Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Indulgence for the Angelic Crown in Honor of St. Michael

In honor of the first of two feastdays of St. Michael the Archangel, I wish to remind everyone of the following entry in the Raccolta:

It is a pious tradition, that the Archangel Michael revealed to a holy person that he would he well pleased by his bringing into use the following prayers in his honour and in honour of all the angelic host; and that he would repay those who practised this devotion with signal favours, particularly in such times as the Catholic Church should experience some special trial. 

In this belief, a holy Carmelite nun, of the convent of Vetralla, in the diocese of Viterbo, who died with the reputation of sanctity in the year 1751, made it her delight to practise this method of prayer, commonly called the "Angelic Chaplet;" and it was at the instigation of the nuns of her convent that his Holiness Pins IX., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Rites, dated August 8, 1851, granted the following Indulgences -

i. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines every time the Chaplet is said.

ii. An indulgence of 100 days daily to any one who carries this Chaplet about him, or kisses the medal with the representation of the holy angels appended to the said Chaplet.

iii. A plenary indulgence once a month to every one who says daily this Chaplet, on any one day when, after Confession and Communion, he shall pray for the exaltation of our holy Mother the Church and the safety of the Sovereign Pontiff.

iv. A plenary indulgence, with the conditions above named, on -

1. The Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael. May 8.
2. The Dedication of St. Michael. September 29.
3. St. Gabriel the Archangel. March 18.
4. St. Raphael the Archangel. October 24.
5. Holy Angel Guardians. October 2.

To gain these Indulgences, a Chaplet must be used consisting of nine Pater noster’s, and three Ave Maria's after each Pater noster, with four Pater noster’s at the end; the following corresponding salutations being said at the same time in their proper order, with the antiphon and prayer at the end us given below. These Chaplets must be blessed by the actual father confessor of the convent of Vetralla, or some other priest who has obtained faculties for this purpose.


Let every one, according to his ability, begin with an act of sincere contrition, kneeling before a representation of the holy Archangel; then let him say with devotion the following salutations:

V. Deus in adjutorium meum intende.
R. Dontine ad adjuvandum me festina.

Gloria Patri, &c.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the First Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Seraphim, may it please God to make us worthy to receive into our hearts the fire of His perfect charity. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Second Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Cherubim, may God grant us grace to abandon the ways of sin, and run the race of Christian perfection. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Third Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the sacred choir of the Thrones, may it please God to infuse into our hearts a true and earnest spirit of humility. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Fourth Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Dominations, may it please God to grant us grace to have dominion over our senses, and to correct our depraved passions. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Fifth Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Powers, may God vouchsafe to keep our souls from the wiles and temptations of the devil. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Sixth Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the choir of the admirable celestial Virtues, may our Lord keep us from falling into temptation, and deliver us from evil. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Seventh Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Principalities, may it please God to fill our souls with the spirit of true and hearty obedience. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Eighth Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of Archangels, may it please God to grant its the gift of perseverance in the faith and in all good works, that we may thereby be enabled to attain unto the glory of Paradise. Amen.


One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Ninth Angelic Choir.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the Heavenly choir of Angels, may God vouchsafe to grant us the safe-conduct of the holy Angels through life, and after death a happy entrance into the everlasting glory of heaven. Amen.

Then say four Pater noster's in conclusion; the first to St. Michael, the second to St. Gabriel, the third to St. Raphael, the  fourth to your Angel Guardian.

This exercise then ends with the following Antiphon.


Michael, glorious Prince, chief and champion of the heavenly host, guardian of the souls of men, conqueror of the rebel angels, minister in the house of God, our worthy captain under Jesus Christ, endowed with superhuman excellence and virtue; vouchsafe to free us all from every evil, who with full confidence have recourse to thee; and by thy powerful protection enable us to make progress every day in the faithful service of our God.

V. Pray for us, most blessed Michael, prince of the Church of Jesus Christ.
R. That we may be made worthy of His promises.


Almighty and eternal God, who in thine own marvellous goodness and pity didst, for the common salvation of man, choose the glorious Archangel Michael to be the prince of Thy Church; make us worthy, we pray Thee, to be delivered by his beneficent protection from all our enemies, that at the hour of our death no one of them may approach to harm us, and that by the same Archangel Michael we may be introduced into the presence of Thy high and heavenly Majesty. Through the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Monday, May 7, 2018
The Tomb of St. Francis Regis Clet

This past March I was privileged to venerate the body of St. Francis Regis Clet, whose body is housed in the Shrine of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris, France.

