Monday, February 18, 2019
Feast of Blessed Fra Angelico

Fra Angelico Visited By Angels, by Paul-Hippolyte Flandrin, c. 1894. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, Rouen, France

Today is the anniversary of the death of Bl. John of Fiesole (commonly called Blessed Fra Angelico), the Angelic Dominican painter.  In the image above, Fra Angelico, who is the patron saint of artists, is overcome while painting the Crucifixion, while the angels look on in awe. Communicating truth through beauty is the whole point of picking up a paintbrush, practicing scales, putting on shoes for ballet, and the like. The artist sees this Beauty and desperately wants to communicate it.  In such a way, painters like Fra Angelico help us see what a true artist is meant to be and not what many modern "artists" claim.

Blessed Fra Angelico joined the Dominicans in Fiesole, Italy in 1407, taking the name Fra Giovanna. He was taught to illuminate missals and manuscripts, and he immediately exhibited a natural talent as an artist. Today his works can be seen in the Italian cities Cortona, Fiesole, Florence, and in the Vatican. His dedication to religious art earned him the title Angelico.  His body rests in a tomb at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, the Dominican Church of Rome.


O God, who called blessed John of Fiesole to seek your Kingdom in this world through the pursuit of perfect charity, grant, we pray, through his intercession that we may advance with joyful spirit along the way of love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

(From The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Religious)
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Review: Saint John of the Cross by Father Paschasius Heriz

Published in 1919 and with an imprimatur and glowing review by Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore, "Saint John of the Cross" by Father Paschasius Heriz is a true treasure. Fr. Paschasius of the Carmelite Community at the Catholic University of America was a scholar and an expert on the Carmelite order. I found the first edition of this book at a second-hand store and bought it.  Inside was a true treasure of immense spiritual wisdom as evident by the life and example of St. John of the Cross.

St. John of the Cross was born in 1542 in Spain near the city of Avila to a very pious mother named Catalina Alvarez. His mother was married to St. John's father who married her for her great piety and devotion. However, for doing so, his father lost all of his wealth as a noblemen and lived only a short time afterward. St. John of the Cross's mother raised her sons, three of them, in great poverty. St. John of the Cross had two brothers - Luis who died early in life and Francis, the eldest, who would be a great friend and brother to St. John. Francis would outlive St. John of the Cross.

As a young child, St. John had an accident where he nearly drowned by was saved by an apparition of the Mother of God. That event left an impression and a fervent devotion in him - a devotion that would last for the entirety of his life. In fact, as a young man who would be saved again from falling in a deep well again by the Mother of God to the astonishment of those around.

St. John spent his adolescent years in study and rigorous prayer and penance. He was known for his immense charity to the poor by his work at the hospitals. Around this time, he received a revelation from the Lord Himself who shared that He wished for the saint to become a religious and help restore ancient perfection to an Order in his Church.

St. John of the Cross was above all a humble man and his whole life he with fear for his sins and thought he could do little perfect. Yet, by all accounts of those around him, he lived an entirely unblemished life. His prayer routine was constant, he ate little, he inflicted physical punishment upon himself his entire life, and he wished to aspire to no great thing but to live humbly and in penance for sins.

At the age of 21, St. John entered the Carmelite Order by prompting from the Holy Ghost on February 24, 1563. At that time, he took the name John of St. Mathias, since he received the habit on the Feast of St. Mathias.  At the onset, St. John felt called to personally keep the ancient Rule of the Carmelites that was given by St. Albert, patriarch of Jerusalem, which was approved by Pope Innocent IV. His superiors permitted him to do so. However, the Carmelites at that time instead kept a mitigated rule that was approved by Pope Eugenius IV. The mitigated rule allowed the consumption of meat, it did not require the fast that lasted from the Feast of the Holy Cross all the way to Easter and allowed the friars to wear shoes. Yet, St. John was called by God to observe this Rule and he did while at the Carmelite Monastery even though by doing so he was ridiculed and many days would go hungry as there were no special meals of food prepared for him. Yet, he continued to observe the ancient observance and would permit himself no excuse from any function at the monastery. At the age of 25, St. John was asked to prepare for the priesthood even though he felt far too unworthy to do so. Yet, he submitted - his whole life he submitted to his superiors - and was ordained. Feeling unworthy to offer the Mass, St. John prayed at his first Mass to preserve in purity his whole life and God answered Him at that Mass with a voice that said, "Thy prayer is granted."

