Saturday, July 30, 2016
Our Lady Mother of Mercy (Saturday after the 4th Sunday of July)

As part of the Traditional Missal, the Feast of our Lady under the title Mother of Mercy occurs each year as part of the Mass in Some Places on the 4th Sunday of July.  This Feastday is kept by various religious orders in the Church.

The following is taken from the Seasonal Devotions Page of Salve Maria Regina:
After the fall, man became subject to sin, misery, disease and death. God, Who is rich in mercy, gave us two persons animated with tenderest sentiments of compassion and mercy: Jesus and Mary. Jesus willed to become like one of us and chose to know the profoundest depths of sorrow. Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, became the loving Mother of mankind beneath the Cross. She is full of compassionate mercy. Let us entreat her help for suffering mankind. Let us especially show this consideration for those commended to us in a particular way by Our Divine Lord: the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the outcasts. Let us always show mercy, and the Immaculate Mother of God will show herself a Mother of mercy to us.

"And His mercy is from generation unto generation, to those who fear Him." (Luke 1:50)

O noblest Queen of the world, Mary ever Virgin, who didst bring forth Christ the Lord, the Savior of all, pray in our name for peace and salvation.
Hail Mary...

Mary speaks: "Come over to me, all you who long for me, and be filled with my fruits, for my spirit is sweeter than honey, and my spirit is sweeter than honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb." (Ecclus. 24:26-27)

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we sigh, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy towards, and show unto us the blessed Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Let us Pray. O God, Whose compassion is without limit, show us thy mercy on earth through the most holy intercession of Mary, the Mother of Thy Son, that we may merit to attain eternal glory. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Pope Francis: "The World is At War." But With Whom?

Guest Article by David Martin

The pope said Wednesday that the "world is at war," but denied that religion is to blame. Does he not realize that the war within the Church is what has incited a spirit of war throughout the world? If the Church is "attacking itself" from within (Pope Paul VI), how do we expect the world to be at peace from without?

If the world is at war, it's because of the war against tradition that rages within the Church. If the world is in darkness, it is because the Church is in darkness, fulfilling the prophecy of Our Lady at La Salette: "The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay." (1846)

Hence, the pope holds a measure of responsibility. The present papal administration has served to divide the Universal Church, while strengthening the unity of the global synagogue—the fomenter of all the wars. While Francis sets up barriers against ecclesial unity by forbidding religious of one country to take up residence in another, he declares it a sin to set up barriers against the jihad refugees that want to break into our western countries. The bloodshed in Europe, including the beheading of the good priest in France, is in fact a religious war. Fr. Hamel was martyred by one who deliberately sought to defame the name of the Catholic Church, yet the pope exonerates the Muslims by saying the attacks are not "a war of religion."

Let us pray for Pope Francis, but with true purpose.
Ss Nazarius & Celsus

SemiDouble (1955 Calendar): July 28

Today the Holy Church celebrates the feast of the holy martyrs Ss. Nazarius and Celsus.  The following is an account of their life:
SAINT NAZARIUS'S father was a heathen, and held a considerable post in the Roman army. His mother, Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, and was instructed by St. Peter, or his disciples, in the most perfect maxims of our holy faith. Nazarius  embraced it with so much ardor that he copied in his life all the great virtues he saw in his teachers; and out of zeal for the salvation of others, he left Rome, his native city, and preached the faith in many places with a fervor and disinterestedness becoming a  disciple of the Apostles. Arriving at Milan, he was there beheaded for the faith, together with CELSUS, a youth whom he carried with him to assist him in his travels. These martyrs suffered soon after Nero had raised the first persecution. Their bodies were buried separately in a garden without the city, where they were discovered and taken up by St. Ambrose, in 395.  In the tomb of St. Nazarius, a vial of the Saint's blood was found as fresh and red as if it had been spilt that day. The faithful stained handkerchiefs with some drops, and also formed a certain paste with it, a portion of which St. Ambrose sent to St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia. St. Ambrose conveyed the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church of the apostles, which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. St. Ambrose sent some of these relics to St. Paulinus of Nola, who received them, with great respect, as a most valuable present, as he testifies. 
REFLECTION.—The martyrs died as the outcasts of the world, but are crowned by God with immortal honor. The glory of the world is false and transitory, and an empty bubble or shadow, but that of virtue is true, solid, and permanent, even in the eyes of men.
They are venerated along with Popes Victor I and Innocent I on July 28.


Defend us, O Lord, through the blessed martyrdom of Your saints Nazarius, Celsus, Victor, and Innocent, and may their merits support us in our weakness. Through our Lord . . .
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Vigil of St. James the Greater

Vigil (1954 Calendar): July 24

The following is an excerpt from The Twelve: Lives and Legends of the Apostles.  This can serve as a meditation as we prepare for the Feast of St. James the Greater

Catholics know that death is not the end but the beginning of a new life and so it proved with St. James.   His tomb in Spain is a place of religious pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of people every year.  In the past, the Spanish people were inspired by St. James as they reconquered their country from the Muslims.

