“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20.29)

        Boston Catholic Journal “The time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3)                 

Suggested Reading:


The Problem
of Evil

The Problem of Evil: Exonerating God

Exonerating God


CCD

CCD: Crisis in Catholic Doctrine

Crisis in
Catholic Doctrine:

the Grave State of Religious Education in America



Boston Catholic Journal

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Boston Catholic Journal

Todays Martyrology


 

Welcome Home to the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church


Home ... the One, True, Holy, Catholic Church
 


 “That understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding
(Blessed Pope Pius IX, 1st Vatican Council, S.3, C.2 on Revelation, 1870 ex cathedra)

 

 

Pope Francis and the smoke of satan in the sanctuary

The Odor of Sulfur — not Sanctity

 

Who has not smelled it?
 

Who is not confused? In the face of daily assaults on 2000 years of the consistent teaching of the Church, on the very Deposit of Faith, and on the validity of Sacred Scripture itself what Catholic has not asked — in the fearfully deep and most secret recesses of his soul — the question “Whence?” From whom and from what comes this relentless scourging of faith — this overwhelming defection from all that is holy to all that is vile?

“There is smoke in the sanctuary” and instinctively we perceive it, recoil from it. It is proffered as incense but is pungent to our senses. We are confused between the Word of God become Man and the word of man become god. What a fearful divide rends the Body of Christ anew!  See how the sheep are scattered! Need we tell you who is the father of confusion and lies ...?

Imagine ... the pope himself as the principle cause of confusion — and defection — in the Catholic Church. It is nothing less than ... diabolically clever.

Pray for Pope Francis whom satan has sought to sift like wheat. 1  And sadly, it would appear, to great measure ...

But take heart, despite these present evils: “When Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Saint Matthew 9.36)

But Jesus Himself is the Good Shepherd. The sheep follow Him, because they know His voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.(Saint John 10:4-5)

Hold fast to the Faith of our Fathers! Cleave to Christ and to what He has spoken — and fear nothing, and no one — no matter his power or how ruthlessly it demands submission. For there is no other name under Heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4.12)

Did not Christ Himself promise:  I will not forsake you.(Saint John 14.18)?

Nor must we ever forsake Him through any inducement to sin.

________________________

Saint Luke 22.31

 

Editor
Boston Catholic Journal
September 19, 2017

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When Silence becomes Scandal -  resulting from silence in the face of sin


_________________________

LESSONS NOT LEARNED

 

 

It happened right here! Remember? Boston 2002!

Silence on the part of the cardinal, the bishops, the seminary rectors, the Religious orders — followed by Scandal. Horrible scandal. Scandal of the most hateful, despicable, vicious perversion that swept away — but not too thoroughly — miters, defrocked priests, caused the closing of hundreds of parishes and the selling off of quite nearly everything Catholic to pay off the lawsuits against predatory priests and silent superiors. Millions upon millions to pay victims and their lawyers, and most sadly to psychologically treat and medicate its victims who are now adults ... It continues to this day!

Most of what you put in the basket at church almost certainly goes to pay for the crimes of predatory homosexual priests who molested young boys — committed the most depraved sexual predation on the most trusting of youth … our children.

Under the euphemism of “consolidating parishes” countless church buildings and facilities were sold off to become condominiums and even mosques.

$35 million on counseling, psychiatric medications, and other services for survivors. Since 2003, it has paid about $215 million to settle legal claims, church officials say (Boston Globe January 2017).

Here in Boston we are STILL paying for a disgraceful and unutterably shameful SILENCE that not simply “rocked” the Church,  but literally caused much of it to be torn down to its foundations.
 


The Dubia: Five Vital Questions that Encounter Obstinate Silence


The following five questions were respectfully submitted to Pope Francis following the ambiguity inherent in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia:

 

  1. “It is asked whether, following the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person more uxorio [as husband and wife] without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris Consortio, 84, and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34, and Sacramentum Caritatis, 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in Note 351 (305) of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live more uxorio?”

           SIMPLIFIED:  Can adulterers go to Confession and receive Holy Communion? Can a man or woman who are living together as though married to each other having been civilly divorced, but who nonetheless still remain married to their original spouses in the eyes of the Church and according to clear and unequivocal Holy Scripture, be considered as not living in adultery: that is to say, as not living with another man's wife and another woman's husband?”
     

  2. “After the publication of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 79, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?”

           SIMPLIFIED:  Are there acts so evil that under every possible condition or circumstance they must be, without exception, considered intrinsically evil?
     

  3. “After Amoris Laetitia (301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (Matthew 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, “Declaration,” June 24, 2000)?”