The young St. John felt drawn to the Carthusian Order but he was asked by St. Teresa of Avila to help her in the restoration of the primitive Carmelite Rule of Life. He did so and received the habit of the primitive Order. Along with two other friars in 1568, Saint John renewed his solemn vows and renounced the mitigations of the rule sanctioned by Pope Eugenius IV. And they promised both Our Lord and Our Lady that they would live under the primitive rule until death. And in keeping with the custom which St. Teresa had for the sisters to change their names to avoid all connection with their family names, the saint changed his name to John of the Cross.

During the years that followed, again with the support of his superiors, St. John founded many monasteries with the approval of the Order and lived in one that was abject and completely impoverished. He chose the poorest and smallest room for himself. He read souls and counseled many nuns and friars. He is documented on several occasions to have performed exorcisms to have relieved possessed persons. And it was during this time he received many mystical experiences including trances and visions while in prayer or saying Holy Mass.

After nine years of his keeping the primitive Rule, St. John was forcibly arrested by the Carmelite Order which wished to suppress the keeping of the Primitive Rule. St. John underwent the punishment as a prisoner in a Carmelite monastery. There, the prior treated him with great irreverence, forbid him to say Mass, starved Him, refused to let him change his habit or bathe for the entire nine months of his imprisonment, and more. He was treated with the utmost contempt and St. John welcomed it all as a means to make reparation and penance. He longed to suffer and was the most docile and patient of sufferings; in fact, by the accounts were written, the patient endurance of his unjust torture resembled the patience of our Lord in His passion. Yet, after nearly a year, he received a vision from our Lady with the means to escape and he did so.

He spent the remaining years of his life in constant prayer and work for the Order. He served as Vicar-Provincial, he performed miracles, and he continued to found monasteries. This lasted for many years and then in 1587 Pope Sixtus V sanctioned the separation of the friars of the reform from the friars of the mitigation. At last, in 1588 the first General Chapter of the Reform was held where St. John of the Cross was made the first Consultor and Prior of Segovia. Around this time he was in deep prayer when our Our Lord spoke to Him in a vision and asked, "John, what shall I give thee for all thou hast done and suffered for Me?" And after He asked three times, St. John responded, "To suffer and to be held in contempt for Thy sake." And his prayer was granted. In the ensuing years, he was relieved of all offices as superior, he spent his remaining years under a superior who was unkind and hateful towards him for having corrected a fault of his years before, and he died in humiliation. But St. John endured it all and desired the physical and spiritual torment he endured all for the graces and for the sake of God. At last, he died in December 1591 on a Saturday, the day dedicated to Our Lady, which was revealed to Him.

Miraculously, his body and his bandages gave forth a great perfume whose smell could not be contained. Great light filled his tomb just days after he died and his body was incorrupt. It was determined that some of his limbs were to go to some of the houses of the order so it was divided up. And the relics of his body brought many miracles to those who touched them.

Indeed, in life and in death, the life of St. John of the Cross, great father and founder of the Discalced Carmelites, is worth great meditation. I highly recommend "Saint John of the Cross" by Father Paschasius Heriz.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The 26 Holy Martyrs of Japan (Mass in Some Places)

Reproduction of a painting of the 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki which originally appeared in the Church of Sao Paulo in Macau, China, now ruined.

February 13: Mass in Some Places

In the back of the Missal in some places on February 13th is the feastday of the Holy Martyrs of Japan. While we may be familiar with the story of St. Francis Xavier's missionary work in Japan or the miraculous appearance of Our Lady in Atika, less known is the story of these heroic martyrs.

The 26 Christian martyrs included Franciscans, Jesuits, and laypeople who were led from town to town and exposed to the insults of the people. They were crucified at Nagasaki and pierced by spears in 1597.

