THE SACRED RULE
for Properly Celebrating the Most
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
DO NOT DO
at Mass what you would
have done were you standing at the foot of the Cross with
Christ visibly before you.
at the Most Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass what you would have done
were you standing before Christ hanging on the Cross in
front of you — for at Holy Mass you are
at the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross — really
Had you closed your eyes for a moment while standing immediately
before Christ upon the Cross,
you would be where you are this day
at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
then, what you would have done
... and DO NOT DO
what you would never
is the proper disposition
of the soul at every single Mass.
The Little Apostolate — for
"Numquid apertae sunt tibi portae
mortis, et ostia tenebrosa vidisti?"
"Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the
doors of the shadow of death?" (Job 38.17)
Many seek some form of active Apostolate to serve Christ
and the Church, especially in the way of helping those poor souls most
in need of assistance ... they seek to assist, to be actively involved
in the lives of others who desperately need help — and it has
nothing to do with money. Most of us do not have money, and even
if we did, it would be of no avail whatever — although it involves the
gravest, the most vital act of charity possible. What is more, you do
not have to go anywhere. It will come to you.
What, then, is this most needful act of charity, and in the direst need
possible in any person's entire life?
It is this: Whenever you read of or hear about another's death —
in the news, in your town, in another and remote part of the world
... no matter who it is ... you should immediately make the Sign of
the Cross and beg God's mercy on the person who has died, and His pardon
for their sins, and to bring that soul to final repentance and everlasting
life in God's presence.
He alone is the just Judge. It matters not to us who it is that has
died: not his faith or his lack of it; that soul is in dire need
of God's mercy and forgiveness ... and so often has no one else to pray
Stop what you are doing for the moment, even if it is within yourself,
and pray for them. It will take a few seconds ... but could mean the
salvation of a soul in and through the immeasurable mercy of Christ
You will be surprised how active — even demanding — you will find this
quiet and hidden apostolate to be.
What is more, carry it a step further: when you hear the wail of an
ambulance, do likewise, and pray for the healing of the soul to whose
need it is going. If they are in peril of death (and you know not!)
pray for God's mercy and forgiveness.
This way, you will accompany so many souls on their last and often most
perilous journey: from this life to the next; from this world to Heaven,
despite the very real danger of Hell.
One day you will need the prayers of others — and perhaps
one single person's prayer will open the gates of Heaven
... and shut the gates of Hell. Your prayer to our merciful God may
be the one that makes the difference.
Remember this the next time you read the news or browse the Internet.
Especially in these evil days.
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The Perpetual Authority of the Latin
What part of the word "Forever" do
we no Longer Understand?
REVISITING THE APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION QUO PRIMUM
Pope St. Pius V - July 14, 1570
On the third day of April 1969 the temporally
elusive concept of "forever" was finally and definitively
quantified by Pope Paul VI — much to the perplexity of historians and
physicists — as 399 years, or to be precise, 399 years, 9 months, and
11 days. On that day Pope Paul tampered with time and eternity by expurgating
or otherwise expunging the ancient Latin rite of the Mass and replacing
it, by a tour de force, with his Apostolic Constitution Missale
Romanum, otherwise known as the Novus Ordo, or The New
Mass. "Forever", it appears, has a terminus after all ...
From a purely philosophical point of view, this quantification
of the term "forever" poses significant — even insuperable — problems
in any discussion concerning the nature of temporal discourse. Let us
look at a few instances.
If "forever" does not mean uninterrupted continuity without end,
then "Never" does not mean at no time, either in the past, the present
or the future. What is more, "Now" does not mean at this moment
or at this present time, nor does "Before" mean preceding or
anteceding the present; nor do we understand by "Past" what had
preceded the Present which, like "Now", no longer means at this
moment, and which, reciprocally no longer corresponds to the
"Present" or "Now". Got it?