           SIMPLIFIED:  In light of what is stated in Amoris Laetitia, is there any longer any objective situation of grave habitual sin?
     

  4. “After the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 81, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

           SIMPLIFIED:  Given that “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil into one that is subjectively good”, how can it be affirmed, as it is in Amoris Laetitia, that there are “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility”? Can, then, circumstances or intentions transform an act intrinsically [objectively] evil into one that is subjectively good?
     

  5. “After Amoris Laetitia (303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 56, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

           SIMPLIFIED:  Can the (subjective) conscience be appealed to abrogate or cancel intrinsically evil acts?
     

To date, Pope Francis has obstinately, if not arrogantly refused to deign to answer these vital questions necessary necessary to the integrity of our Holy Catholic Faith. This certainly does not accord with his widely publicized humility ... Indeed, in a recent interview, he he went so far as to characterize those who so much as questioned his questionable theology as fanatici — fanatics.
 

Enigmatic?

So often silence is hiding, concealing, refusing to disclose.

If confusion arises it calls for clarity — especially as it pertains to matters of the Faith; if apparent equivocation threatens sound doctrine it must be clarified for the sake of the faithful. If answering five questions that involve both — equivocation and confusion — promotes unity through a clearly articulated understanding, why refuse? Why obstinate silence, which only underscores the likelihood of an inability to answer in conformity with sound Catholic doctrine and Sacred Scripture? In a word what is to be gained through silence? It is hardly a mark of humility to hold oneself above questioning. Should the word enigmatic even be predicated of a pope?

 

“The Silent Card” — AMORIS LAETITIA — a Case in Point


Much like Cardinal Law and countless superiors in Boston, Pope Francis is playing the “Silent Card”. But it is a far more perilous gambling. Much as in the famous Emperor's New Clothes, the Church has, figuratively speaking, no vestments and is shockingly unaware that the crowds perceive this. Sanctimony proved too costly and where the ecclesiastical authorities had yawned, the doggedly vicious secular prosecutors and courts were not nearly so lenient or forgiving to just let these atrocities pass. Lives needed mending (some never) and yes, there was money to be made. Lots of it. Sanctimony, ecclesiastics came to realize, was not only meretricious but quite costly.

In a humiliating denouement, it took Caesar to correct what the Church refused to. We still sting from that justice, even as we finally savor it.

Once again, however, a gambit of a similar sort is being played by Francis as he tampers with not only the Sacred Deposit of Faith of 2000 years, but Holy Scripture itself!

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14, Saint Matthew 5:27-28)

“Whoever unworthily partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ is guilty of it” (1 Corinthians 11.27)

Pretty clear, yes? And for over 2000 years.
 

 

The Straw Man: The Prize for the Perfect

Not so for Francis who casts more than a shadow of doubt upon it by approving sexually active cohabitation — adultery — and even holding it to be sacramental in a way equal to  … well, sacramental marriages — which of course brings up the question of why bother to marry sacramentally at all if the grace is given as it were, a priori? In the infamous “Footnote 351”, Francis magnanimously proclaims that: 

“In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy … I would also
point out that the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

Indeed, whoever approached Holy Communion with a sense of entitlement as receiving in all justice a “prize” for their perfection? Who ever experienced the Sacrament of Penance — Confession — as a Torture Chamber with a priest as a Grand Inquisitor? This is a Straw Man, and we know it. And what is more, Francis knows it, too. It is offensive to even suggest this. On the other hand it may be a rare insight into the thought processes of one who would utter this, especially to justify sacrilege. Does forgiveness precede sorrow, or is it necessary to forgiveness (in realms human and divine)? Is it really an act of “Mercy” to justify adultery and sacrilege? Indeed, are they then sins at all if they are to be repeated ad mortem under the aegis of “Mercy”? Indeed how is sorrow possible as long as the intent to continue in sin remains?

Francis:

“I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity … It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null ... Because they say “yes, for the rest of my life!” but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know ... They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge, a task. Not to ask “why don’t you marry?” No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature.’ ”

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, on the other hand states:

“Some today claim a “right to a trial marriage” where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, “the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim.” Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate “trial marriages.”It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.” CCC 2391

 

Sacramental Adultery?

Of course, if sacramental adultery is not a sacrilegious concept, then neither are other Sacraments protected from sacrilege.

Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Sacred Deposit of Faith — neither Pope Francis or any other pope has the authority to violate any of the three … let alone abrogate them.

 

The Dialogue in place of the Decalogue:

What of the other Commandments? What of the other 5 Sacraments?