The Roman Martyrology entry on February 5th reads:
At Nagasaki in Japan, the passion of twenty-six martyrs. Three priests, one cleric, and two lay brothers were members of the Order of Friars Minor; one cleric was of the Society of Jesus, and seventeen belonged to the Third Order of St. Francis. All of them, placed upon crosses for the Catholic faith, and pierced with lances, gloriously died in praising God and preaching that same faith. Their names were added to the roll of saints by Pope Pius IX.
The imperial government at first supported the Catholic mission and the missionaries, thinking that they would reduce the power of the Buddhist monks, and help trade with Spain and Portugal. However, the government increasingly saw Catholicism as a threat. Christianity was suppressed by the Japanese government at the onset of the 17th century despite the fact that there were as many as 300,00 Catholics in Japan by the end of the 16th century. These heroic martyrs died on February 5, 1597. By 1630, Catholicism had been driven underground. Two-hundred and fifty years later, when Christian missionaries returned to Japan, they found a community of "hidden Catholics" that had survived underground.


O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst consecrate the first fruits of the faith in Japan with the blood of the holy martyrs Peter Baptist, Paul, and their companions who died on the cross in imitation of Thee: grant that while celebrating their feast today, we may be spurred on by their example. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
How to Pray the Servite Rosary Chaplet

Today is the Feast of the Seven Founders of the Servite Order, and as such, it is an extremely appropriate day to pray the Servite Rosary.  Never heard of it?  Few have so the following is taken from a post on Happy Catholic with a great overview of how and why to pray the Servite Rosary.

The Servite Rosary beads are not the same as the standard Dominican Rosary. So if you'd like to order one, you may find one on Amazon.

How to Pray the Servite Rosary Chaplet

1) Act of Contrition
2) Announce the First Sorrow. Our Father... then pray Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow
3) Announce each respective Sorrow, pray the Our Father, then pray Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow.
4) Finish with three Hail Marys for the Tears of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
5) Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father 6) Final prayer is: ' Virgin Most Sorrowful, Pray for Us' three times.

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

The First Sorrow

The Holy Prophecy of Simeon: The Blessed Virgin, filled with joy, presented her only son in the temple. How her heart must have broken to hear the prophetic words of Simeon as he foretold the suffering of the Savior and His mother.

The Second Sorrow

The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt: On a moments notice, St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin must take the Infant Jesus on a perilous journey to evade Herod's men who hunted Him. They endured cold, hunger and many hardships as they made their way to a foreign land.

The Third Sorrow

Mary seeks Jesus lost in Jerusalem: The Virgin Mary understands firsthand the profound sorrow of losing a child. For three agonizing days St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother searched for twelve-year-old Jesus, before finding Him among the scholars in the temple.

The Fourth Sorrow

Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary: Jesus, battered and condemned to crucifixion, meets His mother, on the road to Calvary. He is beaten and indescribably defiled; her sorrow is absolute as Jesus drags the cross on which He will be crucified.

The Fifth Sorrow

Mary stands at the foot of the cross: Mary stands near her dying Son, unable to minister to him as he cries "I thirst". She hears him promise heaven to a thief and forgive his enemies. His last words, "Behold your mother," a gift for all of mankind, as His Beloved Mother becomes Mother of All Peoples.

The Sixth Sorrow

Mary holds the body of Jesus: The Pieta. The passion and death are complete, but for Our Lady, grief continues. She holds His body in her arms. Meditate on her tears.

The Seventh Sorrow

Mary places the body of Jesus in the tomb: The sun goes down on the most tragic day in history. As she awaits in faith the resurrection of her Son, Mary alone in sorrow, lays the body of her Son in the tomb.

The Promises of Praying the Servite Rosary

According to the visions of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) our Blessed Mother promises to grant seven graces to those who honor her and draw near to her and her Son every day by meditating on her dolors (sorrows) and entering into her grief.

  • "I will grant peace to their families."
  • "They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries."
  • "I will console them in their pains and will accompany them in their work."
  • "I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls."
  • "I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives."
  • "I will visibly help them at the moment of their death-- they will see the face of their mother."
  • "I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy."
St. Alphonsus Liguori testifies to complementary revelations given by Our Lord to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) where He further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:
  • That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.
  • That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
  • That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.
  • That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.
Monday, February 11, 2019
Pope Francis: “Diversity of Religions” is “Willed by God”

Image Copyright Holy See Press Office

Guest Post By David Martin

Pope Francis has incited more controversy by signing a joint statement with the head of Egypt’s al-Azhar Mosque, which states that "diversity of religions" is "willed by God." 