In 711, General Tariq Ibn-Ziyad led a force of Islamic Moors of Arab and Berber descent to conquer most of Iberia.  Fortunately, the Islamic force was halted by Charles Martel and his army at the Battle of Tours in 732.  Yet most of Spain was still under foreign rule and, according to legend, Charlemagne (742-814) was recruited to rectify this situation.
“Charlemagne saw a path of stars in the sky, beginning in the Frisian Sea and extending through Germany and Italy, Gaul and Aquitaine, passing directly over Gascony, Vasconia, Navarre and Spain to Galicia, where the body of Saint James lay buried and undiscovered.  Looking upon this stellar path several times every night, he began to mediate its meaning.  A knight of splendid appearance, more handsome than words can describe, appeared to Charlemagne one evening in a vision as he sat in deep meditation.
“What are you doing, my son?” the knight asked.

“To which the king responded, “Who are you, sir?”

“I am Saint James the Apostle, disciple of Christ…and whose body lies forgotten in Galicia, a place still shamefully oppressed by the Saracens.  I am deeply disturbed by the fact that you, who have conquered so many cities and nations, have not liberated my lands from the Saracens…  The path of stars that you have contemplated in the sky is the sign indicating that you must take a great army from here to Galicia to do battle with those perfidious pagans, to free my path and my lands and to visit my basilica and my tomb.  After you, all peoples from sea to sea will walk there as pilgrims, begging forgiveness for their sins and proclaiming the greatness of the Lord…”
(Kevin R. Poole, editor and translator of The Chronicle of Pseudo-Turpin, Book IV of the Liber Sancti Jacobi (New York: Italica Press, 2014) pgs. 5-6)
The historical Charlemagne was forced to retreat from the Muslims in Spain and then tragically, the Basques attacked his baggage train and killed Roland, the warden of the Breton March.  The incident inspired the Song of Roland but brought the Spanish people no closer to freedom.  However, the Reconquista had already begun in 718 when Pelagius defeated an Islamic Umayyad patrol in the Battle of Covadonga in Galencia.  Although there were occasional forays into Galencia, the Muslims never controlled this part of Spain.   Galencia was incorporated into Asturias, a Christian kingdom in the northwest of Spain.

In 812, Bishop Teodomiro, Bishop of Iria Flavia in Galencia, Spain, was visited by a group of men in his diocese.  They told him that the anchorite Palagio with other devote men had seen a bright star over the hill of Libredon.  Not only this, but they had seen lights moving among the forest while unseen voices sang religious chants.  Stirred by this miracle, the Bishop determined to investigate the area with his canons and some prominent citizens on July 25th.  After clearing away the underbrush, the men discovered a cave.  Inside of the cave were three stone coffins.  The largest of the coffins was in the middle with its occupant identified as Saint James – “Here lies Santiago, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of St. John, whom Herod beheaded in Jerusalem.  He came by sea borne by his disciples to Iria Flavia of Galicia…”

King Afonso II of Asturias, with the nobles of his court, journeyed to the shrine and ordered that a church be built to honor Saint James.   Pope Leo III informed the Archbishops and the Bishops of the discovery.  A small town grew up near the cave called Santiago de Compostela and the body of Saint James was moved there in 829.  A beautiful Church was constructed during the reign of Afonso III in 893. (Catherine Gasquoine Hartley The Story of Santiago de Compostela (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1912) pgs. 22-27)

The pilgrimage of St. James became very popular – third in popularity after Jerusalem and Rome.   Even a Moorish ambassador was astonished at the crowds:
“When Ali-ben-Yussuf, the Almoravide, sent an embassy to Dona Urraca about 1121, the ambassadors were amazed at the throngs of pilgrims who choked the road.  They asked the subaltern detailed to escort and assist them, the Centurion Peter..: ‘Who is it the Christians so revered, for whom so great a multitude comes and goes, from this side and the other of the Pyrenees, so that the road is scarcely cleared for us?’  And Peter answered with a fine gesture: ‘He who deserves such reverence is St. James whose body there is buried…’” (Georgiana Goddard King, The Way of Saint James, Volume 1 (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920) pg. 107)
In 1122, Pope Calixrus II granted a Holy Year to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela when July 25th (Saint James’ feast day) falls on a Sunday.  On that year, the Holy Door is open from January 1st to December 31st and pilgrims are granted special indulgencies.  The years 2004, 2010, 2021 and 2027 were or will be Holy Years and there are usually more pilgrims during these years.  The Codex Calixtinus, an illustrated manuscript of the 12th century, is a description of the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and includes music, stories of St. James, miracles and advice about the route.  Despite its name, it was not written by Pope Calixrus II but by unknown authors and organized by Aymeric Picaud, a French scholar. 