What is evident to all but the most myopic is the prospect that if, indeed, Francis can equivocate about long established and clearly articulated concepts of marriage, adultery, cohabitation, the efficacy of grace, the notion of validity as it is predicated of each — what else, we ask, is up for grabs? What else has been misunderstood for 2000 years? What else has God hidden from the faithful until the accession of Francis to the Seat of Peter and subsequent to that accession subjected dogma and doctrine to his penetrating gaze that dispels all the myths of pre-enlightened (pre-Bergoglian, pre-Vatican II — you choose) Catholicism?

 

Ten Commandment in Hebrew  

 The Ten Commandments “Suggestions”

The proscription against adultery dates to the 12th century — BC. To preclude any misunderstanding, it was inscribed in stone! Little can be more definitive than that. In fact it is an adage: “It is written in stone”, that is to say, absolutely clear and unalterable. That was one- thousand-two-hundred years before Christ. But now — 3000 years later — we are suddenly unclear about what constitutes adultery?

Of course Pope Francis has an affinity for Luther to whom, after 1400 years of deceit and duplicity on the part of God in failing to reveal the “real truth” to the Church, finally revealed it to Luther in the fullness of time. It would appear that Francis has that singular privilege as well. Not only had God Himself had it wrong (or had misspoken), but the Apostles, the Church Fathers, the 21 Church Councils, the Saints, the Martyrs, and of course the “less educated” as well had it wrong. The Ten Commandments are not Commandments after all, or at least binding in any remotely coherent way. They are actually The Ten Suggestions that require “accompaniment” by Team Bergoglio who will parse them psycho-theologically in order to be reveal their “real meaning” to the unenlightened masses — so that sin will no longer be an impediment to union with God.
 

The Last and Most Frightening “S”

 

                                       Schism


If Francis persists in effectively amending Scripture to accord with his clearly progressive and dangerously liberal agenda, or in disregard of Tradition, and prescinding from the Sacred Deposit of the Faith, the only apparent logical sequitur is also an “S” word, for it would likely provoke a monumental schism within the Church: not a “breaking away from” by Catholics faithful to Holy Mother Church,  but a “having already broken away from” Holy Mother Church by disaffected Catholics who put liberal ideology in place of theology, man before God, their ambitions before their obligations, and their temporal gains before their eternal losses. But — we protest — this must not happen!

As Cardinal Raymond Burke emphatically noted:

There can be no place in our thinking or acting for schism which is always and everywhere wrong,” he said. “Schism is the fruit of a worldly way of thinking, of thinking that the Church is in our hands, instead of in the hands of Christ. The Church in our time has great need of the purification of any kind of worldly thinking,” he added. The Cardinal warned Catholics in anguish over the current situation within the Church against even thinking about schism, that is, separating themselves from the Catholic Church headed by the Pope in the hope of creating a better Church.


 

Code of Canon Law Article 1 §3

Of course, there are others issues at stake, especially pertaining to the office of the Petrine Ministry in the Code of Canon Law for which no such apparently facile remedy is immediately available, especially as it pertains to CCL Art 1 §3.

No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff.According to the 1917 Code of Canon Law: “Prima Sedes a nemine iudicatur” (Canon 1556) — “The First See [the pope] is judged by no one.”

The clarity and concision of this law is deliberately rigorous and for good reason — especially in light of the past 50 years which have witnessed widespread and regular dissent and disobedience vis-à-vis the papacy on the part of cardinals, ordinaries, national “Catholic Conferences”, seminary rectors, priests, theologians, and Religious. Widespread as these have been, much-needed correction on the part of the pontiffs preceding Francis has been rare, tempered, and even rescinded. Francis’s shocking authoritarian and peremptory character has no precedent in modern times. The question confronting thoughtful Catholics is why? Why is the full canonical weight of the papacy being exercised so vigorously by Pope Francis and “Team Bergoglio” — and if it is divinely ordained why are the consequences so deleterious to the Church and the faithful? Why such confusion and apparent subterfuge (the infamous “St. Gallen Group”)? Why such a pervasive atmosphere of fear permeating the Vatican as never before —  and as is routinely reported?
 

No implied “judgment” in the Dubia or Questions requiring Clarification

Much more to the point, there is no implied “judgment” of Pope Francis in what is simply, correctly, and canonically termed “The Dubia”, or the questions placed before the pope for clarification are simply that: questions — not judgments of the pope. Issues are involved that stand in dire need of clarification and consensus. Indeed, far from presuming to judge the pope in any way, they are questions requiring his judgment since no universal interpretive consensus is agreed upon — for which reason the dubia were presented to him! Bishops and priests in different countries are in diametric opposition to one another in their understanding of the questions involved. This is a scandalous state of affairs. Definitively answering the questions — which is the prerogative and responsibility of the pope alone — is the only way to settle these divisions, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations not only among the clergy, but the faithful. What is permitted in Poland is not permitted in Canada. Even within one country — America — what is permitted in Los Angeles is not permitted in Philadelphia. In a word, what is sinful in one place is not sinful in another.