Who is this St. Francis Regis Clet?  The Vincentian Encyclopedia summarizes his life:
Francis Regis Clet, the tenth of 15 children, was born into a farm family in Grenoble in the southwest corner of Francis in 1748 and was named for the recently canonized fellow-Grenoblian, Jesuit Jean Francois Regis. After completing studies at the Royal College (founded by the Jesuits), he followed his elder brother and sister into vowed religious life. In Lyons in 1769, he entered the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians). After ordination, Francis served as professor of moral theology at the Vincentian seminary in Annecy where he was affectionately called "the walking library" because of his encyclopedic knowledge and academic discipline. In 1786, he became Rector of Annecy and two years later, Director of Novices in Paris.
Francis Regis petitioned to go to China as a missionary several times, but his superiors did not accede to his request until 1791. At the age of 43, he replaced another priest who had to withdraw from the assignment at the last minute. A confrere, in writing about Clet's assignment to China, noted: "He has everything you could ask for: holiness, learning, health and charm." 
After a six month sea journey from France and some transition time in Macao, which included assuming the dress and customs of the Chinese people, the new missioner arrived in Kiang-si in October of 1792 as the only European in the area. Clet's acculturation was hampered by his life-long difficulty with the language. In 1793 Clet joined two Chinese confreres in Hou-Kouang in the Hopei Province where both of his companions died within his first year, one in prison and one from exhaustion. In that year, Clet became superior of an international group of Vincentian missioners scattered over a very large territory, and he himself pastored an area of 270 thousand square miles. In that leadership capacity, he developed standards so that there would be a uniform approach to ministry (sacramental and catechetical) among the missioners. 
In 1811, the anti-Christian persecutions in China intensified with the Christians being accused of inciting rebellion against the ruling dynasty. For several years, Clet endured abuse and attacks, which frequently forced him to find refuge in the mountains. In 1819, with a generous reward on their heads, Clet and a Chinese confrere became fugitives. Like Jesus, he was finally betrayed by one of his own, a Catholic schoolmaster whom Clet had challenged for his scandalous behavior. Like the missionary St. Paul, Clet endured ignominy and forced marches in chains over hundreds of miles. 
On January 1, 1820, Clet was found guilty of deceiving the Chinese people by preaching Christianity and was sentenced to strangulation on a cross. On February 18, after approval of his sentence by the Emperor, Francis Regis Clet was executed. As in the case of Jesus, Christians took his body and buried it on a hillside where it rested until it was returned to the Vincentian motherhouse in Paris several decades later and is now honored at St. Lazare.

Photos (c) A Catholic Life Blog, 2017
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Can you make Confirmation before Communion?

In the Catholic Church the common practice is for children to make their First Holy Communion around 2nd grade - this is around the "age of reason," where a child is able to understand that what they are receiving is not bread but the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ.  They are also aware of sin and thus able to commit actual sins - as a result, they need the Sacrament of Confession to receive absolution from their actual sins.

Confirmation is typically administered around 8th grade or in some places 10th grade.  But, there is a growing trend to more Conformation closer to Communion.  In fact, in the Byzantine Catholic Tradition Baptism and Confirmation are received together and it is later on the child is able to receive First Holy Communion.

The following dioceses have begun to administer Confirmation in the 2nd grade level around the time of First Communion and the list continues to grow:

1.    Saginaw (1995)
2.    Great Falls-Billings (1996)
3.    Portland, Maine (1997)
4.    Spokane (1998)
5.    Fargo (2002)
6.    Gaylord (2003)
7.    Tyler (2005)
8.    Phoenix (2005)
9.    Honolulu (2015)
10.   Denver (2015)
11.   Manchester (2017)

The difficulty though for these students in our modern world is to live out the Catholic Faith.  While many students falsely treat an 8th grade Confirmation as a graduation from religion and the need to end classes [which it is not!], these students in 2nd grade need a strong religious conviction in their family to be sure they are continuing to learn the Faith and make progress in the spiritual life.

So, is it possible to receive Confirmation before Communion?  Yes it is, but it depends on what Diocese you are in.  Seek out information from your local priest. 

And for those looking for an online religious education program to help you learn the Faith and prepare for your Sacraments (whether Confirmation, Confession, or Communion) please look to CatechismClass.com, the leader in the field.
Vatican II Engendered Today’s “Religious Liberty”

Guest Post By David Martin

There has been much published this past year in refutation of Pope Francis’ repeated use of distorted or ambiguous wording to advance licentious behavior in the name of “conscience.”

These publications are warranted. For instance, Amoris Laetitia says that those living in adultery may at times continue thus in good conscience: "Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal." (Amoris Laetitia 303)

So according to Amoris Laetitia, conscience can recognize that "the most generous response" we can give to God is to break his commandments. How can this be when Christ said, "If you love me keep my commandments?" (John 14:15) Sin crucifies the Savior, so how can it be a "generous response” to him?

In an adulterous situation with a fornicator, the only thing that conscience recognizes is that he is offending God. The finger of conscience is pointing at him and telling him he must leave his shameful vice if he wishes to be saved, but pride comes along and closes his heart to the voice of conscience. Like a Pharisee, he resists the Holy Spirit and seeks continued escape in his sin, yet Amoris Laetitia says this "is what God himself is asking" of him.

This false understanding of conscience is becoming problematic in a way never before seen in Church history. More and more we see Catholics entertaining a false religious liberty that advocates the selfish rights of man, as if modern man is now a little god who can think for himself without the guidance of a divine chaperone.   

Sadly, the groundwork for this arrogance was laid at the Second Vatican Council fifty-three years ago. Consider the opening paragraph of Dignitatis Humanae, which is the Vatican II document on Religious Liberty:

“A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man, and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment.” [1] 

Again, we read:

“God has regard for the dignity of the human person whom He Himself created and man is to be guided by his own judgment and he is to enjoy freedom.” [11]

Here we see the Council honoring man’s prerogative to be his own guide, which is contrary to the Creator. “For God will not except any man’s person, neither will He stand in awe of any man’s greatness: for He made the little and the great, and he has equally care for all.”   (Wisdom 6:8)

Man’s true dignity consists in his being made to the image of God, but this dignity is preserved by keeping one’s innocence and yielding his judgment up to God, so that he makes God’s judgment his own in matters of faith and morals. What God requires of us is a childlike submission to doctrine and Tradition as taught by the Savior Himself: “Unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

According to Vatican II, the Church may not infringe upon one’s personal rights by laying down the law as to what they must do to be saved. It affirms the natural rights of man in matters of religion (Masonic freedoms), which is contrary to the previous papal teachings which deny any such rights. Pope Pius IX in his Encyclical “Quanta Cura”, Leo XIII in his Encyclicals “Libertas Praestantissimum” and “Immortale Dei” and Pius XII in his allocution “Ci Riesce” all affirm that there is no logical or scriptural basis for this humanist notion of human dignity, yet Vatican II seems to assert it as dogma.