Now let us add the following into the mix to reveal further temporal
permutations which no longer connote, or mean, what we had erstwhile
understood them to be in the temporal ordering of any state of affairs:
FOREVER / NEVER / NOW / BEFORE / AFTER / EARLY
/ LATE / PRESENT / SOON / PAST / FUTURE / OLD / NEW / MODERN
/ ANCIENT / FIRST / LAST /SECOND, THIRD, ETC. (in a series)
/ SECOND / MINUTE / HOUR / DAY / WEEK / MONTH / YEAR / DECADE,
CENTURY, MILLENNIUM, ETC. / INFINITY / ETERNITY
As we see, quite a bit follows from "forever"
no longer being understood as forever but rather, as 399
years at which time "forever" expires. We must understand that "forever"
subsumes all the temporal categories and inflections under it, all of
which are determinate and finite extensions of time relative
only to "forever" (for all time and into eternity)
which had erstwhile been understood as indefinite and indeterminate
— as so many parts, or segments, if you will, of a greater concept (forever)
that is indeterminate by definition. In a word, if "forever" is arbitrarily
determined as a finite quantum, all that it subsumed beneath
it and understood relative to it is also susceptible to arbitrary determination
and we can no longer coherently enter into temporal discourse of any
kind that presumes to bind any state of affairs to a determinate referent
in time. A week, or month, for example, is only what we arbitrarily
understand it to be according to our purpose at hand.
The implications of "implicitly" redefining the temporal
concept of "forever" are enormous. Think of it. They pertain, according
to the canons of reason, not only to the simplest geometric concept
of a line ("A line has only one dimension: length. It continues
forever in two directions.") , but to the trajectory, and
ultimately, the destiny of the human soul according to the most fundamental
notions of Christian doctrine: the eternity of God and the immortality
of the soul.
If you have other ideas, write us. But first read something
about "forever", as we had always understood it, prior to the Second
and now ... THE APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION
"From the very first,
upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our
mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters
which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove
with God's help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this
purpose. For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent,
there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred
books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism
published for the instruction of the faithful, by God's help, and
the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in
order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as
fitting and proper — for it is most becoming that there
be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms
and only one rite for the celebration of Mass — We deemed
it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained
to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as
Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection.
They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices
in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices
from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient
and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus
they have restored the Missal itself to the original form
and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone
over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and
reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and
published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits
of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use
and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from
now on in the celebration of Masses.
Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by
the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches,
and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other
formula than that of this Missal published by Us.
This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever,
throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs,
cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular
or religious, both of men and of women — even of military orders
— and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in
which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately
in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church.
This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those
which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic
indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation
of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to
them by any other manner whatsoever.
This new rite alone is to be used unless approval
of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very
time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic
See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom
of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period
of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind
their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal,
which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter,
We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite,
provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of
their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.
All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby
denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely
and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution, which
will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order
and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published
Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed
within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator,
and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may
be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed
of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue
of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the
rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter,
to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites
of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed;
and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce
any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained
in this Missal.
Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic
authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting
or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal
is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience
or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may
freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators,
canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever
title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as
enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever
is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present
document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid
and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions
and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions
or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding
the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by
long and immemorial prescription — except, however, if more than
two hundred years' standing.
It is Our will, therefore, and by the same authority, We decree
that, after We publish this constitution and the edition of the
Missal, the priests of the Roman Curia are, after thirty days, obliged
to chant or read the Mass according to it; all others south of the
Alps, after three months; and those beyond the Alps either within
six months or whenever the Missal is available for sale. Wherefore,
in order that the Missal be preserved incorrupt throughout the whole
world and kept free of flaws and errors, the penalty for
nonobservance for printers, whether mediately or immediately subject
to Our dominion, and that of the Holy Roman Church, will be the
forfeiting of their books and a fine of one hundred gold ducats,
payable ipso facto to the Apostolic Treasury. Further, as for those
located in other parts of the world, the penalty is excommunication
latae sententiae, and such other penalties as may in Our
judgment be imposed; and We decree by this law that they must not
dare or presume either to print or to publish or to sell, or in
any way to accept books of this nature without Our approval and
consent, or without the express consent of the Apostolic Commissaries
of those places, who will be appointed by Us. Said printer must
receive a standard Missal and agree faithfully with it and in no
wise vary from the Roman Missal of the large type (secundum magnum
Accordingly, since it would be difficult for this present pronouncement
to be sent to all parts of the Christian world and simultaneously
come to light everywhere, We direct that it be, as usual, posted
and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the
Apostles, also at the Apostolic Chancery, and on the street at Campo
Flora; furthermore, We direct that printed copies of this same edict
signed by a notary public and made official by an ecclesiastical
dignitary possess the same indubitable validity everywhere and in
every nation, as if Our manuscript were shown there. Therefore,
no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission,
statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration,
will, decree, and prohibition. Should anyone dare to contravene
it, know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the
Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."