St. Francis of Assisi, like many others, went to Santiago de Compostela with a few of his companions:
“A the beginning and commencement of the Order, when as yet there were few brothers and the Houses had not been taken into possession, Saint Francis for his devotion went to Saint James’s of Galicia… Having won thither, while he was spending the night in prayer in the church of St. James, it was revealed by God unto Saint Francis, that it behooved him to take possession of many places throughout the world, because his Order must needs grow and increase into a vast multitude of brothers” (The Little Flowers of Saint Francis translated by T.W. Arnold (London: J. M. Dent and Co., 1907) pg. 11)
Throughout the ages, pilgrims have had different reasons to visit the tomb of St. James.  Some came to worship, others to fulfil a vow, still others petitioned the saint to alleviate their or other’s distress.  Fray Miguel Capeller and Fray Leonardo de Gratia, for instance, were sent to ask St. James to stop the plague in Barcelona in 1465 (The Way of Saint James, pg. 123).

Church authorities sometimes required penitents to make the pilgrimage to atone for their sins.  There were several official roads to Santiago – the one from France being one of the most popular.  Most pilgrims purchase a credencial - a small book which is marked by the local church or town hall with an official St. James stamp as the pilgrim progresses on his or her journey.  The pilgrim must travel at least 100 km by foot or 200 km by bicycle (about 62 and 127 miles respectively) to receive the compostela.  The compostela is a certificate of achievement given by the Pilgrim’s Office to those who arrive at Santiago de Compostela after traveling the required distance.  According to the Confraternity of Saint James, the pilgrimage is still popular with 272,135 receiving the compostela in 2010 (a Holy Year) and 262,469 in 2015.

St. James is often shown with a seashell and a pilgrim’s hat and staff to emphasize his protection over the pilgrims who visit Santiago.  However, St. James represents more than a protector of pilgrims.  As we saw above, St. James appeared to Charlemagne as a great knight.  St. James was an inspiration to the Spanish as they attempted to reconquer their land from the Moors.  The great warrior El Cid invokes St. James as his army of four thousand prepares to fight the Moorish force of fifty thousand:
“Our bishop, good Don Jerom, an early mass shall say, And give us absolution before the dawn of day. Then we shall sally forth and assault them in the names Of the Lord and His Apostle our worthy good St. James”
There are legends of St. James on his white horse leading the Spanish to victory against the Moors.  The Spanish achieved their final victory in 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella defeated the last Moorish army and Spain was finally free.


Sanctify and protect Your people, O Lord. Let the assistance of Your apostle James strengthen them that they may serve You with confidence and please You by their conduct. Through our Lord . . .
Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola

Today is the beginning of the Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola

V. In the Name (✠) of the Father...
R. Amen.

Suscipe (Prayer by St. Ignatius)

V. Take, O Lord, and receive all my liberty,
R. My memory, my understanding * and my entire will * All I have and call my own. * Thou hast given all to me, * To Thee, O Lord, I return it. * Everything belongs to Thee; * do with it as Thou wilt. * Give me only Thy love and Thy grace, * That is enough for me. Amen.

Anima Christi (Prayer by St. Ignatius) 

V. Soul of Christ, R. Sanctify me.
V. Body of Christ, R. Save me.
V. Blood of Christ, R. Inebriate me.
V. Water from the side of Christ, R. Wash me.
V. Passion of Christ, R. Strengthen me.
V. O Good Jesus (☨), R. Hear me.
V. Within Thy wounds, R. Shelter me.
V. Separated from Thee, R. Let me never be.
V. From the evil one, R. Protect me.
V. At the hour of my death, R. Call me.
V. Into Thy presence, R. Lead me.
V. That I may praise Thee, R. With all Thy angels and saints, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Generosity (by St. Ignatius)

V. Lord, do Thou teach me to be generous.
R. Teach me to serve Thee as Thou deserves: * To give and not to count the cost, * To fight and not to heed the wounds, * to toil and not to seek for rest, * to labor and not to ask for reward, * save that of knowing * that I do Thy divine and holy Will. Amen. *

Novena Prayer

V. O glorious Patriarch, St. Ignatius of Loyola,
R. We humbly beseech thee to obtain for us from Almighty God, * above all things else, * deliverance from sin, * which is the greatest of evils, * and next, from those scourges * wherewith the Lord chastises the sins of His people.

V. And by thy glorious merits we beseech thy benevolent intercession before the throne of Almighty God, that He may grant us: (Pause and state your intentions)

V. May thine example, O Loyal Knight of Our Lady, enkindle in our hearts an effectual desire,
R. To employ ourselves continually in laboring for the greater glory of God * and the good of our fellowmen; * obtain for us, likewise, from the loving Heart of Jesus (☨) Our Lord, * that grace which is the crown of all graces, * that is to say, the grace of final perseverance and everlasting happiness. * Amen.

V. Laudetur Jesus (☨) Christus! (Praise be Jesus Christ)
R. Nunc et in æternum. Amen. (Now and forever)

V. In the Name (✠) of the Father...
R. Amen.
Monday, July 18, 2016
St. Camillus of Lellis

Today is the Feast of St. Camillus of Lellis (1550 - 1614), the renowned founder of the Camillians, an order dedicated to the care of the sick.