However, we have to make a clear distinction between moral conscience and temptation. Conscience will always compel one to fear God and keep his Commandments which are already engraved “in the fleshy tablets of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3), whereas temptation will always lead one to depart the Commandments and follow his own will or sense of liberty where he doesn’t allow the Divine Monarch to hold the reins in his life. Such liberty offends God and chains us to the shackles of guilt, which is no liberty. (John 8:34) There is no such thing as “my moral conscience told me to sin and be a rebel,” for such is the manifestation of a guilty conscience, not a moral conscience.

It is true that man is given a free will to choose between good and evil, which God does not interfere with, since our eternal friendship with God must be a free will offering which is grounded in charity, and not coercion. However, the abuse of our free will to choose evil is not honored by God nor is it permitted in the Church, nor is it a form of religious liberty.

With every liberal proposal in the Vatican II document(s) there is an apparent conservatism (ambiguous double meaning) to cover its tracks so that, under the pretext of honoring the rights of every human to freely adore his Creator, the document advocates that man has the liberty to follow his own licentious will:

“In all his activity a man is bound to follow his Conscience… It follows that he is not to be forced to act in manner contrary to his conscience. Nor, on the other hand, is he to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience, especially in matters religious. The reason is that the exercise of religion, of its very nature, consists before all else in those internal, voluntary and free acts whereby man sets the course of his life directly to God.” [3]

Here conscience is used interchangeably with self-will so that on the surface it looks very honorable and says the truth that no man or religious authority may infringe on the God-given rights of men to direct themselves to God. But what the document is really saying is that the Church must honor the judgment of man to choose and decide for himself what course he is going to take, even if it means denying Christ. We might almost see the document as a pro-choice document, since what is honored is not the right choice but the “right” or “freedom” to choose, so that whatever choice is made is automatically honored by the Council.

What is absurd is how Vatican II cites our “human dignity” as the justification for this religious liberty. “The declaration of this Vatican Council on the right of man to religious freedom has its foundation in the dignity of the person, whose exigencies have come to be fully known to human reason through centuries of experience.” [9] Since when is man’s ‘dignity’ flaunted before the throne of God?

True religious liberty is that special endowment we all have to freely serve God without the interference of tyrannies or world councils that coerce us into adopting anything contrary to Church tradition. Such was the way of the saints who freely abandoned themselves to God with complete immunity to all things so that they were answerable only to God without respect to persons. (Ephesians 6:6)

The same liberty applies to Christian governments. It is not only the right but duty of government to enforce Christian morality as the law of the land, and to openly advocate it for the good of all, but according to Vatican II our U.S. government does not have that right.

“It follows that a wrong is done when government imposes upon its people, by force or fear or other means, the profession or repudiation of any religion.” [6]

Government indeed cannot force its people to profess a certain denomination, but it most certainly can profess Christianity to be the law of the land where the people at least are required to profess it in action through their compliance. But according to the Council, the U.S. Supreme Court did wrong in 1892 by declaring the United States to be “A Christian nation” in which “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.” The U.S. traditionally imposes the rule of Christianity as the law of the land to be obeyed by its citizens, namely, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not rape, fornicate or abuse little children, etc., yet the Council seems to regard this mandatory compliance as ‘coercion.’ Does government not have a right and duty to enforce law and order?

According to the document, religious zealots and terrorists should be free from such government coercion. “The freedom or immunity from coercion in matters religious which is the endowment of persons as individuals is also to be recognized as their right.” [4] Since when do people have a right to offend? If a person’s religion dictates that he can murder Christians for Allah and crash his jet into the local skyscraper, shall he now be immune from government censure or coercion? God forbid!

The fact that someone has a religious conviction doesn’t make it right. With great liberty and conviction, the Jews condemned Jesus to death, even in the name of “God their father,” but Jesus told them who their father was, the devil, just as the devil is the father of those who suggest we may break the laws of God in view of religious liberty.

Perhaps the most passionate opponent of the Religious Liberty document was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who warned of its detrimental consequences for the future, citing that it advocated “the right to cause scandal.” He warned that with this document “a civil society endowed with Catholic legislation shall no longer exist” and said it would bring about “the disappearance in the Church of the missionary spirit for the conversion of souls.” (Bernard Tissiers, The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre)

On June 29, 1976, the Archbishop also had this to say: “This right to religious freedom is blasphemous, for it attributes to God purposes that destroy His Majesty, His Glory, His Kingship. This right implies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and all the Masonic freedoms.”

According to Lefebvre, the most incriminating evidence against the Religious Liberty of Vatican II was the enthusiastic support it received from the synagogue of satan. Consider the following from the Archbishop:

“This very year [1965], Yves Marsaudon, the Freemason, has published the book L’ oecumenisme vu par un franc-macon de tradition (Ecumenism as Seen by a Traditional Freemason). In it the author expresses the hope of Freemasons that our Council will solemnly proclaim religious liberty… What further evidence do we need?”

If Pope Francis is so impassioned about honoring the rights of man, he should honor our right to resist him, otherwise he discriminates. If adulterers have a right to continue in adultery, then we certainly have a right to censure their adultery, because “men should act on their own judgment” [1] and “man is to be guided by his own judgment.” [11]

With God as our guide we will do just that!
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Indulged Hymn for the Feast of St. Pius V

The following is taken from the Raccolta:

Pope Pius VII., by his Rescript of August 14,1801, granted -

i. A plenary indulgence to all the faithful who, on the Feast of St. Pius V., May 5, being truly penitent, shall, after Confession and Communion, say on this day with devotion the following hymn before an altar or greater relic of this Saint, or else in some church dedicated to his honour, praying according to the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

ii. An indulgence of forty days, once a day, on saying this hymn with devotion.