That — if nothing else — is the scandal. No casuistry will ever overcome the Law of the Excluded Middle (or the law of non-contradiction): X cannot, at one and the same time, both be X and not-X. It is inconsistent with reason and irreconcilable with logic. It is also a terrible chaos in a universe of immortal souls and Divine pronouncements.


The Church is God’s — to do with as He wills

These are real and ultimately vital questions. To simply reply with Canon Law that No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff is sufficient ... ultimately is not.

We must remember — with a faith straitened as perhaps never before — that ultimately the Church is God’s to do with as He wills. He chooses — or permits — Whom He will. Who are we to question God? In the end His ways are not our ways. And perhaps — just perhaps — He has given or permitted us to have what and whom we will — if only to teach us that there is a better ... but only at a cost we have proven ourselves unwilling to pay.

 

Editor
Boston Catholic Journal
August 24, 2017

 

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We strongly encourage you to read The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope — As many as 30 Cardinals implicated in Vote-Canvassing Scandal
 


 

 

Salus Animarum
 

the Salvation of Souls

Hell
 

Whatever became of this most Fundamental Imperative …
indeed, the very reason for the establishment and existence of the Church?

 

It is unlikely that the vast, indeed, the overwhelming majority of today’s Catholics have not so much as heard of this phrase as old as the Church itself; certainty, not in English — and with greater certainty still, not from the pulpit. The very concept of “the salvation of the soul” appears to be non grata in homiletics for quite nearly 50 years (corresponding, unsurprisingly, to the implementation of Vatican II) — despite the fact that the imperative itself is clearly and unambiguously codified as the supremus lex (the supreme law) in Canon Law (1752):
 

Salus animarum supemus lex esto

“The salvation of souls must be the supreme law in the Church.”
 

It is nothing less than the sole reason for the Incarnation … the Suffering, Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection … of Christ: the salvation of souls!

Christ as Savior; Christ as Redeemer, cannot be understood apart from this most fundamental and utterly simple concept: He came to save souls — not to heal bodies (although He did), not to rectify injustices, not to rehabilitate politics, not to instruct us on economics, and certainly not save the environment.

He came with only two purposes that are really one:

  • To do the will of the Father

  • And the will of the Father is this: to save souls for all eternity in Heaven (and in so doing, to deliver them from Hell).

It is really that simple; in fact, so simple that it eludes us in our pretensions to sophistication, and our preferences for sophistry.

For 2000 years the mission of the Church (and its raison d’etre , the very reason for its being) could be summed up in two words instantiating that same beautiful simplicity: Salus animarum — the Salvation of souls”.  Through Christ in the Sacraments this is its sole mission.
 

No other Mandate

The Church has no other mandate from Christ. Even healing the sick, raising the dead, delivering men from demonic possession, and all that He taught in the Sermon on the Mount were means only to the principle end: the salvation of the soul. Christ Himself emphatically asks:

“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (St. Matthew 16.26).

The purpose of all that He said and did was always eschatological, that is to say, pertaining to the Four Last Things:

  • Death

  • Judgment

  • Heaven

  • Hell

Everything else pales in significance. Two come once only, and two are at once everlasting.

To pretend that we really do not fully understand what Christ was talking about, and which He proclaimed in the clearest terms, is just that: pretension. We know very well what Christ said and did — but to our own devious and often deviant ends, we assume an air of erudite perplexity concerning them:

“Despite what He appears to say; indeed actually says — this is what He really means …” What follows seldom has anything to do with what He means. And we recognize it.

 Our own interpretation merely accords with what we wish He had said, for this would provide us with excuses for our sins or alternatives for His extremely unsettling pronouncements. We go from the reality of:  If only He had said …” to the fiction: “This is what He really means … because I am much more comfortable with this interpretation — which, rather coincidentally, allows me to continue in sin.”  In short, it is nothing more than wishful thinking, because they cannot both be true.

However contradictory to what Jesus and His Apostles really said and taught, we choose to believe another narrative, however factitious; a simulacrum that borrows the vocabulary of the real but with connotations utterly incongruous with it. It is disingenuous, a sham. There is a pathos of similitude but the depiction is counterfeit. We have not entered the mythical: we have fabricated it. Shamelessly. It pleases us … and this is the first clue that it is deceptive. We have both an aversion and an affinity for the truth. It is the patrimony of our broken heritage from the beginning. We ineluctably desire the true, but when it indicts us we demur from it; unable to accommodate both we resort to dissimilation, to a semblance of the real that is, despite our collusion with pretensions, a defection from it. Hence our penchant for comfortable and spurious “interpretations”.

