He asked him if it was true that he had become a Christian? Hippolytus answered firmly: "Yes, I am a Christian, and moreover resolved to die such." The emperor, who had always highly esteemed him, endeavored, first by promises and then by menaces, to induce him to forsake Christ. As, however, all was unavailing, he caused him to be tortured.

He was accordingly stretched on the ground, whipped with scourges, and beaten with clubs so fearfully, that it was believed he could not survive. But God, by a visible miracle, prolonged his life. Keeping his eyes fixed upon Heaven, he frequently repeated: "I am a Christian, I suffer for Christ's sake." After having been tormented for a long time, he was cast into prison, and the prefect received the order to behead him. Before executing this order, however, he went to the house of Hippolytus to secure his property. Finding the entire household had become Christians, he took them beyond the gates of the city and had them beheaded. Concordia, an old and holy matron, who had been Hippolytus' nurse, was scourged until she expired, because she encouraged the others to remain firm in their faith. At last, Hippolytus was taken out of prison and fastened to the tails of two horses, and dragged by them until he was torn to pieces, and his heroic soul was in the presence of Him Whom he had so fearlessly confessed.

On the same day, though at another place, St. Cassian suffered a martyrdom of unprecedented cruelty. This saint, was bishop of Brescia, but had been banished from his See on account of his faith. He intended to go to Rome and offer the Pope his services for the salvation of souls in some other place. On his way, he changed his mind, and taking up his residence at Imola, a town in Italy, he resolved to teach children to read and write, hoping that occasion would not be wanting to do good. In this apparently humble position, he was no less zealous than he had been in the administration of his diocese. He taught the children with love and gentleness, and endeavored to inspire them with respect for the Christian faith, fear and horror of sin, and love of virtue and piety. He continued in this occupation with great zeal for some years, to the great benefit of young and old, when suddenly a terrible persecution of the Christians arose.

He was one of the first who were taken prisoners. The tyrant commanded him to sacrifice to the gods. The holy bishop and teacher refused, as might have been expected, and tried to convince the judge of his fearful blindness in worshipping dumb idols or making gods of godless men. The tyrant, furious at his arguments, ordered the executioners to strip him of his clothes and tie his hands behind his back, and leave him exposed to the mercy of the children whom he had taken such pains to teach. The children, who had been taught that Cassian was a magician and consequently must die a most painful death, took their sharp iron pencils with which, in those days, they wrote upon their wax tablets, and pierced him with them till the blood ran profusely from his veins. This torture lasted long and was extremely painful. The saint, however, never complained of the ingratitude of his pupils, nor gave a sign of impatience, but praised and thanked the Lord until his soul went to Heaven to receive the crown of martyrdom.

Prayer:

O Almighty God, grant that our solemn celebration of the feast of your holy martyrs Hippolytus and Cassian may increase our devotion and bring us closer to our salvation. Through our Lord . . .
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