These Indulgences Pope Pius VIII. of blessed memory granted afresh for ever by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences of Oct. 2, 1830.


Belli tumultus ingruit,
Cultus Dei contemnitur;
Ultrixque culpam persequens
Jam poena terris imminet.

Quem nos in hoc discrimine
Coelestium de sedibus
Praesentiorem vindicem,
Quam te, Pie, invocabimus?

Nemo, beate Pontifex,
Intensiore robore
Quam tu, superni numinis
Promovit in terris decus.

Quem nos. &c.

Ausisve fortioribus
Avertit a cervicibus,
Quod Christianis gentibus
Jugum parabant barbari.

Quem nos. &c

Tu comparatis classibus,
Votis magis sed fervidis
Ad insulas Echinadas
Fundis tyannum Thraciae.

Quem nos. &c.

Absensque eodem tempore,
Hostis fuit quo perditus,
Vides, et adstantes doces
Pugnae secundos exitus.

Quem nos. &c.

Majora qui coelo potes,
Tu supplices nunc aspice,
Tu civium discordias
Compesce, et iras hostium.

Quem nos. &c.

Precante te, pax aurea
Terris revisat; ut Deo
Tuti queamus reddere
Mox laetiora cantica.

Quem nos. &c.

Tibi, Beata Trinitas
Uni Deo sit gloria,
Laus, et potestas omnia
Per saeculorum saecula. Amen.

V. Ora pro nobis, Beate Pie.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Deus, qui ad conterendos ecclesiae tuae hostes, et ad divinum cultum reparandum beatum Pium pontificem maximum eligere dignatus es: fac nos ipsius defendi praesidiis, et ita tuis inhaerere obsequiis, ut omnium hostium superatis insidiis perpetua pace laetemur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, &c.  R. Amen.


Wars and tumults fill the earth;
Men the fear of God despise;
Retribution, vengeance, wrath,
Brood upon the angry skies.

Holy Pius! Pope sublime!
Whom, in this most evil time,
Whom, of saints in bliss, can we
Better call to aid than thee?

None more mightily than thou
Hath, by holy deed or word,
Through the spacious earth below
Spread the glory of the Lord.

Holy Pius, &c.

Thine it was, O pontiff brave!
Pontiff of eternal Rome!
From barbaric yoke to save
Terror-stricken Christendom.

Holy Pius, &c.

When Lepanto’s gulf beheld,
Strewn upon its waters fair,
Turkey’s countless navy yield
To the power of thy prayer.

Holy Pius, &c.

Who meanwhile with prophet’s eye
Didst the distant battle see;
And announce to standers-by
That same moment's victory.

Holy Pius, &c.

Mightier now and glorified,
Hear the suppliant cry we pour;
Crush Rebellion’s haughty pride;
Quell the din of rising war.

Holy Pius, &c.

At thy prayer may golden peace
Down to earth descend again:
License, discord, trouble cease;
Justice, truth, and order reign.

Holy Pius, &c.

To the Lord of endless days,
One Almighty Trinity,
Sempiternal glory, praise,
Honour, might, and blessing be.

Holy Pius, &c.

V. Pray for us, blessed Pius.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
God, who to the destruction of the enemies of Thy Church, and to the restoration of Thy holy worship, didst vouchsafe to elect blessed Pius to be Thy high-Priest; grant us so to be defended by his protection, and so to remain steadfast in Thy service, that overcoming the snares of all our enemies, we may enjoy perpetual peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Amen.
Friday, May 4, 2018
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Summarized by Pope Pius XII

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is more than just the worship of this noble part of our adorable Savior's body.  In the Sacred Heart, we adore the very Person of the Incarnate Word with all His Divine and human attributes.  The Sacred Heart is the symbol of the redeeming love of Our Lord Jesus Christ for men and represents the most ardent affections of the God-Man in His Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

In the expounding on this holy devotion, there is nothing better than the encyclical Haurietis Aquas, in which Pope Pius XII (1939 - 1958) summarized it with unction and solid theological foundation.

Our Lord's Heart, the Pontiff teaches, "the noblest part of human nature, is hypostatically united to the Person of the Divine Word."  For this reason, "there must be paid to it that worship of adoration with which the Church honors the Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself."

Furthermore, the Sacred Heart, "more than all the other members of His body, is the natural sign and symbol of His boundless love for the human race." This heart symbolizes and expresses "the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return."

The mystery of our redemption is, above all, a mystery of love, "that is, of the perfect love of Christ for His heavenly Father to Whom the sacrifice of the Cross, offered in a spirit of love and obedience, presents the most abundant and infinite satisfaction due for the sins of the human race."

For all of these reasons, Pope Pius XII deems it, "a powerful remedy for the healing of those very evils which today also, and beyond question in a wider and more serious way, bring distress and disquiet to individuals and to the whole human race"

Source: by Lius Solimeo in "From the Immaculate Heart of Mary and God's Plan for America."  Quoted in the May / June 2018 issue of Crusade Magazine.
Thursday, April 26, 2018
5 Reasons for the Lord's Resurrection

1. Exaltation of God
2. For the satisfaction of our sins
3. For our Hope
4. To set our lives in order so we may walk in newness of life
5. For our justification and so we may participate in the Divine nature of God

Take a few minutes today to renew your baptismal promises.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Prison Ministry for Traditional Catholics: “I Was in Prison, and You Came to Me"

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy by David Teniers the Younger

As Catholics, we have all heard the words of our Lord, “I was in prison, and you came to me” (Matthew 25:36) throughout our lives. Whether it was in the context of the corporal works of mercy in catechism class or during a sermon, most of us can in all likelihood recall these words of our Lord.