The Pope signed the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” with Ahmad el-Tayeb, during an interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi on February 4. The event marked the high point of the pope’s three-day apostolic visit to the United Arab Emirates.

The document calls upon “all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations.”

By "human fraternity," the proponents of the document mean fraternity in the flesh. The only true fraternity is to extend the riches of the Catholic Faith to all peoples, outside of which there is no real fraternity. For it is only through conversion to the One True Church that we become brothers and sisters in Christ.

However, the passage inciting controversy reads:
Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.
Since when does God grant anyone the "freedom" to resist the truth and "do whatever thou wilt?" The Church has always admonished mankind "to adhere to a certain religion," i.e. the Catholic Church. This is not an "imposition" but a profession of the absolute truth that must be adhered to if man wishes to be saved. To say that this preaching "must be rejected" is to say that the Church for 2000 years was wrong.

Moreover, saying that “the diversity of religions” is “willed by God” has every appearance of heresy. The mission of the Church from the beginning is to bring the knowledge of God to the world and "teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19), that all peoples might leave their particular idols and creeds and be converted to the Catholic Church. The Church infallibly teaches that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church (extra ecclesiam nulla salus), so unless Francis means that this diversity of religion is permissively willed by God to elicit the Church's response to reach out and convert other religions, he is negating dogma and dignifying the errors of fake religion.

For to say that God willed diversity of religions in the ordained sense is to say that God engendered these religions, which is heresy. And since Francis obviously means that diversity of "color, sex, race and language are willed by God" in the ordained sense (which they are), we can only assume he means "diversity of religions" the same way.

Even if other religions agreed with Catholic teaching they could not coexist with the Catholic Church for the simple reason that Christ did not found them—they’re invalid and operate out of grace. The fact is that every world religion exists in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church, which means the Catholic Church may never unite with them.

Francis has consistently urged the Church to ecumenically unite with other religions, so by “diversity of religions” we can safely infer that he is advocating post-Vatican II ecumenism, which is all about unity with man and not with God. Should the pope be using his position to advance this secular humanism?

Note: Cardinal Müller issues Manifesto of Faith: A quasi correction of Pope Francis’ pontificate
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Visit to Mission San Luis Obispo

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Mission San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, CA, which is located about equidistant from both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here are some of the images I was able to capture this historic mission, which is completely free to visit, unlike many other missions.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Ss. Vedast and Amand: The Forgotten Saints of February 6th

Today in the Dominican Order for February 6th is celebrated the Memory of Ss. Vedast and Amand. As a side note, February 6th is also the day on which the Office of the Dead is prayed for the repose of the soul of parents of Dominicans who have passed away.

February 6th is in the Traditional Roman Rite the feastday of St. Titus who was assigned to February 6th in 1854. Before 1854, St. Titus' feast day was celebrated in a few calendars on January 4th. The feast of St Titus was added to the General Calendar only in 1854, as a kind of extension of the same general principle behind the addition of St Timothy to the Roman Calendar in 1568.

In the Dominican Rite - and the Sarum Rite likewise - February 6th was never modified to the feastday of St. Titus or even St. Dorothy, who is commemorated in the Roman Missal on February 6th.  Those rites have retained February 6th in honor of Ss. Vedast and Amand

So who were St. Vedast and St. Amand? St. Vedast (also called "Vaast") and St. Amand were both important founders of canonical communities in what is now northern France; their cultus was widely diffused throughout France and passed with the Normans into England which is why they are in Sarum.  St. Amand also Christianised Flanders in present-day Belgium.