The life of St. Camillus should serve as an inspiration to us - he was not born perfect.  After his mother died, he was virtually abandoned by his father.  He fought against the Turks as a young man but after an addiction to gambling, he was completely destitute.

Inspired to become a Capuchin, he was unable to be professed in the area due to a disease of his leg which he contracted from the war which progressively became work.  St. Camillus dedicated himself to caring for the sick and he became director of a hospital in Rome.  His spiritual director was the illustrious St. Philip Neri.  With St. Neri's consent, St. Camillus was ordained a priest and founded a congregation with two others.

St. Camillus, Founder of the Ministers of the Sick (Camellians), ministered initially to the sick of Holy Ghost Hospital in Rome.  In 1588, they moved to a new house in Naples and worked to care for the many stricken by the plague.  In 1591, Pope Gregory XIV made the Congregation into an order to serve the sick.  That year, members of the order were sent to Hungary and Croatia to minister to wounded troops - this was the first field medical unit.

In 1607, after a long battle with illness, St. Camillus resigned as Superior of his order and died on July 25 of that year.  He was canonized in 1746 and, along with St. John of God, was declared patron saint of the sick as well as patron saint of nurses and nursing groups.

The body of this saint is today preserved in Rome in the altar of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, along with several of his relics. Also on display is the Cross which spoke to Camillus, and asked him, "Why are you afraid? Do you not realize that this is not your work but mine?"

O holy saint of God, pray for us! Pray for the sick and for our doctors and physicians to serve the True God and fight against the evils of the culture of death.

The Scapular of Help of the Sick

In the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Rome, there is a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is specially venerated under the title of Help of the Sick. This picture is said to have been painted by the celebrated Dominican painter, Blessed Fra Angelico and before it Pope St Pius V is said to have prayed for the victory of the Christian fleet during the Battle of Lepanto (1571). This picture suggested to a brother of the Order of Saint Camillus de Lellis, Ferdinand Vicari, the idea of founding a confraternity under the invocation of the Virgin Mary for the poor sick. The confraternity was canonically erected in the above-mentioned church in 1860.  The scapular is black and the front has an image of the above picture of the Virgin Mary and at her feet St. Joseph and St. Camillus, the two other patrons of the sick and of the confraternity. The other side has a little red cloth cross. Indulgences were granted by Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII in 1860 and 1883; these were last ratified by the Congregation of Indulgences, 21 July 1883.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Why is The Church in a Crisis? And How Can Religious Education Be the Cure?

This is a Guest Article by the President of

What is the Greatest Issue Facing Your Parish?

To all involved in religious education (priests, DREs, teachers): We know you are busy.  You are fighting against a wealth of issues including:

•    Lack of volunteers
•    Limited Time
•    Lack of Parental Involvement
•    Budget Cuts and Finances
•    Lack of Commitment by Students
•    Creating Lesson Plans
•    Grading
•    Students with learning disabilities
•    Etc

Why Religious Education is in a Crisis

•    Since 1970, the number of children in primary school in religious education has dropped 60%
•    Since 1970, the number of secondary school students in religious education has dropped 55%
•    Since 1960, the number of annual adult baptisms has fallen 68%
•    Since 1975, the number of annual infant baptisms has fallen 18%
•    Nearly 80 percent of cradle Catholics are no longer Catholic by the age of 23
•    Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing
•    10 percent of all adults in America are ex-Catholics

Why This Is Very Serious

•    What if I told you, “Only 20% of the students that graduate from University XYZ acquire employment.” You would think that this is a worthless university. In fact, it’s accreditation should probably be re-investigated.

•    Well that is exactly what’s happening in the Catholic Church in the United States. Only 20% of Catholics that go through our system later apply that faith to their lives when they reach the age of 23. The other 80% drop out!

•    Religious Education has not been effectively stopping the decline in the Church. Catholics have the most ex-members out of any religious group in the United States. Why are we losing so many adherents? Why are so many ignorant to basic Catholic principles like the Real Presence? What can you do about this?

Your Mission

•    Despite all of the issues pressing us (lack of volunteers or time or finances), we have a responsibility to God to help pass down the Faith
•    It is God’s very desire that none be lost and that the Faith grow: “Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day” (John 6:39)

Religious Education Must Improve

•    Children want to learn and be challenged.  The discipline in a secular classroom should carry over to religious education
•    Children want to be part of something bigger than themselves.  They want to feel connected and a part of something
•    Now, more than ever before, we need to provide the highest quality religious education programs to our children
•    And more than ever before, we must do it with the technology they are using to make it relevant and meaningful to them
•    Catholics – like everyone – are relying upon modern technology conveniences, like cell phones, tablets, and computers to help them live their lives 