As Catholics today in the midst of a great confusion not only in the modern world but also in the Church, it’s important to re-focus ourselves on the basics of the Faith. Whereas some churchmen have the propensity to add many complicating layers to the Faith, much of the Faith is straightforward. Think of the simplicity and clarity of the Baltimore Catechism. Spend time re-grounding yourself in this treasure of the Faith. And that re-grounding starts now.

The Baltimore Catechism succinctly summarizes the corporal works of mercy: "The chief corporal works of mercy are seven: 1.To feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to ransom the captive, to harbor the harborless, to visit the sick, and to bury the dead" (Baltimore Catechism #3, Q. 819). And for completeness, the spiritual works of mercy are also summarized a few paragraphs earlier: “The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven: To admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead” (Baltimore Catechism #3, Q. 813).

In the modern world, it would be rather unusual for us to be able to, strictly speaking, “ransom captives,” since the modern justice system does not permit ransoming in way in which our ancestors in the Faith did. In times past, our fathers in the Faith joined in both spiritual support and financial support orders like the Mercedarians, or Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, which was founded in 1218 in Spain by St. Peter Nolasco to redeem Christian captives from their Muslim captors.

But what are we to do? Is the Lord’s command to visit those in prison defunct? Far from it! The words of the Lord as recorded in the Holy Gospels remain for all times: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:34-40).

Whereas in times past, it was more commonplace to ransom or physically visit strangers in prison, it is still possible today to observe our Lord’s command through Catholic prison ministry. Prison ministry is an often forgotten manner of observing the works of mercy. Yet, prison ministry offers a truly unique opportunity to intersect both the corporal and the spiritual works of mercy. Through effective prison ministry, we can both provide for the physical needs and human interaction that prisoners need and for the spiritual needs of their souls.

Thankfully, the Society of St. Pius X has an effective – though unfortunately not well publicized – prison ministry initiative. In the October and November 2015 Regina Caeli Report , the Angelus Press interviewed Mr. Michael Banschbach, who has started a prison apostolate with the blessings of the Society's priests. Commenting to Angelus Press on his ministry, Mr. Banschbach stated, “The apostolate brings the Sacrifice of the Mass and personal instruction in the Catholic Faith and the study of Sacred Scripture to two West Texas prisons. The apostolate also mails books (Douay Rheims Bible, The Imitation of Christ, 1962 Missal, Christian Warfare, Rosary Warfare, etc.) to offenders in more than 40 Texas prisons. We have in the past sent a couple of newsletters, written primarily by offenders, which resulted in a huge increase in interest. Fr. Katzaroff, based in El Paso at Jesus and Mary Chapel, is the unofficial chaplain who offers the Mass and writes many response letters.”

Writing of the prisoners, Mr. Banschbach continues, “Most, but not all, are sincere in their desire to learn about the Faith and make up for lost time. They soak up the information.” Indeed, these souls – like the souls of our children – are in need of the Divine Word and the life-giving Sacraments.

Angelus Press echoes these sentiments and the grave need these imprisoned souls need today. How can our hearts not be heavy when we hear their call for help: “Never has the call to visit the sick and imprisoned and to instruct the ignorant been so important. These are the forgotten souls of society and desperately need help. Many of these men and women desire to spend their time reconciling with Christ and His Church, and in helping those souls around them find the truth. They are surrounded by the enemy and have no means to fight, and often not even the tools to defend themselves” (Angelus Press: Our Apostolate).

While we cannot help them from their physical prison, we can free them from the more serious spiritual prison that is forged by their sins. And whereas only a priest may absolve them, baptize them, or administer the Lord’s Body and Blood to them, we can still have a hand in this war against the devil to save these souls.

But how can we help? If our Lord’s words are still true and if the call to help these prisoners is of paramount concern now, we should all be asking ourselves what we can do to help them lest we hear those words, “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels....I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me...Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me" (Matthew 25:41,43,45).

Thankfully, there is a way for those of us who live lives in the world to help. First and foremost, these imprisoned souls need our prayers. Once a month offer a spiritual Communion for the souls in prison. And once a month, offer one of your Rosaries for the souls in the prison system to know the One True Faith and to ultimately preserve in grace until death. And finally, let us add these souls to our daily prayers. As we pray for the souls in purgatory, for our friends and family, and our other concerns in our morning prayers, let us just add an invocation for these souls each day.

Secondly, let us assist these souls in their spiritual formation. Angelus Press has a prison ministry program whereby they donate their books at cost to the prisoners who need them. The work is entirely for the souls of those in prison and the organization does not make any money off of the donations. Please join me in visiting the Angelus Press Website and making a donation for this most noble cause. Also, you may make donations of books, pamphlets, holy cards, or religious pictures directly to Mr. Banschbach at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Prison Apostolate, c/o Michael Banschbach, 1703 W. Storey, Midland, Texas 79701.

And finally, let us do what we can to prevent these crimes from occurring. Many of the souls in prison today are there due to bad choices they made. Yet, many of these souls had a poor family life – many of the young men in today’s prison system did not have a father figure in their lives. Doing what we can to pray for and support the youth in our communities will help reduce the number of souls that make it to the criminal justice system.