Given at St. Peter's in the year of
the Lord's Incarnation, 1570, on the 14th of July of the Fifth year
of Our Pontificate.
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Boston Catholic Journal
we have Lost God
The Primacy of
Matter and the Loss of Faith
We live in a world of matter
Matter is the substance
of the senses. It is apprehensible. We touch it, feel it, manipulate
it, make things of it, and even destroy it (yes, I know the principle
of “the conservation of matter”, but you get the point.) It is tactile,
sensuous, and often pleasing to the eye, the touch, and our other senses.
It alternately excites us and repels us. It is what we see when we open
our eyes, what we feel when we touch anything.
It is the world we know
Increasingly, it is
the only world we know. Every other “possible world” has
receded before the incursion of the senses and the accompanying demand
for instantaneity: pleasure now, satisfaction now,
information now, fulfillment now — and on
a broader level, peace now, justice now
and equality now. We have all heard the political and
social mantra that first came to us from the tumultuous and purple-hazed
60’s by now, and we even know its cadence. The “cause” matters not,
for the response has by now become childishly reflexive: “What
do we want?” (insert whatever here) “When do we want it?
Again. And again. And again, as though repeatedly demanding what we
want like a spoiled child will produce it … because it worked when we
were children. Our parents taught us by example, by collapsing before
the incorrectitude of the negative “No!” We always got
what we wanted.
And so did our parents.
Do you want anything — however absurd? Then agitate, demand, and
never take “no” as an answer, however unimpeachable the authority.
Not even from God. Not even from His Church which we hold to be both
the the Bride and the Body Christ. We want to “feel” justified,
be “affirmed” in our childishness, and have our way if
“the other” is unwilling — however clear, however ontologically defining
the principles upon which and in which it exists in se —and if
we are denied our desires, then we will legislate them,
find some obscure or unbalanced “academic” to "authenticate" us, a celebrity
“in solidarity” with our petulance to publicize us, and a venal politician
to “empower” us … until our desires become our laws
— which is to say, until our senses grasp, seize, what
they lust for.
Politics is the venue of power, not mind. Hollywood is the venue of
entertainment, not reality which, despite the protestations
of the senses, is only discernible through the mind and that impetuously
inconvenient faculty called reason that we abhor because it defies us.
The Parallax of Reason
... and Sensation
We do not want reason.
We do not want mind. We want sensation — the stimulation
and the satisfaction of the senses! What have we to do with inflexible
reason? With God? With things less than rhapsodic, with lasting concepts
… even purported everlasting realities … with the deliverances of anything
devoid of tactility, before the contempt of the court of immediacy that
governs the senses?
We ourselves are composed of matter — we recognize this even if we have
forgotten that it is only half the equation of our being human, for
the other half is spirit … the immaterial soul which is not apprehensible
by the senses, only by the mind, a concept perhaps best expressed by
the German noun, “Geist” that alternately denotes, “the mind”,
“the psyche”, “spirit”, “soul”, and even “ghost”.
We are profoundly more than our appetites. Just as God is profoundly
more than “feeling good about oneself.” Eternity extends before us —
and we know it, but we treat it as we treat time: passing, changing,
mutable, pliable to our desires. And for a while it is so.
But we know that it will not always be so. We sense “ending”. We
intuit that there is a terminus to our being in time and that something
must lie beyond it — even if it is the skeptic's cold, sterile, embalmed
"nothing" that we nevertheless irresistibly perceive as something
in what we persist in describing as "nothingness". Because we are permeated
with time and insensible (and this is not the same as “inapprehensible”)
to the eternal, we even perceive “nothingness” — despite our
insistence that it is otherwise — as somehow perduring. It is a tentative
state of utter suspension — even while we declare that nothing
is suspended. It is a kind of eternal obit that will declare,
somehow inscribe, even monumentally testify to our being long after
it has ceased and presumably never to be read.