The Solution is Here

What if there was a way to improve your parish’s religious education, reach students using their interests, and better educate both the students and the parents? Is the Solution uses New Media Technology in order to meet students where they are at.  Founded in 2004 by Fr. James D. Zatalava of Altoona, PA, our organization has provided Sacramental Preparation and enrichment programs to adults and children for over a decade.  Over 5,000 students have taken our godparent preparation program alone. operates with the singular goal of being the best online Catholic catechesis program in the world. Offers the Best in Online Education with best-selling programs including:

•    An Online GodParent Preparation Program
•    A Best-Selling Adult RCIA Program
•    An Equivalent Young Adult RCIA Program
•    Adult Faith Formation Enrichment Programs
•    Children’s Sacramental and Faith Formation Programs

Through our extensive surveys and market research, our students leave our programs knowing more on the Faith and remaining committed to the Catholic Church in the ensuing years.

We handle the planning, the material gathering, and much of the teaching. You have no more need for expensive book purchases and the evaluating and grading. All you have to do is login and you're ready to go! We don't require expensive books. Everything is done online.

Our Mission

As a result of our programs, it is our goal for parents, pastors and bishops to possess the capacity to educate the students in their care with the highest quality, most authentic catechetical product possible, with the ability to utilize it in the most convenient, state of the art, and fully accountable manner available.

Don’t Wait! Visit us today at and browse our course offerings today.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Third Anniversary of Fatima - A Vision of Hell

Today is the 99th Anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary's appearance in Fatima and the Vision of Hell.  You can read a more thorough account of the apparition by clicking here.

The following is from today's newsletter of American Needs Fatima:

I have a rather controversial topic to share with you today – hell.  It’s not very popular these days. Some even doubt its existence or, saying it does exist, they say no one is actually sent there.

Well, Our Lady was never concerned about being popular, and she certainly believes hell exists. What’s more, the Mother of Mercy knew she had to show hell to us all – through the three shepherd children – in order to save souls from going there.

Because, regardless of the latest opinion poll – souls do go there. Our Lady said so. But, you may ask, did she really have to show hell and all its horrors to three little children?  Would she really scare them like that?

Sadly, yes, she did have to show them and, yes, it did scare them, big time! Here is a little of what Lucia, only 10 years old at the time wrote about it:
“Plunged in this fire were … souls in human form … amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair.” 
Had it not been for Mary’s promise to the children that they would indeed go to heaven, Lucia said: “we would have died of fear and terror.”
The Old Testament speaks of hell; Our Lord Jesus Christ referred to it often; and the Catholic Church has been teaching about its existence – and how to avoid it – for over 2,000 years. But Mother Mary knows her children – those in 1917 and those in 2016 – and she also knew that a picture is worth a thousand words… and this case a million. In the third Apparition of Fatima, hell was not just spoken of, it was made into a reality that those children saw with their own eyes.

All you have to do is look at their faces, and you know that hell is for real. Fortunately, that is not the end of our story. It would have been cruel for Our Lady to show them hell, but then not teach us how to avoid it. Mary just wouldn’t do that!

Our Lady of Fatima asks when we pray our rosary, to add this prayer after every “Glory Be”:  Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

I know you love Holy Mary. If you’re not praying this prayer already, maybe you could start today – 99 years after she showed the children hell, and most importantly, gave us all the Fatima solution.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
St. John Gualbert, Model of Forgiveness

Double (1955 Calendar): July 12

This painting of St. John Gualbert by the Italian Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1753, oil on canvas), showcases the extraordinary spiritual awakening of this Florentine saint.

Saint John Gualbert was born in Florence during the eleventh century. He had a younger brother who had been murdered; Gualbert pursued the murderer and was about to slay him when the assassin extended his arms in the shape of a cross and asked for mercy in the name of Jesus Christ.  Fittingly, it was on Good Friday that the solder, John Gualbert, encountered the assassin. 
Instead of exacting revenge, Gualbert embraced his brother’s killer. Afterward, Gualbert entered a nearby church to give thanks for having resisted the impulse to commit murder. As he prayed, the image of Christ on the crucifix appeared to incline his head toward him. Gualbert was moved to forsake the world and enter a Benedictine monastery and later founded the Vallombrosan monastic order.  His Order helped spread a revival of faith and morals throughout Italy and he was a champion against the sin of simony.

The example of St. Gualbert shows us the extraordinary gift of God's grace in our lives to forgive others, as He has forgiven us by crucifying his Son by our sins, offenses, and ingratitudes.