Above all, let us place our work in this work of mercy under the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Daniel of Padua, St. Maximillian Kolbe, and St. Peter Nolasco. May they pray for us and for all souls who prison today who need sanctifying grace.
Friday, April 20, 2018
20 Immediate Actions to End the Protestantization of the Catholic Church

We often hear today of very concerning actions taking place in the Church - even in Rome itself.  And while it is important that we study these materials in detail since heresy is often a drop of poison in a good cup of wine - rather than all rotten truths - we need to raise our mind to more of a 30,000-foot overview at times.  In failing to do so, we get so involved in the details that we forget what we really need to do to help save the Catholic Faith from the rapid protestantization occurring among the faithful today.

St. Michael Church in Munich, Germany (c) A Catholic Life Blog, 2017.

Let's focus on the Top 20 Actions Holy Mother Church needs to make.  Let us pray and work for these to occur.

1. The Restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass - the Mass of All Times - in all Latin Rite parishes and the abolition of the 1969 Rite of Mass.

2. The immediate end of Communion in the hand

3. The elimination of lay extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (often erroneous called "Eucharistic ministers")

4. The restoration of altar rails and Holy Communion received kneeling

5. An immediate reduction in annulments which have become a "get out of marriage free" card.

6. Require all Fridays to be meatless rather than offer the option to substitute a penance for Fridays outside of Lent since no one even knows or observes this

7. Restore all of Lent as 40 days of fast and abstinence

8. Immediately cease false ecumenism and resume true missionary work, since we hold that outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Ecumenism downplays Christ.

9. Prohibit cremation for Catholics

10. Eradicate the false concepts of human freedoms which have worked their way in the Church

11. Publicly condemn the masons as the Popes had previously done for centuries

12. Suppress the Neocatechumenal Way

13. Restore proper understanding of liberty of conscience as a grave evil

14. Clarify that non-Catholics who divorce and re-marry are in the state of sin and may not receive Holy Communion since they are not in God's grace

15. Condemn Medjugorje, since the alleged apparitions teach novelties in direct contradiction to the dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Faith

16. Remove the so-called Luminous Mysteries since it is not possible to add to the Rosary as revealed by Our Lady

17. Encourage more frequent Confession and preach on the necessity of being in grace for salvation

18. Restore the Church to the glory she had before the revolution that occurred at Vatican II.

19. Instill in the Faithful the necessity to resist the insatiable desire for earthly goods and riches

20. Undo the separation of Church and State

As a final suggestion, please re-read Traditionalism Vs. Modernism by Fr. Peter CarotaLet us pray and actively work to achieving all of these.  Lord have mercy!
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Ave Maria by Robert Parsons

Probably the most beautiful Ave Maria I've ever heard.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
153 Fish in the Gospel of John

"He saith to them: Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore; and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes. That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him, (for he was naked,) and cast himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the ship, (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they came to land, they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith to them: Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many, the net was not broken" (John 21:6-11).

This passage, which is read in the Traditional Mass on Easter Wednesday is unique for many reasons.  One of which is the rather strange precision – 153 fish.  Typically, when we read the Scriptures, we read 12, 40, 144, or other large and symbolic numbers.  The number 153 is strangely precise among all Scripture passages in the entire Bible.

And yet, it is not without a deep meaning as explained by the Church Fathers.
St. Augustine says: The catch of fish tells us of the salvation of men, but man cannot be saved without keeping the 10 commandments. But, on account of the fall, man cannot even keep the commandments without the help of grace and the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, the number 7 signifies holiness, since God blessed the 7th day and made it holy (Gen 2:3). But 10 plus 7 equals 17, and if all the numbers from 1 to 17 are added together (1+2+3…+17), they equal 153. Hence, the 153 fish signify that all the elect are to be saved by the gift of grace (7) and the following of the commandments (10). 
St. Cyril breaks 153 into 100 (the great number of gentiles to be saved), plus 50 (the smaller number of Jews to be saved), plus 3 (the Trinity who saves all). Others follow St. Cyril, but modify this as follows: 100 (the multitude of married lay faithful in the Church), plus 50 (the many faithful who commit themselves later in life to continence either living as widows or living with their spouse in a brother-sister relationship), plus 3 (the precious few who commit their whole lives to celibacy as virgins) equals 153 (the whole Church taken together as a single body). 
Perhaps most convincing of all is the theory of St. Jerome: It was thought at that time that there were only 153 species of fish in all the world. Hence, the disciples caught 153 fish, signifying that men of every class and time would be saved through the Gospel. 
Source: New Theological Movement.
I personally also find the most likely explanation to be the one offered by St. Jerome. And rather than merely admiring the hidden meaning here, we should realize it impresses on us – lay Catholics and consecrated religious alike – the need to use our resources and time to bring the Faith to other souls.  Through our efforts of planting seeds, admonishing sinners, correcting the doubtful, and explaining Traditional Catholic teaching to the erring we bring us closer to the time when all nations and peoples will be united in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church – the Barque of Peter – the Catholic Church.
Monday, April 9, 2018
A Majority of Catholics in No Generational Group Attend Weekly Mass

This is the latest Catholic League press release on a serious issue as more and more Catholics continue to violate the 4th Commandment:

Catholic Church Attendance Drops

April 9, 2018

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a new Gallup poll of Catholics:

We knew that younger Catholics were going to church in fewer numbers than in the past, but what is new about this Gallup poll is the decline among older Catholics. Overall, only 39 percent of Catholics say they attend church weekly, and among those aged 60 and over the figure is 49 percent. This means that "for the first time, a majority of Catholics in no generational group attend weekly."