When we lost God — whenever that might have been — we lost our raison
d'être. We do not know it because we refuse to confront it and we
do not confront it because we have not known God, or once having known
Him have repudiated Him, even denied Him, in favor of our own temporal
desires which, like their objects in space and time, will surely
pass. Only God remains. History testifies to this.
Desistite, et agnoscite me Deum: "Be still and know
that I am God!"
Our restlessness is both an invitation by God and the testimony to our
blindness apart from Him.
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"What is Holiness?"
Holiness — sanctity — is simply the conformity of
the will to the will of God.
If you listen to no other homily on being a Catholic
and your obligation to love God and your neighbor ...
listen to this:
The Law of Love by Venerable Servant of God Fulton
The Complete Martyrology in
Wednesday November 26th
in the Year of Grace 2014
This Day, the Twenty-Sixth Day of November
At Fabriano, in the Marches, blessed Silvester,
abbot, founder of the Congregation of the Silvestrine monks.
At Alexandria, the birthday of St. Peter,
bishop of that city, adorned with all virtues, who was
beheaded by the command of Galerius Maximian.
There suffered also at Alexandria, in the same persecution,
the holy martyrs Faustus, priest, Didius and
Ammonius; likewise, Phileas, Hesychius, Pachomius and Theodore,
Egyptian bishops, with six hundred and sixty others,
whom the sword of persecution sent to Heaven.
At Nicomedia, in the time of Constantius, St.
Marcellus, a priest, who died a martyr by being hurled down
from a rock.
At Padua, St. Bellinus, bishop and martyr.
At Rome, St. Siricius, Pope and confessor,
celebrated for his learning, piety and zeal for religion, who
condemned various heretics, and published salutary laws concerning
At Autun, St. Amator, bishop.
At Constance, St. Conrad, bishop.
In the diocese of Rheims, the birthday of St.
At Adrianople, in Paphlagonia, St. Stylian,
anchoret, renowned for miracles.
In Armenia, St. Nicon, monk.
At Rome, St. Leonard, of Port Maurice,
confessor, of the Friars Minor of St. Francis, of the strict
observance. He was remarkable for zeal, for he spent several years
with extraordinary success in conducting his holy expeditions
through Italy for the conquest of souls. He was ranked among the
blessed by Pius VI, and among the saints by Pius IX during the
solemnities connected with the eighteenth centenary of the princes
of the Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors,
and holy virgins.
Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy
Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany
of the Saints)
Response: Thanks be to God.
Roman Martyrology by Month
Why the Martyrs Matter
Each day we bring you
a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had
suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church,
and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom
— and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would
cost them their lives.
They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church,
and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short
time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their
death — and at so great a cost!).1
What would motivate men, women, even children and entire
families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully
devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?
Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when
the first flame licked at their feet, after the first
eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in
mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over
their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense
to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would
be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all,
under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state?
What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered
without conviction, compared to your own life and the
lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are
merely placating the state with empty gestures …
Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their
mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they
value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive
to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess
that we do not?
Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given
in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it
in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness;
fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible
reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful,
of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful;
of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within
it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant
We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will make
us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they
died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most
us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering
for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of
the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The
road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses,
and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown
to the world, but known to God. Loveless marriages.
Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age.
Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose
lives became Crosses because they would not flee God,
the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in
the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary
through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate
each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small
sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of
countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know,
but whom the world does not know.
“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”,
Christ said to His Apostles 2.
“I have given you an example.”
And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the
Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal
Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited
"De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and
Tortures of the Christian Martyrs" for an in-depth
historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.
INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY
J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop
THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official and
accredited record, on the pages of which are set forth
in simple and brief, but impressive words, the glorious
deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in all ages of the Church;
of the illustrious Heroes and Heroines of the Cross,
whom her solemn verdict has beatified or canonized.