For all our carefully fabricated allusions to what Christ really said and meant, we know the truth — because He is the Truth Who does not deceive nor can be deceived. We are not pleased with all He said, especially concerning things that frighten us because they describe us  … and convict us — and we know it! 

Despite this, we insist that so many vitally important things that Jesus clearly uttered are nevertheless not true —  because they are not “inclusive” and do not accord with our delicate post-modern sensitivities that any real deity would surely ascribe to. That some, perhaps many, are left in “outer darkness”, excluded from Heaven because of  their depravity and perversion, their penchant for sin and their obstinate predilection for evil, is unacceptable to our presently enlightened humanity. The list of our objections would be too long to enumerate and ultimately too tedious. Let us be satisfied with a few:


The Short List:

  • Not everyone goes to Heaven (St. Matthew 7:14)

  • People — indeed, many people — go to Hell (St. Matthew 7:14)

  • Hell is a real place of punishment, torment, and eternal suffering beyond our comprehension. It is the abode of the devil and demons. It is eternal and eternally devoid of any hope. (St. Matthew 5.29-10; Luke 16:19-31, 13.42; 25.41; St. Mark 9:42-44 etc.)

  • No one “goes to the Father” — enters Heaven — except though Christ (St. John 14:6)

  • If you deny Him before men on earth, He will deny you before His Father in Heaven (Matthew 10:33)

  • Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven (St. Matthew 7:21)

  • Not any and every religion will bring you to Heaven (St. John 6.26-70)

  • Being a “nice person” does not suffice to bring you to Heaven or exempt you from Hell (St. Matthew 5.20; St. Mark 16.15-16)

Such pernicious nonsense has no place in our mythologized concept of God. We will have Heaven … “dammit”  ... but on our terms — despite what Jesus Christ says … much to our consternation, and quite likely to our damnation. We prefer other interpretations;  more comfortable and convenient exegeses ... and sadly they abound.

For my part, fool that I am, I will take Christ at His word. In fact, I stake my life on it.

 

Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

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THE SACRED RULE

for Properly Celebrating the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass


The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: A Primer for Clueless Catholics

DO NOT DO at Mass  what you would never have done were you standing at the foot of the Cross with Christ visibly before you.

DO 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 and truly.

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.

DO, then, what you would have done ... and DO NOT DO what you would never have done.

THIS
is the proper disposition of the soul at every single Mass.


 



 

Complete Roman Martyrology in English

The Complete Martyrology in

 English

for Daily Reflection

Semen est sanguis Christianorum — The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church — Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50

 

ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

Thursday September 21st in the Year of Grace 2017

Season after Pentecost

Please note: due to temporary maintenance, the Martyrology will not be updated between 22 and 28 September 2019


This Day, the Twenty-First Day of September

The birthday of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, who suffered martyrdom in  Ethiopia, while engaged in preaching. The Gospel written by him in Hebrew was, by his  own revelation, found in the time of the emperor Zeno, together with the relics of the blessed apostle Barnabas.

In the land of Saar, the holy prophet Jonas, who was buried in Geth.

At Rome, St. Pamphilus, martyr.

At twenty miles from Rome, on the Claudian way, the martyrdom of St. Alexander, bishop, in the time of the emperor Antoninus. For the faith of Christ he was loaded with fetters, scourged, tortured, burned with torches, torn with iron hooks, exposed to the beasts and cast into the flames, but having overcome all these torments, he was finally beheaded, and so attained the glory of eternal life. His body was afterwards carried into the city by the blessed Pope Damasus, on the 26th of November, on which day his feast is to be celebrated by order of the same Pontiff.

In Phoenicia, St. Eusebius, martyr, who, of his own accord, went to the prefect, and declaring himself a Christian, was subjected by him to many torments, and finally beheaded.

In Cyprus, St. Isacius, bishop and martyr.

In the same place, St. Meletius, bishop and confessor.

In Ethiopia, St. Iphigenia, virgin, who being baptized and consecrated to God by the blessed Apostle Matthew, ended her holy life in peace.

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

January February March April May June
July August September October November December

 

 

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 belief.

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. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. 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 Martyrs matter.


Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal


Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised
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
 

by J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore


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 ages.

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 cannons 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 utterances.

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 worlds 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 the desert.

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!

Imprimatur,  J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland 1916

   Printable PDF Version

______________________________

1   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. Matthew 10.3-33)

2 St. John 13.15

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