In 1955, 73 percent of those aged 21-29 attended church weekly, but now the figure is 25 percent. Among those 60 and over, 73 percent attended church weekly in 1955, but now the figure is 49 percent.

The number of young people professing no religion, nationwide, was only 1 percent in 1955. Today it is 33 percent. That is an increase of 3200 percent!

The Gallup poll reports the data, but offers no explanation.

There are many reasons for the decline in church attendance. Here are seven core reasons.

1) The declining role of religion in elementary and secondary education has been dramatic. 

2) Higher education has become increasingly hostile to religion, especially Christianity.

3) The pop culture, as manifested on TV, the movies, and music, is marked by a libertinism that is at odds with Christianity.

4) The ascendancy of moral relativism—the denial of moral absolutes— has engulfed society. The nation's cultural elites are responsible for this outcome, including, sadly, some religious leaders.

5) Declining marriage rates, and birthrates among married couples, has made it easier for parents to neglect their religious duties, including  obligations to their own children.

6) Those over the age of 60 are the baby boomers, a generation that in their youth experienced the decadence of the 1960s and 1970s. Many of them entered their senior years without a strong religious background.

7) The Catholic clergy, which in the 1950s expected the faithful to attend church—and they did—lowered their expectations in subsequent decades, yielding predictable results.

There is no iron law of history, except on the blackboard of ignorant professors, so a reversal of events is possible. But a culture doesn't change by happenstance: it takes a determined effort on the part of the nation's elites to reverse course. Regrettably, that day has yet to come.

Feast of Blessed Julie Billiart

In the back of your 1962 Daily Missal is likely a section for feasts in certain places and for certain congregations. These feastdays are not on the Universal Church but are unique to certain dioceses or religious orders.  Yesterday on April 8th was one such feast - the Feast of Blessed Julie Billart.  Despite being called Blessed in the 1962 Missal, she was subsequently canonized in 1969.

St. Julie Billiart was confined for 22 years to her bed due to paralysis.  Miraculously cured, she founded the Institute of the Sisters of Notre-Dame for the care and Christian education of poor girls.

St. Julie Billiart was born in 1751 and died in 1816. At a young age she released her love was for teaching and she carried on that mission throughout her life, and the Congregation she founded continues her work.

Catholic Online summarizes her life:
Julie was the fifth of seven children. She attended a little one room school in Cuvilly. She enjoyed all of her studies, but she was particularly attracted to the religion lessons taught by the parish priest. Recognizing something "special" in Julie, the priest secretly allowed her to make her First Communion at the age of nine, when the normal age at that time, was thirteen. She learned to make short mental prayers and to develop a great love for Jesus in the Eucharist. 
A murder attempt on her father shocked her nervous system badly. A period of extremely poor heath for Julie began, and was to last for thirty years. For twenty-two of these years she was completely paralyzed. All of her sufferings and pain she offered up to God.
When the French Revolution broke out, Julie offered her home as a hiding place for loyal priests. Because of this, Julie became a hunted prey. Five times in three years she was forced to flee in secret to avoid compromising her friends who were hiding her. 
At this time she was privileged to receive a vision. She saw her crucified Lord surrounded by a large group of religious women dressed in a habit she had never seen before. An inner voice told her that these would be her daughters and that she would begin an institute for the Christian education of young girls. She and a rich young woman founded the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. 
At Amiens, the two women and a few companions began living a religious life in 1803. In 1804, Julie was miraculously cured of her illness and walked for the first time in twenty-two years. In 1805, Julie and three companions made their profession and took their final vows. She was elected as Mother General of the young Congregation. 
In 1815, Mother taxed her ever poor health by nursing the wounded and feeding the starving left from the battle of Waterloo. For the last three months of her life, she again suffered much. She died peacefully on April 8, 1816 at 64 years of age. Julie was beatified on May 13, 1906, and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1969. Her feast day is April 8th.


O God, Who didst will that in her unconquered love of Thy cross blessed Julie should raise up in Thy Church a religious family for teaching the daughters of the poor: grant through her intercession that by steadfast endurance of suffering we may obtain eternal joys.  Who livest and reignest...
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
A Catholic Pilgrim in Paris: A Photo Essay

Continuing the account of my travels last month, after finishing five days in Netherlands and Belgium, I arrived via train in Paris at night on March 7th.  Paris is the home to a sadly forgotten Catholic Faith but one that is still seen in some remnants. 

On the morning of March 8th I started my pilgrimage to Paris.  I started at the most quintessential Catholic Church in France: Notre Dame.  Completed in 1345 - nearly 200 years after the groundbreaking - Notre Dame is a beacon of hope to those who pray and work for a restoration of Catholicism in France.  The Cathedral suffered serious damage in the 1790s when - like many French churches - it was desecrated by the French Revolutionaries.  Thankfully, an extensive restoration began in 1845 and today the Cathedral holds beautiful art and many treasures including the relic of the Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails that pierced our Lord Jesus Christ.

The altar on which is displayed the Relic of the Crown of Thorns purchased by St. Louis IX for veneration at certain times

After visiting Notre Dame and exploring the city despite the persistent rain, I made my way north and concluded the day with Eucharistic Adoration in Sacré-Cœur, a truly breathtaking Basilica.  Unlike many of the Cathedrals and Basilicas in France, this one is relatively new as it was completed in 1914 and dedicated after WWI.

Sacré-Cœur is a monument which serves as a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and the socialist Paris Commune of 1871. Sacré-Cœur serves as an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Those familiar with French history will know of the desecration of many French churches including the destruction of relics, icons, paintings, and whole buildings in the French Revolution.  In fact, thousands of Catholics were killed for the Faith.  Next to the Pantheon - a church which has been desecrated and to this day still serves as a monument and burial chamber for leading atheistic revolutionaries - is the Church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont.