Quoted from Catholic Online:
St. Vedast, a native of western France, is best-known as the catechist of Clovis, King of the Franks. Ordained at Toul, Vedast met Clovis when the king required a learned man to accompany him to Rheims after the battle of Tolbiac (496); upon their arrival, Clovis recommended his companion to Archbishop Remigius, who was to baptize the king after his wife, Clotilde had converted him to Christianity. The two clerics evangelized the Franks, and in 499, Vedast was named bishop of Arras and Cambrai, dioceses that had returned to paganism after the raids of Atilla. During his forty-year tenure, Vedast restored the faith of his people and the churches in which they worshipped.
St. Amand was a father of monasticism in ancient Belgium and a score of monasteries claimed him as founder. He found houses at Elnone (Saint-Amand-les-Eaux), near Tournai, which became his headquarters, St. Peters on Mont-Blendin at Ghent, but probably not St. Bavo's there as well; Nivells, for nuns, with Blessed Ida and St. Gertrude, Barisis-au-Bois, and probably three more. It is said, though possibly apocryphal, that in 646 he was chosen bishop of Maestricht, but that three years later, he resigned that See to St. Remaclus and returned to the missions which he had always had most at heart. He continued his labors among the heathens until a great age, when, broken with infirmities, he retired to Elnone. There he governed as Abbot for four years, spending his time in preparing for the death which came to him at last soon after 676. That St. Amand was one of the most imposing figures of the Merovingian epoch, is disputed by no serious historian; he was not unknown in England, and the pre-Reformation chapel of the Eyston family at east Hendred in Birkshire is dedicated in his honor.
The Collect from the Dominican Missal:

O God, You surround and shield us by the glorious witness of Your confessors Vedast and Amand; grant us to be made better by imitating them, and happier by their intercession, through our Lord...
Monday, February 4, 2019
Bishop Von Galen: Protector of the Blessed Sacrament

Bishop Von Galen is a true bishop who stood as a shepherd in the face of conflict.

Fr. Ronald Brown, a traditional priest, shared this story on Facebook recently:
Hitler is recorded to have remarked that he only wished he "could get his hands around his neck" to silence him. The saintly bishop withstood the evils of the Nazi regime which practiced euthanasia on those "not fit" for society (the sick, the mentally retarded etc). In the face of this, the bishop said: "once it is admitted that people have the right to kill 'unproductive' human beings - and if there are now poor, defenseless, insane, disabled, unborn children -, then basically the murder of all unproductive people, so to the incurable sick, the disabled cripples, the invalids of work and war, then the murder of all of us is released when we are old and decrepit and thus unproductive." (Sermon 3. August 1941, St. Lamberti Münster)
Interestingly and profoundly, he added:
He was extremely tall. His death came about because, while administering Holy Communion, he tripped; rather than drop the Ciboria with all the hosts, he protected the Ciborium and pierced himself on the Communion rail. That accident and subsequent illness brought about very sadly his death. He might also be known as the "protector of the Blessed Sacrament."
Sunday, February 3, 2019
6 Years into Pope Francis's Papacy: The Disastrous Results