Traditional Matins Reading:

John Gualbert was born at Florence of a noble family. While, in compliance with his father’s wishes, he was following the career of arms, it happened that his only brother Hugh was slain by a kinsman. On Good Friday, John, at the head of an armed band, met the murderer alone and unarmed, in a spot where they could not avoid each other. Seeing death imminent, the murderer, with arms outstretched in the form of a cross, begged for mercy, and John, through reverence for the sacred sign, graciously spared him. Having thus changed his enemy into a brother, he went to pray in the church of San Miniato, which was near at hand; and as he was adoring the image of Christ crucified, he saw it bend its head towards him. John was deeply touched by this miracle, and determined thenceforward to fight for God alone, even against his father’s wish; so on the spot he cut off his own hair and put on the monastic habit. Very soon his pious and religious manner of life shed abroad so great a lustre that he became to many a living rule and pattern of perfection. Hence on the death of the Abbot of the place he was unanimously chosen superior. But the servant of God, preferring obedience to superiority, and moreover being reserved by the divine will for greater things, betook himself to Romuald, who was then living in the desert of Camaldoli, and who, inspired by heaven, announced to him the institute he was to form; whereupon he laid the foundations of his Order under the Rule of St. Benedict at Vallombrosa.

Soon afterwards many, attracted by the renown of his sanctity, flocked to him from all sides. He received them into his society, and together with them he zealously devoted himself to rooting out heresy and simony, and propagating the apostolic faith; on account of which devotedness both he and his disciples suffered innumerable injuries. Thus, his enemies in their eagerness to destroy him and his brethren, suddenly attacked the monastery of San Salvi by night, burned the church, demolished the buildings, and mortally wounded all the monks. The man of God, however, restored them all forthwith to health by a single sign of the cross. Peter, one of his monks, miraculously walked unhurt through a huge blazing fire, and thus John obtained for himself and his sons the peace they so much desired. From that time forward every stain of simony disappeared from Tuscany; and faith, throughout all Italy, was restored to its former purity.

John built many entirely new monasteries, and restored many others both as to their material buildings and as to regular observance, strengthening them all with the bulwark of holy regulations. In order to feed the poor he sold the sacred vessels of the altar. The elements were obedient to his will when he sought to check evil-doers; and the sign of the cross was the sword he used whereby to conquer the devils. At length, worn out by abstinence, watchings, fasting, prayer, maceration of the flesh, and finally old age, he fell into a grievous malady, during which he repeated unceasingly those words of David: 'My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God: when shall I come and appear before the face of God?’ When death drew near, calling together his disciples, he exhorted them to preserve fraternal union. Then he caused these words to be written on a paper which he wished should be buried with him: 'I, John, believe and confess the faith which the holy apostles preached, and the holy Fathers in the four Councils have confirmed.' At length, having been honoured during three days with the gracious presence of angels, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, he departed to the Lord at Passignano, where he is honoured with the highest veneration. He died in the year of salvation 1073, on the fourth of the Ides of July; and having become celebrated by innumerable miracles, was enrolled by Celestine III in the number of the saints.


Let the blessed Abbot John intercede for us, O Lord. may his prayers win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Sunday, July 10, 2016
A Prayer for the Forgotten Dead

O merciful God, take pity on those souls who have no particular friends and intercessors to recommend them to Thee, who, either through the negligence of those who are alive, or through length of time are forgotten by their friends and by all. Spare them, O Lord, and remember Thine own mercy, when others forget to appeal to it. Let not the souls which Thou hast created be parted from thee, their Creator.May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
SSPX Launches a New Rosary Crusade

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X announced another Rosary Crusade as a spiritual preparation for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.

At the priestly ordinations in Zaitzkofen (Germany) on July 2, 2016, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X announced another Rosary Crusade as a spiritual preparation for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (May to October 1917).

This crusade will be held from August 15, 2016 to August 22, 2017.

It follows the intentions indicated by the Blessed Virgin herself: (I) Jesus wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In order to do so, all the faithful are invited:
  1.     to recite the rosary daily, alone or as a family;
  2.     to accomplish the devotion of the reparatory communion on five first Saturdays, and to multiply their daily sacrifices in a spirit of reparation for the outrages against Mary;
  3.     to wear the miraculous medal themselves and to diffuse it around them;
  4.     to consecrate their homes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Besides the propagation of this devotion, we will also pray (II) for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and (III) for the pope and all the bishops of the Catholic world to consecrate Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And as a special intention we will add (IV) the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Society of St. Pius X and all its members in addition to all the religious communities of Tradition.

The goal set by Bishop Bernard Fellay is a bouquet of 12 million rosaries and 50 million sacrifices for Our Lady of Fatima.

Source: SSPX.ORG
Friday, July 8, 2016
Fr. Peter Carota (RIP)

Today at 7 AM, Fr. Peter Carota, the great traditional Catholic priest who was behind the blog Traditional Catholic Priest has died.  Please join me in praying for his soul and having Masses said for his behalf.  Please pray for his family and those spiritual children who he has left behind.


Out of the depths, I have cried to Thee, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice. Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark my iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord
My soul hath relied on His word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord. From the morning watch even until night; let Israel hope in the Lord. Because with the Lord there is mercy; and with Him plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them: May they rest in peace Amen.