Inside Saint-Étienne-du-Mont are some of the relics of St. Genevieve which were not destroyed.  I was able to venerate those sacred relics.

Taking advantage of the favorable weather, I traveled across town to Saint Chapelle - the personal chapel which St. Louis IX built to contain the Relic of the Crown of Thorns.  The holy saint spent 100,000 livres to purchase the relics and return it to the hands of a Christian nation.  By contrast, the beautiful chapel cost 40,000 livres to build and glaze.  This served for me a good reflection point - do I do all that I can to bring glory to God?  Do I sacrifice enough?

As I neared the end of my trip to France, I made time for a few additional sites.  One of which was the beautiful Shrine of the Miraculous Medal.  As the Shrine's website relates:
The chapel was built in 1815 and was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1830 it was privileged with the extraordinary events of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to Sister Catherine Labouré that marked it forever.
Heaven came down to earth… Between July and December 1830 Sister Catherine, a young Seminary Sister (novice) of the Daughters of Charity, received the extraordinary favour of conversing with the Virgin Mary on three occasions. In the preceding months Catherine had the privilege of other apparitions. Saint Vincent de Paul showed her his heart. While at prayer in the chapel, Catherine saw, on three successive days, the heart of Saint Vincent in three different colours. The heart first appeared white, the colour of peace; then red, the colour of fire; and then black, an indication of the misfortunes that would come upon France and Paris in particular. Soon afterwards, Catherine saw Christ present in the Eucharistic host. “I saw Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament all the time of my seminary except the times when I doubted.” On June 6, 1830, feast of the Holy Trinity, Christ appeared as a crucified King, stripped of all his adornments. 
July 18, 1830, the eve of the feast of Saint Vincent whom she loved so much and whose heart she had seen overflowing with love, Catherine prayed that, through his intercession, her desire to see the Blessed Virgin would finally be fulfilled. At eleven-thirty at night, she was called by name. A mysterious child was at the foot of her bed and asked her to get up. “The Blessed Virgin is waiting for you.” Catherine dressed and followed the child who was “bringing rays of brightness wherever he passed.” Having arrived in the chapel, St. Catherine stopped near the chair used by the priest in the sanctuary (current location of the statue of Saint Joseph). She then heard a sound “like the rustle of a silk dress.” Her little guide said, “Here is the Blessed Virgin.” She hesitated. But the child repeated in a stronger tone of voice, “Here is the Blessed Virgin.” In a single bound, Catherine was at the feet of the Blessed Virgin, seated on a chair and rested her hands on the knees of the Mother of God. “There, a period of time passed, the sweetest of my life. It would be impossible for me to say what I experienced. The Blessed Virgin told me how I should behave towards my spiritual director and also several other things.” The Blessed Virgin pointed to the altar where the tabernacle was and said, “Come to the foot of this altar. Here, graces will be spread over all who ask for them with confidence and fervour.” A difficult mission was announced as well as a request for the establishment of a Confraternity of the Children of Mary. Father Aladel would accomplish this request on February 2, 1840. 
Continue Reading...

The Body of St. Luisa of Marillac.  She was the co-founder, with Saint Vincent de Paul, of the Daughters of Charity.

And at last, my final stop was the Shrine of St. Vincent de Paul which is located just blocks from the Miraculous Medal Chapel.  There I was able to venerate and pray before his body.  It was an experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life!  

St. Vincent's body was exhumed in 1712, 53 years after his death. The written account of an eyewitness states that "the eyes and nose alone showed some decay". However, when it was exhumed again during the canonization in 1737, it was found to have decomposed due to an underground flood. His bones have been encased in a waxen figure which is displayed in a glass reliquary in the chapel of the headquarters of the Vincentian fathers in Paris. His heart is still incorrupt and is displayed in a reliquary in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris

Thank you for all of your prayers as I made this pilgrimage in Europe.  I prayed for the intention of all of my readers and benefactors.  And I continue to hold them in my prayers.
St. Patrick's Connection to the Holy Easter Fire

A great video for this Easter Week as we see the connection of St. Patrick's missionary work to Easter.

Whenever I read the accounts of St. Patrick’s work amongst the Irish I am reminded of the actions of Holy Moses in the Old Testament. As Moses went in the darkness of Egypt and faced a pagan pharaoh and his demonic magicians, so Patrick went to Ireland and faced pagan kings and Druid sorcerers. A mortal  combat between life and death…between the light and darkness …between truth and falsehood…between a worker of true miracles and the performers of lying wonders…between Christ and the devil.

Moses would be the good Lord’s instrument in bringing all the tribes of Israel out of Egypt. And Ireland would become the only country in the world that entirely owes its conversion to the work of one single man, namely, St. Patrick. As Moses went up Mt. Sinai and received the revelation of the law after much fasting, so St. Patrick had his own Lent of forty days spent on top of a mountain known as Croagh Patrick…the Mt. Sinai of Ireland…where the saint could look over the Island on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. And from these heights, St. Patrick stood in the breach like Moses and obtained from the good Lord heavenly promises, including a remnant in Ireland that would always maintain the Faith and even the promise of St. Patrick being given the privilege of judging the Irish people and those of Irish descent at their deaths.

On that Mountain of Croagh Patrick, the saintly bishop blessed the land on Holy Saturday and, having descended, Patrick offered Holy Mass for the people on Easter Sunday. But it is interesting that the great work of conversion in Ireland began on the night of the Resurrection…on Easter Vigil with the Easter Fire.

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