  • Francis says that he celebrated Martin Luther’s “Reformation” last year.  Francis thus celebrated Martin
  • Luther’s revolution against the Catholic Church.  He received a statue of Luther in the Vatican.
  • According to Francis, you shouldn’t say even one word to attempt to convince someone that the Catholic faith is the true religion.
  • Francis called a deceased Buddhist “Venerable”.
  • Francis teaches that you can die as an atheist and go to Heaven!
  • Francis learned that a priest told others that a mortal sinner was not saved.  Francis tries to “reassure” the people that the priest is not correct.
  • Francis identifies an Islamic leader as an authentic believer.
  • Francis says you shouldn’t try to convert people to Catholicism.
  • For a person to be saved, he or she must be baptized, have the true faith, and die in the state of grace.  Francis teaches that all men will be saved regardless.
  • The London Times newspaper reported that a group of cardinals who supported Pope Francis now want him to resign and be replaced by Cardinal Pietro Parolin because they fear his reforms will cause a schism “more disastrous” than the Reformation.
  • Prominent Catholic philosophers and a world expert on the Church Fathers have joined the growing chorus of voices expressing deep concerns over the implications of Pope Francis’s controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia which allows divorced Catholics to receive communion without an annulment. “The seeming ‘internal waffling’ going on inside the Church over the issue of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried is undermining the Church’s moral authority”, wrote Dr. Jude P. Dougherty, the dean emeritus of the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America. In a 25-page letter, nearly 70 Catholic theologians and clergy assert that the pontiff has propagated “heretical propositions” on “marriage, the moral law, and the reception of the sacraments.”
  • Pope Francis said, “If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried, you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly.”
  • Pope Francis called Italy’s foremost abortion promoter one of nation’s ‘forgotten greats’. In an interview with
  • “Corriere Della Sera” he praised Italy’s unrepentant leading abortionist and proponent of abortion, Emma Bonino, as one of the nation’s “forgotten greats,” comparing her to great historical figures.
  • An 88-year-old American former cardinal, who was already the highest-ranking US priest accused of sexual abuse, has suddenly found himself at the centre of the latest storm that has engulfed the Roman Catholic church and marred the pope’s visit to Ireland.
  • Theodore McCarrick resigned as a cardinal last month over abuse allegations arising from a series of grand jury investigations in the state of Pennsylvania. Pope Francis had been aware of the allegations against McCarrick since 2013 but had failed to act on them.
  • Pope Francis has now promoted the notorious Tymothy Radcliffe (who favours homosexuality) to Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. This is a Papal appointment. Radcliffe is well-known, and outspoken in favor of homosexuality.
  • In his clearing out and re-stacking of the Vatican’s highest pro-life institution, the Pontifical Academy For Life, Pope Francis has not invited many former members specifically chosen by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for their pro-life-and-family credentials as well as their fidelity to Catholic teaching. At the same time, however, Pope Francis appointed a pro-abortion theologian who has expressed support for euthanasia in certain circumstances.
  • Pope Francis changed Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual to include women. Christ washed the feet of his all-male apostles at the Last Supper.
  • United States Vice President Joe Biden addressed a Vatican conference on adult stem cell research Friday just before Pope Francis spoke. Biden’s invitation has sparked criticism because he supports the taxpayer-funded killing of embryonic human beings for research purposes.  He is also a vocal proponent of abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and the LGBT agenda, yet he flaunts his Catholic faith as an important part of his life.
  • Pope Francis gave awards to Hollywood pro-abortion, anti-marriage advocates Richard Gere, George Clooney, and Salma Hayek.
  • The pope made the dual claimed that some cohabitating (unmarried) couples are in a “real marriage,” receiving the grace of the Sacrament. Later in his reply, Pope Francis spoke of couples preferring to cohabitate and told priests not to tell them to marry.
  • Pope Francis has named Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich to serve as a member of the Congregation for Bishops. When he was the bishop of Spokane, Washington, Cupich requested that priests and seminarians of his diocese not participate in 40 Days for Life prayer vigils outside abortion facilities. In August 2015, in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trafficking scandal, Cupich wrote that unemployment and hunger are just as appalling as killing children in the womb.  Cupich has openly contradicted Catholic canon law on giving Holy Communion to those in a state of mortal sin.
  • Pope Francis called on Catholics to go to confession for sins of not being respectful of creation, giving examples of examination of conscience such as “avoiding the use of plastic and paper,” “separating refuse” and “turning off unnecessary lights.”
  • Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life will no longer be required to sign a declaration that they uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings. In new statutes for the Vatican body, Pope Francis has also expanded its mandate to include a focus on the environment.
  • Pope Francis criticized the “rigidity” of young people who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass.
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Laetabundus: The Ancient Sequence for Candlemas

This very ancient Sequence was excluded from the Roman Missal in 1570 but survived in other traditions including Gallican, Sarum, Dominican and Carmelite liturgies. It is sung at various points during the Christmas-tide, from the Masses of Christmas Day to as late as Candlemas, Feb. 2. To introduce this sequence, Dom Prosper Gueranger wrote:

"As a conclusion to our Feast, we give two favourite Pieces of the Middle-Ages, whereby our Fathers expressed their joy on this glorious Solemnity. The first is a Sequence, which is to be found in all the Roman-French Missals. For a long time, it was thought to have been written by St. Bernard: but, we have seen it in a Manuscript of the 11th Century, and, consequently, it must have been written earlier than the date usually assigned to it."

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