Most gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the souls of the Faithful Departed. Be not severe in Thy Judgments, but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames and do Thou, O merciful Savior, send Thy angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Feast of Ss Cyril & Methodius

Double (1955 Calendar): July 7

Today is the Feast of Ss Cyril and Methodius.  The Roman Martyrology entry of April 6th says of them:
In Moravia, the birthday of St. Methodius, bishop and confessor. Together with his brother, the bishop St. Cyril, whose birthday was the 14th of February, he converted many of the Slav races and their rulers to the faith of Christ. Their feast is celebrated on the 7th day of July.
The fruit of  Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius led to the conversion of the family of Vratislav I, Duke of Bohemia.  Vratislav's son would become St. Wenceslaus of Bohemia.  And there were other canonized saints in his family.  May the holy example and good works of these two holy brothers bring about many more saints.  Kyrie eleison!

Traditional Matins Reading:

Cyril and Methodius were brothers, born of noble parents in Thessalonica, and when old enough were sent to Constantinople that they might, in the great capital of the East, learn the principles of literature and the arts. Both of them made great progress in a short time; but especially Cyril, who attained such a reputation for learning that as a token of distinction he was called the philosopher. Methodius afterwards became a monk; whilst Cyril was judged worthy by the empress Theodora, at the suggestion of Ignatius the patriarch, to be entrusted with the labour of instructing in the faith of Christ the Chazars, a people dwelling beyond the Chersonesus; which people, being taught by his precepts and incited by the grace of God, abolishing their numerous superstitions, he added unto the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Having excellently organized the new Christian community, he returned, filled with joy, to Constantinople, and betook himself to the same monastery of Polychrone, wherein Methodius had already retired. In the meanwhile, the fame of the success gained in the country beyond the Chersonesus having reached the ears of Ratislas, prince of Moravia, he was earnest with the emperor Michael the Third, in negotiating the grant of some evangelical labourers. Cyril and Methodius being therefore designated for this expedition, were received with great joy in Moravia; and with so much energy, care, and ability did they strive to infuse into the minds of the people the Christ tian doctrine, that it was nolong ere this nation most cordially subscribed its name to Jesus Christ. This success was in no small measure due to the knowledge of the Slavonic tongue which Cyril had previously acquired; and of very great avail, likewise, was the translation which he made of both Testaments of the holy Scriptures, into the language proper to this people: indeed Cyril and Methodius were the first to find alphabetical letters whereby this language of the Slavs is signified and expressed, and, on this account, they are not undeservedly held as the originators of this same language.

When favourable rumour brought as far as Rome the glorious fame of these achievements, the Pope, Saint Nicholas I, ordered these two illustrious brethren to repair to Rome. They set out on their journey to Rome, bearing with them the relics of Saint Clement I which Cyril had discovered in the Chersonesus. At which news, Adrian II, who had succeeded on the death of Nicholas, went forth with a great concourse of the clergy and people, to meet them, in token of veneration. Then Cyril and Methodius related to the Sovereign Pontiff, in the presence of his clergy, the details regarding their apostolic ministry in which they had been holily and laboriously engaged; but as they were accused by the envious of having presumed to use the Slavonic tongue in the performance of the sacred rites, such weighty and clear reasons did they allege for so doing, that the Pope and his clergy both praised and approved these holy men. Then both of them, having sworn that they would persevere in the faith of blessed Peter and of the Roman Pontiffs, were consecrated bishops by Adrian. But it was the divine decree that Cyril, ripened rather in virtue than in age, should end his mortal course at Rome. He, therefore, being dead, his corpse was borne in a public funeral to the very grave that Adrian had prepared for himself; later on, the holy body was taken to St. Clement's that it might lie near the ashes of that saint. And as he was thus borne through the city amidst the festive chanting of psalms, with pomp rather triumphal than funeral, the Roman people seemed to be paying to the holy man the firstfruits of heavenly honours. Methodius, on his part, having returned into Moravia, there applied himself with his whole soul to be an example in his works to his flock; and day by day he strove more and more to further Catholic interests. He likewise confirmed in the faith of the Christian name the Pannonians, Bulgarians, and Dalmatians; moreover he laboured much among the Carinthians to bring them over to the worship of the one true God.

Being once more accused to John VIII, who had succeeded Pope Adrian, of suspected faith and of the violation of the custom of the ancients, he was summoned to Rome, where in presence of John, several bishops, and likewise the clergy of the city, he easily proved that he had ever constantly maintained and carefully taught to others the Catholic faith; but as to his having introduced the Slavonic tongue into the sacred liturgy, he exculpated himself by reason of the permission of Pope Adrian, and of certain motives not contrary to the sacred letters. Wherefore, embracing the cause of Methodius in the matter at issue, the Pope recognized his archiepiscopal power and his Slavonian expedition, giving him likewise letters to that effect. Hence Methodius, returning into Moravia, persevered in fulfilling still more vigilantly the duties of his charge, and for this even gladly suffered exile. He brought over the prince of Bohemia and his wife to the faith, and spread the Christian name throughout the length and breadth of this land. He carried the light of the Gospel into Poland, and, as some writers assert, founded the episcopal See of Lwow; and having gone as far as Muscovy, properly so called, there raised an episcopal throne at Kiev. Afterwards, returning to his own people in Moravia, feeling now that he was drawing near his mortal term, he designated a successor, and having, by his last precepts, exhorted the clergy and people to virtue, he peacefully passed away from this life which he had made to be his path to heaven. Even as Rome had paid homage to Cyril, so did Moravia lavish honours on Methodius after his death. Their feast, which had long been kept among the Slavonic people, Pope Leo XIII ordered to be celebrated yearly throughout the universal Church with a proper Mass and Office.