In making up this long roll of honor, the Church has
been actuated by that instinctive wisdom with which
the Spirit of God, who abides in her and teaches her
all truth, has endowed her, and which permeates through
and guides all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ,
without spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious
and undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and
to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort
her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley of
tears, and to abide with her forever. She is one with
Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject to Him in
all things; she loves what He loves, she teaches and
practices what He commands.
If the world has
its "Legions of Honor," why should not also the Church
of the Living God, the pillar and the ground of the
truth? If men who have been stained with blood, and
women who have been tainted with vice, have had their
memory consecrated in prose and in verse, and monuments
erected to their memory, because they exhibited extraordinary
talents, achieved great success, or were, to a greater
or less extent, benefactors of their race in the temporal
order, which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes
and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example, have
overcome themselves, risen superior to and trampled
upon the world, have aspired, in all their thoughts,
words, and actions, to a heavenly crown, and have moreover
labored with disinterested zeal and self-forgetting
love for the good of their fellow-men, have their memories
likewise consecrated and embalmed in the minds and hearts
of the people of God? If time have its heroes, why should
not eternity; if man, why should not God? "Thy friends,
O Lord, are exceedingly honored; their principality
is exceedingly exalted." Whom His Father so dearly loved,
the world crucified; whom the world neglects, despises,
and crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly
honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth, with
jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for ages on
The wisdom of
the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled
only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated.
The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models. Christ
lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through them. They
were the living temples of the Holy Ghost, in whose
mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His wisdom and
grace. They were in life consecrated human exemplars
of divine excellence and perfection. Their example still
appeals to our minds and to our hearts, more eloquently
even than did their words to the men of their own generation,
while they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though
dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct with
sanctity, and through them they continue to breathe
forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality into
which they have entered still lingers in their bones,
and seems to breathe in their mortal remains. As many
an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush to the cannon's
mouth by reading the exploits of earthly heroes, so
many a generous Christian soul has been fired with heavenly
ardor, and been impelled to rush to the crown of martyrdom,
by reading the lives and heroic achievements of the
Saints and Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent
appeal, is more potent in its influence on the human
heart and conduct than are words in their most eloquent
The Church knows
and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with whom she
is replenished ; and hence she sets forth, with holy
joy and exultant hope, her bright and ever-increasing
Calendar of Sanctity of just men and women made perfect
and rendered glorious, under her unearthly and sublime
teachings. In reading this roll of consecrated holiness,
our instinctive conclusion is, precisely that which
the great soul of St. Augustine reached at the very
crisis of his life, the moment of his conversion "If
other men like me have attained to such sanctity, why
not I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of
the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown
of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and dead
in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and glorious
mansion already prepared for me in heaven? Shall all
the gifts, which God has lavished upon me, be ingloriously
spent and foolishly wasted, in the petty contest for
this world's evanescent honors and riches, while the
poor and contemned lay up treasures in heaven, and secure
the prize of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends
of God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain
His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?"
It is a consoling
evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this country
to find the Martyrology here published, for the first
time, in English, and thereby made accessible, in its
rich treasures of Sanctity, to all classes of our population.
It will prove highly edifying and useful, not only to
the members of our numerous religious Communities of
both sexes, but also to the laity generally. Every day
has here its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely
a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied,
who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith and
with great profit, the brief page of each day's models
of Holiness. These belong to all classes and callings
of life; from the throne to the hovel, from the Pontiff
to the lowest cleric, from the philosopher to the peasant,
from the busy walks of life to the dreary wastes of
Let all, then,
procure and read daily the appropriate portions of this
Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal will console
us in affliction, will animate us in despondency, will
make our souls glow with the love of God in coldness,
and will lift up our minds and hearts from this dull
and ever-changing earth to the bright and everlasting
mansions prepared for us in Heaven!
J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland
Printable PDF Version
The Lapsi were early Catholics
who renounced the Faith and either sacrificed to the
Roman gods by edict from the emperor, or offered incense
to them to escape Imperial persecution and death, and
who later returned to the Faith when persecution subsided.
However, Christ warns us,
“Every one therefore that shall confess me before men,
I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.
But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny
him before my Father who is in heaven.” (St.
2 St. John