O Almighty and Eternal God, the preaching of the blessed confessor bishops Cyril and Methodius brought the Slavonic nations the knowledge of Your holy name. May we who now glory in their feast join them one day in the fellowship of heaven. Through our Lord . . .
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Francis Open to Women Deacons?

Guest Article by David Martin

In an interview with journalists on June 26, Pope Francis feigned anger and surprise over two-month-old reports that he has opened the door to allowing women deacons in the Catholic Church.

"The first to be surprised by this news was me," the Pope said on June 26 during an in-flight press briefing en route to Rome following his three-day visit to Armenia. "They said: 'The Church opens the door to deaconesses.' Really? I am a bit angry because this is not telling the truth of things."

Nice try, but his speech in fact indicates he is open to the idea, since he admitted to journalists that he agreed to study the question of women deacons. "We had heard that in the first centuries there were deaconesses, the pope said. "One could study this and one could make a commission. Nothing more has been requested."

Herein we see applied the typical modernist ploy of pretending a theological question is open for discussion when in fact it has already been decided by the Church for centuries. If Francis is open to studying the question of women deacons, then clearly he is open to allowing them. If he was truly against women deacons and was resolved never to allow such a thing, he would never consider a commission to study this.

Nor would he be open to feminists that are proposing this. It was their clamor for women deacons this past spring that led him to study this question. In a special audience on May 12, the pope addressed 800 members of the International Union of Superiors General (USIG) which largely focuses on the role of women in the Church, and obstacles "hindering" it. The question was raised as to whether or not there were ordained women deacons in the early Church, at which time one of the sisters asked the pope: "Why not construct an official commission that might study the question" of opening the diaconate to women.

"I believe yes," the pope said. "It would do good for the Church to clarify this point. I am in agreement. I will speak to do something like this," adding later that "it seems useful to me to have a commission that would clarify this well."
The pope's action indeed has opened the door to women deacons, which in turn has been a spur for feminists.

Of such women Francis said on June 26, "Woman's thought is important." Noting how women think differently from men, he said, "One cannot make a good decision without listening to women." Oh Really? Adam listened to Eve, and look what happened to the human race! Is Francis advocating that the clergy should do the same?

His aberration of seeing women as authorities is seen in his General Audience of April 15, 2015, in which he said that "more weight and more authority must be given to women," emphasizing that women should not only be heard, but be given a "recognized authority."

With this same frame of reference, the pope earlier this year sanctioned a special section of L'Osservatore Romano entitled "Women-Church-World," in which three writers have been calling for a reexamination of Church policy. Since March 1 the Vatican's official newspaper has been publishing essays suggesting that women now be allowed to give homilies at Mass.

Sister Catherine Aubin, a Dominican theologian, argues that women should be allowed to lead spiritual retreats and do homilies at Mass. She asks, "Why can’t women also preach in front of everyone during the celebration of Mass?"

Sister Madeleine Fredell who preaches to various ecumenical congregations including the Lutheran Church, says, "I believe that listening to the voice of women at the time of the homily would enrich our Catholic worship."

These are the very people—these and others like them—that have been clamoring for a commission to examine the question of women deacons. Unfortunately, the idea of women deacons, as with women homilists, lectors, speakers, and Eucharistic ministers, is a closed book, as it completely breaks with the Church's 2000 year tradition. According to Christ, His Apostles, and the saints, women have no business on the altar, nor is it their place to lecture in the Church.

St. Paul is to the point. "Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be subject, as also the law saith... For it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church." (1 Corinthians 14:34,35)

Francis should close his ears to feminists and be open only to the Holy Spirit. Has feminism not brought with it enough promiscuity, abuse, and abortion for the pope to not know it is sinful? Does he not realize that in the same way sin entered the world through Eve, it is now entering upon his church through the brazen followers of Eve? If Pope Pius XI rightfully condemned women's participation in ministry as "a grave disorder to eliminate at all cost" (Quadragesima Anno), why would Francis now applaud such a thing?

What we're seeing today in Rome is a distrust and contempt for the eternal ordinance which God in His goodness had established for His Church in the beginning. Somehow our "theologians" of today feel that tradition is outdated and is no longer effective in saving souls, despite the fact that it has so beautifully stood the test of time.

St. Paul offers the cure for this ill that would have us cast off the continuous guidance of the Holy Spirit. "Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)


1st Photo Source: Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation), 2013

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